BlackRock chief executive officer Larry Fink, who once said Bitcoin was being largely utilized for “illicit activities”, said on July 5 that the original cryptocurrency was “digitizing gold.”
Fink’s remarks come weeks after the world’s biggest asset manager filed paperwork to list a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, with digital asset exchange Coinbase acting as its surveillance partner.
Bitcoin As An “International Asset”
BlackRock boss Larry Fink delivered pro-bitcoin comments during his latest interview.
Speaking on Fox Business Wednesday, Fink said he believes the role of crypto was mostly “digitizing gold”.
“Instead of investing in gold as a hedge against inflation, a hedge against the onerous problems of any one country, or the devaluation of your currency whatever country you’re in — let’s be clear, bitcoin is an international asset, it’s not based on any one currency and so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative,” the billionaire added.
BlackRock, which manages over $9.5 trillion in assets worldwide, helped Bitcoin bounce out of the doldrums with its ETF filing with the SEC, causing big institutional players to pour capital into the space and driving the top crypto to levels not seen in 12 months.
Crypto enthusiasts are excited by the prospect of a spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S. that would offer investors exposure to the flagship digital asset on a regulated crypto exchange without the hassle of custody.
BlackRock Seeks To Democratize Crypto: Larry Fink
Fink further said his company would work with regulators and hear any concerns they might have regarding their spot bitcoin ETF application.
“What we’re trying to do with crypto is make it more democratized and make it much cheaper for investors,” Fink explained. “Right now, the bid-ask spread for crypto is very expensive. It does erode a lot of the returns…We hope our regulators look at these filings as a way to democratize crypto,” he continued.
Although BlackRock has a stunning record of getting ETFs greenlit by the SEC, the CEO admitted he has no idea when a decision for its spot bitcoin ETF could be made amid the regulator’s brutal crackdown on the crypto industry.
Fink’s bullishness now is a noticeable change of tune from back in 2017 when he posited that “Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world.” However, he later conceded that BTC was a “great asset class” and that New York-based BlackRock had even accrued some profits after investing in the cryptocurrency.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s rebel child is presently changing hands at $31,200.39 at the time of publication, up 2.4% over the past 24 hours as per CoinGecko. The cryptocurrency was valued at less than $17,000 at the beginning of 2023.