It was reported that BlackRock was creating a team to enter the cryptocurrency market, but CEO Larry Fink is walking back that talk.
The world of high finance can change in a split second. It was reported yesterday that BlackRock was creating a team to move the company into the cryptocurrency sphere. This was big news as the company is the largest asset managing firm in the world, totaling $6.3 trillion in assets. Now it appears that such talk may have been premature.
Walking It Back
The CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, went onto Bloomberg Television to deny the talk about the company getting involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Fink was rather pointed in his remarks, saying:
I don’t believe any client has sought out crypto exposure. I’ve not heard from one client who says, ‘I need to be in this.’
Fink then added:
When it becomes more legitimatized, when it has a true open nature of it that you can identify who the players are on both sides, that’s when we’ll probably look at it.
Fink went on to say that the company was, however, taking a hard look at cryptocurrencies to see if they ever could be a legitimate alternative to fiat currency.
Fink Not a Crypto Fan
Of course, Fink is no fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He called Bitcoin “speculative” back in 2017. Yet it makes little sense to believe that not a single client of the company has inquired about cryptocurrency at all. Companies like Coinbase are rolling out new platforms just for institutional investors.
In fact, his own global chief multi-asset strategist, Isabelle Mateos Y Lago, contradicts Fink’s assertion. She spoke to Bloomberg in late January this year and said a lot of people were interested in Bitcoin. She added that cryptocurrency was “new” and that “interest has persisted.” She did conclude that Bitcoin was not an investable asset class at the time, but they would keep an eye on it.
Chances are that Larry Fink and BlackRock will change their tune in the future. A lot of institutional financial giants that once mocked Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now diving into the ecosystem in major ways. Trading platforms, ETFs, and Bitcoin futures trading are now operating or being worked on. The most notable about-face is JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, relentlessly attacked Bitcoin. Now the company is actively involved in the cryptocurrency marketplace.
Do you think Larry Fink is telling the truth when he says BlackRock is not interested in becoming active in cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.