The blockchain is the foundation on which much of the digital assets universe is built, and a growing number of exchange traded funds provide access to that theme. However, not all of those ETFs are cut from the same cloth. The new Invesco Alerian Galaxy Blockchain Users and Decentralized Commerce ETF ( BLKC ) is an example of a blockchain ETF with the potential to stand out in a crowded field.
BLKC, which debuted earlier this month, follows the Alerian Galaxy Global Blockchain Equity, Trusts and ETPs Index. That benchmark “is comprised of stocks of companies that are materially engaged in the development of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency mining, cryptocurrency buying, or enabling technologies and exchange-traded products,” according to Invesco.
Something to note about blockchain, and thereby BLKC, is that while blockchain is often mentioned simultaneously with bitcoin or other digital coins, blockchain reaches further into the crypto ecosystem and has applications far beyond just being a medium for bitcoin transactions.
“Blockchain technology could be used to reduce the friction and increase the security of transactions using fiat currency. Even more exciting: blockchain can enable a secure and portable store of intrinsic value that does not need to be backed by a fiat currency at all. The first robust digital currency, bitcoin, was developed simultaneously with this innovative technology,” notes Fidelity.
In fact, blockchain has myriad industry-level applications beyond crypto, and BLKC taps into that theme. For example, the financial services sector accounts for 17% of the new ETF’s roster, and while that allocation includes some exposure to crypto exchange operator Coinbase (COIN), the bulk of it consists of traditional banks.
Still, part of the allure with an asset like BLKC is that the blockchain acts as a validator of sorts for crypto not only at the transaction level, but at the adoption level as well.
“When a buyer uses bitcoin to pay for something, instead of checking a central database for a stored value, the seller broadcasts the transaction to the entire network. The network verifies the buyer’s ownership and validates the transaction using a process known as mining. It then writes the time-stamped transaction into every copy of the block, maintaining an unbroken chain of transactions and owners from when the bitcoin was created to the present,” adds Fidelity.
BLKC allocates almost 61% of its weight to technology stocks, which include components producers that power crypto harvesting — think Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), among others — bitcoin miners, and crypto-correlated fintech names like Square (NYSE:SQ).
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