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Franklin Templeton Enables Peer-to-Peer Trades of Blockchain Fund

2024-04-26 03:46:02

Leading asset manager Franklin Templeton will allow customers to exchange shares of its Nasdaq-listed OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX) with each other. In a Thursday announcement, the company said that holders of the BENJI token can now transfer shares directly with each other on a public blockchain.

FOBXX was launched in 2021 and exposed investors to American government securities, cash, and repurchase agreements. It initially ran on the Stellar blockchain, but last year was made available on Polygon—the blockchain behind the 20th biggest cryptocurrency, MATIC.

One BENJI token represents one share of the fund. The idea, according to the asset manager, is to “create efficiencies within traditional financial assets.” In other words, streamline the process of buying and selling shares. 

FOBXX is the first U.S.-registered fund to use a blockchain to process transactions and record share ownership. It has $360 million in assets under management. 

Franklin Templeton head of digital assets Roger Bayston said: “Eventually, we hope for assets built on blockchain rails, such as the Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund, to work seamlessly with the rest of the digital asset ecosystem.”

Franklin Templeton isn’t the only major Wall Street firm to enter the world of tokenized assets: BlackRock last month launched its first tokenized asset fund, BUIDL, which runs on Ethereum.

Company CEO Jenny Johnson said in January that blockchain “is going to open up a lot of really interesting types of investment opportunities.”

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) bought itself more time to evaluate an an Ethereum spot ETF proposal from Franklin Templeton and investment giant Grayscale. Although such a product is seen as a key way to boost the value of the second-largest digital asset, approval prospects have faded since the jubilant days of Bitcoin spot ETF launches.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.