BlockFi, a nonbank lender of crypto assets, has announced that it’s opening a new platform for institutional investors.
BlockFi Institutional Services is set “to give market-makers, funds, exchanges, and family offices access to enterprise-grade financing solutions for digital assets,” according to the company.
Digital Assets Services for Institutional Investors
The drive to serve cryptocurrency investors with institutional options was inspired by BlockFi’s own growth.
“We have been active in the market for over a year,” BlockFi founder and CEO Zac Prince told Bitcoin Magazine. “As the team and business grew, it made sense to formally announce and establish the group within BlockFi.”
Headed up by Rene van Kesteren — a veteran of the institutional investment sphere for over 20 years, including stints at Bank of America Merrill Lynch — the leadership for BlockFi Institutional Services comes from an institutional investment background, rather than one from the crypto asset industry itself.
“We have a great relationship with our institutional partners, and having a team with a background in traditional finance has helped to ensure there’s a really seamless understanding of the needs in the space and how we can best accommodate [them],” said Prince. “Our Institutional Services team operates with the goal of helping these larger, traditional financial institutions leverage digital currencies in the most flexible and profitable capacity. Digital currencies provide so many benefits at scale, and making sure we’re making them as practical as traditional financial assets is critical in helping both consumers and financial institutions adopt them.”
In a statement, Prince said that BlockFi’s priority in the institutional space is “to build a secure, best-in-breed platform for institutions to work with BlockFi in a way that facilitates liquidity and growth in the ecosystem. Institutional clients can expect to benefit from the same client dedication and value delivery we show for our retail clients.”
Timeline and Gemini Partnership
Without providing a concrete timeline, BlockFi said that it will be rolling out its institutional products and services in the near future. It added that institutional clients will have their balances stored at Gemini, continuing an ongoing partnership between the two companies.
“At BlockFi,” Prince said, “our goal has always been to offer a bridge between traditional finance and digital currencies, so whether we’re serving individual investors or large financial institutions, our products fill that same critical gap in the world of cryptocurrencies. With that said, the impact in offering these solutions to institutions means we’re helping the larger traditional financial ecosystem become more adapted to digital currencies. The core impact on this space should be increased liquidity and a more robust capital market.”
BlockFi expects to reveal additional details during an in-depth presentation at the Futures Industry Association’s (FIA) exposition in Chicago, being held from October 29 to 31, 2019.
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.