Larry Fink, who used to be critical of crypto, is now a big fan. BlackRock, which manages $10 trillion in investments, has entered the crypto market.
In 2017, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink disparaged Bitcoin, labeling it as a facilitator of money laundering. However, Fink has since undergone a remarkable transformation, expressing admiration for Bitcoin as a digital equivalent of gold and acknowledging the immense potential of blockchain technology. Furthermore, Fink believes that cryptocurrencies possess the capacity to revolutionize the financial industry.
Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, criticized Bitcoin during an Institute of International Finance meeting in 2017, describing it as an “index of money laundering” and suggesting that its popularity indicates the demand for money laundering activities worldwide. Fink’s remarks came at a time when Bitcoin reached new highs, surpassing $5,800 and showing a 470 percent increase that year. Fink’s comments followed those of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who referred to bitcoin owners as “stupid” and previously called the cryptocurrency a “fraud” and compared it to the tulip bulb bubble.
Recently on June 15, BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, has shown a significant shift in his perspective toward cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, and has filed plans with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) through its iShares subsidiary. This move has attracted the attention of institutional investors which includes Wisdom Tree, Invesco, Fidelity, and VanEck.In a recent interview with Fox Business, Fink praised Bitcoin as an “international asset” and compared it to “digitizing gold.” Bitcoin has experienced a significant increase in value since the beginning of 2023, with an 83% rise, much of which occurred after BlackRock applied for a spot Bitcoin Trust ETF in mid-June. This move indicates BlackRock’s commitment to cryptocurrency adoption and its willingness to collaborate with regulators to develop crypto-based investment solutions.
Following regulators’ initial concerns about their ETF application, BlackRock recently submitted a revised filing. The updated proposal includes a surveillance agreement with Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, effectively addressing a fundamental objection from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). By relying on Coinbase as its custodian and for spot market data, the proposed ETF aims to provide investors with a regulated and secure means to gain exposure to Bitcoin. The news of BlackRock’s revised application has triggered a surge in Bitcoin prices and influenced other financial firms, such as Cboe on behalf of Fidelity, to amend their ETF applications.
Fink believes in the potential of tokenizing assets and securities, seeing it as the next revolution in the finance industry. BlackRock aims to make investing more accessible, particularly for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, through its ETF offerings. By reducing the costly bid-ask spread for cryptocurrencies, transactions become less expensive, resulting in higher profits for investors. This democratization of crypto is seen as a step towards increased financial inclusivity.
The perception of Bitcoin has also changed in 2023. It’s no longer just seen as something for illegal activities. People now consider it a valuable digital asset, similar to gold. The overall view of cryptocurrencies has shifted from doubt to recognition of their potential as investments. BlackRock’s support for crypto investments shows an interesting opportunity, signaling a belief in a future where these digital assets play a significant role.
As Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, embraces cryptocurrencies and talks about their potential, it indicates a big shift in how the finance world sees digital currencies. With BlackRock’s huge influence and $10 trillion in investments, its entry into the crypto market could have a big impact, speeding up the adoption and integration of cryptocurrencies into mainstream investing.
On the other hand, Bank of America has expressed its admiration for Ripple and has also acknowledged the role of Ripple Labs in the payments sector in the Asia-Pacific region. With all these actions towards the Bitcoin ETF and cryptocurrencies, it is clear that, along with whales, banking sectors across the globe are participating in this movement, which attracts more investors to crypto investments.