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‘Don’t sell to Larry:’ Bitcoiners lampoon BlackRock as fund giant’s holdings surpass $6b

‘Don’t sell to Larry:’ Bitcoiners lampoon BlackRock as fund giant’s holdings surpass $6b
Credit: Darren Joseph
  • BlackRock’s new ETF has surpassed 100,000 Bitcoin in inflows.
  • Crypto natives on social media joke that sellers to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink do so at their own peril.
  • The jabs highlight a recurring theme in crypto — the retail investor versus the institutional giant.

After just over a month of operation, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust holds over 116,000 Bitcoin, worth almost $6.1 billion.

The hottest new exchange-traded fund, BlackRock’s ETF, known by its ticker IBIT, has broken its previous one-month record for an ETF to become the fastest-growing in history.

But despite potentially bullish implications of mainstream adoption, social media users in the crypto community are taking jabs at BlackRock — urging Bitcoin holders not to sell their tokens lest BlackRock scoop them up.

“Don’t sell to Larry” became a common mantra on the platform since BlackRock announced plans to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF, referring to the asset management firm’s CEO Larry Fink.

GM, don’t sell

“GM!!! ~124 days left to the halving!! DON’T SELL YOU BITCOIN TO LARRY FINK,” Mati Greenspan wrote on Twitter, now X, back in December.

The “don’t sell” mantra is back, with posts mounting alongside headlines of fresh highs for BlackRock’s Bitcoin stash.

“They don’t know what ‘don’t sell your Bitcoin to Larry’ even means,” wrote @awbitcoin on February 9, responding to others who wondered who is selling amid soaring demand for the cryptocurrency.

“A movement being front run by individuals, NOT institutions. You absolutely LOVE to see it. Don’t sell your #Bitcoin to BlackRock,” wrote @BrianSchmidt9 on X today.

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“If you own any amount of #Bitcoin, there’s only 1 essential thing you must remember: Don’t fukin sell them to BlackRock! Keep your edge. $1m a pop is closer than you think,” wrote Toma B on February 14, who has the Bitcoin emoji in his X bio.

The posts highlight community fears BlackRock is buying up all the Bitcoin it can, potentially cornering the market.

The posts also dovetail with cultural elements of the crypto world, where investors employ memes like diamond hands and “HODL,” indicating they’ll hold onto the asset forever as it rockets to the moon and beyond.

Dominating the market

BlackRock and rival firm Fidelity are dominating the market. Their ETFs have seen billions in inflows, a large slice of which have migrated from the crypto-native incumbent, and still largest, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF.

Though Grayscale was the first ETF applicant and saw around $30 billion in investment over the course of its long journey to approval, its higher management fees and pressure due to clients’ legal troubles have triggered an exodus of billions.

While outflows from Grayscale only recently slowed, the other ETFs this week amassed $3 billion in inflows over a three-day period.

Central to the BlackRock posts is the tension between number-go-up bullishness, and the encroachment of traditional finance institutions on what has historically been a “wild west” industry.

Crypto investors often require large buyers to scoop up their chosen tokens for the price to rise.

Tongue in cheek

On the other hand, large funds accumulating outsized portions of a token could cause the price to tank by dumping or experiencing a systemic failure, as happened with crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

And the meme is probably tongue in cheek: BlackRock’s Bitcoin holdings are dependent on investor demand for its ETF and not based on the firm’s asset managers looking to buy Bitcoin from holders.

Tyler Pearson is a markets correspondent at DL News. He is based out of Alberta, Canada. Got a tip? Reach out to him at ty@dlnews.com.