Franklin Templeton considers new altcoin-focused crypto fund


Asset manager Franklin Templeton is exploring a new crypto fund for institutional investors, expanding its offerings beyond Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). 

According to a June 6 report from The Information, the mutual fund is considering a private fund to expose institutional investors to altcoins. The fund would also offer staking rewards, the report says, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The report does not mention which altcoins would compose the fund’s basket, but the asset manager has recently praised the Solana network’s growth in 2024. According to analytics firm Messari, in the first quarter of 2024, Solana’s spot decentralized exchange volume increased by 319% to $1.5 billion from the previous quarter.

Franklin Templeton manages approximately $1.64 trillion in assets as of March 2024. This figure places the asset manager among the largest investment management firms globally.

The company is actively involved in the crypto space with several funds. One of its most popular projects is its spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), launched in January.

Franklin is also one of the proponents of a spot Ether ETF, recently approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The ETF is currently waiting for the agency’s clearance to launch.

“We are excited about ETH and its ecosystem. Despite the midlife crisis it’s recently experienced, we see a bright future with many strong tailwinds to push the Ethereum ecosystem forward,” the company previously said in a post on X.

USDC conversions on money market fund

On June 6, Franklin Templeton announced a new feature for investors on its Benji Investments platform. The company now allows investors to use USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin to fund investments in its money market fund, the Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX).

The fund was the first U.S.-registered mutual fund to process transactions and record ownership using a public blockchain. Each share in the fund is represented by the BENJI token.

The conversion will be facilitated by the crypto and stablecoin infrastructure platform Zero Hash, said the company in a statement.

According to Dune Analytics, Franklin’s money market fund currently manages $357 million in assets.

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