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Coinbase and BlackRock Unveil Crypto Partnership

The popular exchange will provide access to crypto markets for BlackRock's institutions through Coinbase Prime.

The Coinbase logo on an iPhone 13 Pro
James Martin/CNET

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Thursday announced a partnership with BlackRock that will let the investment management company's institutional clients use its service to buy cryptocurrency, starting with bitcoin.

The partnership will provide clients of Aladdin, BlackRock's portfolio management software, with direct access to crypto through Coinbase Prime, the exchange's institutional investment service. Coinbase will provide services like crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage and reporting capabilities to Aladdin's client base through the partnership, according to a release. 

"Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets," Joseph Chalom, global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships at BlackRock, said in a statement. "This connectivity with Aladdin will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly in their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a whole portfolio view of risk across asset classes."

Shares of Coinbase were up by more than 16% on Thursday following the announcement. This comes after a more than 50% decline in shares for the company over the past six months, according to CNBC

This also comes amid a period of uncertainty for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The past several months have seen a "crypto winter," with the overall market losing roughly $2 trillion in value, though there have been recent rebounds. 

In its statement, Coinbase emphasized that their service was the "most trusted bridge to the cryptoeconomy," offering security, insurance and compliance practices to institutions to provide safe access to crypto markets.