A $1.4T Financial Giant Expands Its Money Market Fund on Polygon

Franklin Templeton says its fund is the first U.S. registered mutual fund run on blockchain technology.

AccessTimeIconApr 26, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:13 a.m. UTC

Franklin Templeton, with about $1.4 trillion assets under management, said its OnChain U.S. Government Money Market Fund (FOBXX) is now supported on Ethereum via layer 2 blockchain Polygon.

The investment giant said in a press release, during Consensus 2023, that it continues to see operational efficiencies through use of blockchain-integrated systems, including increased security and faster transaction processing.

The fund is the first U.S. registered mutual fund to use a public blockchain to process transactions and record share ownership, the investment firm claimed in the press release. On Monday, the Stellar Network announced the fund is available on its network. Stellar has a $2.5 billion market capitalization and Polygon's is over $9.5 billion.

“Extending the reach of the Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund to Polygon enables the fund to be further compatible with the rest of the digital ecosystem, specifically through an Ethereum-based blockchain,” said Roger Bayston, head of digital assets at Franklin Templeton, in the press release.

Franklin Templeton, which has been a proponent of blockchain technology in the past, continues to see operational efficiencies through use of a blockchain-integrated system, according to the statement. The firm announced in September that it will offer digital asset strategies to wealth managers.

The fund, which aims to provide steady income for its holders, invests at least 99.5% of its assets in government securities, cash and repurchase agreements. Money market funds are mutual funds that invest in highly liquid and short-term investments that intend to offer investors with low-risk options.

In the wake of recent market volatility and banking crisis, investors have been pouring into money market funds to hedge their investment risks. With more institutional investors pushing further into digital assets, traditional finance (TradFi) players are using this opportunity to merge both worlds by offering such funds via blockchain technology. Most recently, Ondo Finance said it is offering a stablecoin alternative that will be pegged to the U.S. dollar and backed by money-market funds that trade on traditional exchanges.

One share of Franklin Templeton’s fund is represented by one "BENJI" token, where the holders are able to gain exposure to the fund through digital wallets via the Benji Investments app, according to the press release.

"Tokenized assets are going to positively rewire the global financial system, and Franklin Templeton is at the forefront of this movement,” said Colin Butler, global head of institutional capital at Polygon Labs, in the press release.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.