- BlackRock wants to work with regulators and democratise crypto, CEO Larry Fink told Fox.
- Fink also said Bitcoin is “digitalising gold.”
- BlackRock aims to win US approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
BlackRock wants to democratise cryptocurrencies, according to CEO Larry Fink.
The asset management giant wants to make crypto accessible and “much cheaper for investors,” Fink told Fox News on Wednesday. “I do believe Bitcoin is digitalising gold, in many ways.”
In 2017, Fink called Bitcoin an ‘index of money laundering.’
The $9 trillion asset manager filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF last month, as a slew of rival applications followed and helped push the price of Bitcoin higher. Bitcoin is up more than 75% this year.
The comments are likely to delight holders of Bitcoin, who see the top cryptocurrency as a gold-like asset that can act as a haven. BlackRock is a “believer in the digitisation of products,” Fink also said, before adding that Bitcoin is an international asset.
The CEO “seems all-in,” according to Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.
“We hope our regulators look at these filings as a way to democratise crypto,” Fink CEO told Fox on Wednesday. The firm has a good track record when it comes to working with regulators, he added.
“Our record speaks for itself,” Fink said when shown his firm’s 575-1 win record when it comes to ETF applications.
Fink’s crypto about-face
In 2017, Fink called Bitcoin an “index of money laundering.” Fink showed signs of warming to crypto in his annual shareholder letter earlier this year. The asset manager touted the promise of ‘tokenisation’ for traditional financial assets such as stocks and bonds.
His about-face comes amid a looming demographic shift and perhaps the largest generational wealth transfer in history. As Boomers retire and the young inherit more money, legacy fund management houses are looking to adapt.
‘We go to jail if we don’t know who we’re trading with.’
Bitcoin rose following the news of the asset managers application. The leading cryptocurrency by market cap rose roughly 20% since BlackRock’s application, according to TradingView data.
The tokenisation of traditional assets, will happen, but it will be “slower than people expect,” BlackRock’s Joseph Chalom said at a recent Coinbase conference in New York.
Chalom stressed that real institutional adoption of blockchain technology won’t happen until know-your-customer and anti-money laundering practices are accepted and implemented acrossDeFi.
“All I know is, we go to jail if we don’t know who we’re trading with.”
BlackRock knows all too well, after all, it has been burnt in the past. It invested about $24 million in failed crypto platform FTX.