The filings, dated January 20, outline potential risks for such activities, noting:
"A Fund’s investment in bitcoin futures may involve illiquidity risk, as bitcoin futures are not as heavily traded as other futures given that the bitcoin futures market is relatively new."
BlackRock added that "[t]he only bitcoin futures in which the Funds may invest are cash-settled bitcoin futures traded on commodity exchanges registered with the CFTC."
To be sure, the filings themselves don't definitively say that BlackRock funds are on the cusp of buying bitcoin future. But such filings have been known to predate these kinds of moves, indicating that BlackRock is at least laying down the regulatory tracks to conduct allocations if it so chooses.
Last month, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink remarked during a panel appearance that bitcoin is gaining legitimacy as an asset class, but cautioned that "[w]e have to go through many markets to see if it's going to be permanently real."
BlackRock is also seeking to hire a blockchain lead, a vice president-level role.