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CEO of BlackRock, World’s Largest Asset Manager With $6.4 Trillion of AUM, Talks About Crypto

CEO of BlackRock, World’s Largest Asset Manager With $6.4 Trillion of AUM, Talks About Crypto
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On Thursday (1 November 2018), Larry Fink, the Chairman and CEO at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with $6.4 trillion of AUM, said (according to CNBC) that his firm would not consider launching a crypto ETF until the crypto industry becomes "legitimate."

Fink is a staunch Bitcoin bear, though perhaps not to the same extent as Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet (who said back in May that Bitcoin is "probably rat poison squared") or JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon (who said on Wednesday, the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin white paper, that he didn't give a "sh*t" about Bitcoin). 

For example, on 13 October 2017, whilst speaking at the Institute of International Finance, Fink said:

"Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world. That's all it is. I mean, it is an index of money laundering."

Then, a month later, on 13 November 2017, according to Reuters, Fink called Bitcoin "a very speculative instrument" and "an instrument that people use for money laundering" at the Reuters Global Investment 2018 Outlook Summit:

“The reason why it does so well is it is anonymous. It’s anonymous, and it’s cross-border... If you legitimize it, you know who your counterparties are...the question is how many people will use it if you have to acknowledge you are a buyer or a seller."

On 16 July 2018, the BlackRock CEO was asked in an interview on Bloomberg TV if it the reports about his firm working on some kind of crypto-based were true. He replied:

"No, I mean we're looking at... blockchain technologies. We're studying them [cryptocurrencies] to see how they are performing."

And when asked about BlackRock's clients' interest in having some crypto exposure, he answered:

"No, I don't believe that any client has sought out crypto exposure... When it becomes more legitimatized... that you identify who the players are on both sides... that's probably when we'll look at it as an alternative to all currencies."

According to a CNBC report, yesterday, Fink was speaking at The New York Times DealBook conference in New York City.  He was asked when BlackRock would be launching some kind of crypto ETF. He replied:

"I wouldn't say never, when it's legitimate, yes."

He then added:

"It will ultimately have to be backed by a government... I don't sense that any government will allow that unless they have a sense of where that money's going for tax evasion and all of these other issues."

Also, he once again pointed out that Bitcoin's anonymous nature makes it mainly useful for criminals:

"I do see one day where we could have electronic trading for a currency that could be a store of wealth. But right now the world doesn't need a store of wealth unless you need that store of wealth for things you should not be doing."

And finally, perhaps rather unsurprisingly, he reiterated his belief in blockchain technology:

"We are a huge believer in blockchain, The biggest use for blockchain will be in mortgages, mortgage applications, mortgage ownership, anything that's labored with paper."


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