Praising Crypto (Bitcoin)
Larry Fink – Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock – raised hopes that his company’s recent filing to launch a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the USA could make investing in the primary cryptocurrency less expensive and “democratize crypto.”
The American regulators have not approved such a product yet. However, BlackRock’s outstanding record with the SEC made some believe it could become the first company with such a green light.
Fink’s Efforts to Democratize Crypto
In a recent interview for Fox Business, Fink noted that BTC transactions are still quite expensive. As such, one of BlackRock’s efforts in the field is to remove that burden for investors:
“What we’re trying to do with crypto is make it more democratized and make it much cheaper for investors. It costs a lot of money right now to transact Bitcoin. We hope our regulators look at these filings as a way to democratize crypto.”
Larry Fink, Source: Fox Business
Recall that the world’s largest asset manager splashed the waters in mid-June when it filed to introduce a spot BTC ETF in the US. The SEC has approved 575 out of its 576 ETF attempts over the years, causing some to believe that such a BTC-related product could finally see the light of day in America.
However, the Commission initially considered the effort “inadequate,” forcing BlackRock to refile, naming Coinbase as a “surveillance partner.”
From Critic to Proponent
Fink also joined the list of prominent individuals who think the asset class is akin to digital gold. More specifically, he claimed that people could distribute some of their wealth in BTC instead of in the precious metal as a hedge against inflation and protection against the devaluation of many national currencies.
“Bitcoin is an international asset. It’s not based on anyone’s currency, and so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative,” he added.
Unlike his current view on the crypto industry, Fink was nowhere near that supportive of it in the past, calling Bitcoin an “index of money laundering” in 2017:
“Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world. That’s all it is.”
He opined in 2020 that the development of the digital asset sector could undermine the dominance of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
Fink softened his stance last year, revealing that BlackRock has started “studying digital currencies, stablecoins, and the underlying technologies to understand how they can help us serve our clients.”
In his most recent interview for Fox Business, he explained that his initial backlash toward the industry was because “it was heavily used for, let’s say, illicit activities.”