Larry Fink sees huge potential in blockchain, the underpinning technology of digital currencies like bitcoin, but he’s not on board with the cryptocurrency wave that’s sweeping Wall Street.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, the head of BlackRock, the world’s largest investor with $US5.7 trillion under management, said he thinks the explosive growth of bitcoin, which is up over 350% this year, points to nefarious behaviour.
“It just identifies how much money laundering there is being done in the world,” Fink said. “How much people are trying to move currencies from one place to another.”
That said, Fink is on board with a “true global digital currency.”
“But let’s be clear if we created a true global digital currency – I hate the word crypto – then you would not have money laundering anymore you would have everything understood, everything would be flowing through,” he said.
Fink is the latest in a string of top Wall Streeters to weigh in on the explosive growth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
It all started when JPMorgan Jamie Dimon called bitcoin “a fraud” and said it was “worse than tulips bulbs” in the 1600s. Then, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman took a more moderate position on bitcoin, saying it was “more than just a fad.”
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal Reported that Goldman Sachs was flirting with the idea of setting up a bitcoin trading shop.
When asked if BlackRock was close to hopping on crypto-bandwagon or was exploring products connected to bitcoin, Fink was clear.
“We are not hearing any demand from our clients,” he said. “We are not hearing clients saying ‘we want to use this as an asset class. No.”
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