Silicon Valley-based Blockchange is looking to make its mark in the advisory industry with the roll out of its digital asset management platform designed for RIAs, the company announced Tuesday.
The cloud-based investing platform operates with a single web browser-like interface similar to an adviser workstation or portfolio management platform. Blockchange gives an adviser discretionary investment management over digital assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, among others, purchased through a qualified custodian and exchange.
There are two ways that advisers can participate in the platform, which is called BITRIA. The first is by onboarding their client accounts directly into the platform as well as the custodian and adopting a model-based approach — portfolio changes are made to all clients at once — or on a client-by-client basis, according to company CEO Dan Eyre.
Alternatively, an adviser can use the platform by a separately managed account structure. “Using this structure offers a variety of benefits versus a fund, such as deeper customization and flexibility, superior tax benefits, and ownership of the underlying assets — which is particularly critical in the digital asset ecosystem,” Eyre said.
To date, Blockchange is in pilot phase with six asset management firms, Eyre said. The platform is getting the most attention from firms with between $200 million and $1 billion in client assets under management. “They see it as an opportunity to differentiate their offering versus much larger competitors,” he said.
Moving forward, the fintech’s clientele will likely consist of RIAs managing between $250 million and $10 billion in client assets, he said. Although larger firms are not necessarily out of the question, Eyre said, they just tend to be less agile in regards to adopting new asset classes.
Still, digital assets might begin to ramp up further as a result of pandemic-driven economic uncertainties that have advisers eyeing other asset classes to diversify their clients’ portfolios.
“If we were having this conversation eight months ago, we would be hearing that it’s way too early for digital assets and no one is looking for a digital TAMP,” Eyre said. “When COVID-19 struck, it changed the dynamic as RIAs’ fiduciary standard is compelling them to look at other assets that can mitigate risk for clients.”