Crypto will transcend international currencies — BlackRock CEO

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has delivered fresh remarks supporting cryptocurrencies’ role in democratizing investing worldwide, pointing to growing interest among the company’s clients in digital assets.

“More and more of our global investors are asking us about crypto,” Fink said during an interview with CNBC’s ‘Squawk on the Street’ on July 14. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with over $8 trillion in assets spanning all types of investment products.

In Fink’s view, cryptocurrencies have a “differentiating value versus other asset classes” in helping diversify portfolios. “[…] It’s so international it’s going to transcend any one currency,” noted the executive.

BlackRock’s Larry Fink on the ‘Squawk on the Street’. Source: CNBC

Despite Fink’s pro-crypto remarks during the interview, he declined to comment on BlackRock’s application for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, as the filing is still pending with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“We are working with our regulators because, as in any new market, if BlackRock’s name is going to be on it, we’re going to make sure that it’s safe and sound and protected,” Fink added.

Several applications to list a BTC ETF on the spot market have been rejected by the SEC in past years. However, BlackRock’s filing has sparked renewed hopes of imminent approval, given the asset manager’s overwhelming success in getting ETFs approved. According to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart, BlackRock has filed for 550 ETF applications and has only been rejected once.

“We believe we have a responsibility to democratize investing. We’ve done a great job, and the role of ETFs in the world is transforming investing. And we’re only at the beginning of that,” Fink stated in the interview.

BlackRock’s application has been followed by several refilings for similar ETF products in the United States. Asset managers in line for a green light include Fidelity, Bitwise, 21Shares, WisdomTree and Investco, among others.

While American money managers wait for the SEC’s decision, Europe’s first spot Bitcoin ETF is set to debut later this year by London-based firm Jacobi Asset Management. The product was scheduled to launch in 2022 but was postponed due to the bear market. According to Jacobi, the demand has been gradually shifting since last year.

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