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BlackRock is studying blockchain and crypto, says CEO

BlackRock’s Lawrence Fink sees a “huge role for digitised currency”


In an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box, Larry Fink, the CEO of the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock, revealed he partly sides with Jamie Dimon's take on cryptocurrencies. Fink observed that, just like JP Morgan's chief executive, he didn’t see much value in digital currencies.


Responding to whether he had a change of heart with regards to providing crypto products or access to investors, he said that BlackRock was in the process of evaluating cryptocurrencies and general blockchain technology. The executive further stated that he was unsure whether the asset would shoot upwards or spiral downwards.


He, however, noted how impressive it is that investors have looked into crypto to diversify their investments. In his opinion, Fink believes that digitised currencies will play a big role in the future.


"I'm not a student of Bitcoin, and where it's going to go so, I can't tell you whether it's going to $80,000 or zero. But I do believe there is a huge role for a digitised currency, and I believe that's going to help consumers worldwide," he said.


During the Squawk Box interview, in which he also discussed the state of investing in global markets, Fink divulged that the firm hadn't noted much interest in digital assets.


"We see very little demand for those [cryptocurrencies] types of things."


His sceptical remarks come days after JPMorgan's chief executive Jamie Dimon averred he did not believe in crypto despite the bank's customers seeing otherwise. In a recent Institute of International Finance Annual Membership Meeting, the JP Morgan CEO labelled Bitcoin as worthless, questioned its scarcity and suggested its supply cap could be altered.


It wasn't the first time that Dimon has been cynical about digital assets, having described Bitcoin as a fraud in the past. Interestingly he believes that it could potentially increase up to tenfold in value in the next five years. He also specified during the membership meeting that his personal cynicism did not stand in the way of the company delivering safe access to the asset if investors wanted it.


"If they want to have access to buy bitcoin, we can't custody it, but we could give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access," he said.


These Bitcoin-critical remarks have not gone down well with the crypto community, with several users pointing to the rally Bitcoin has seen over the years. Some went as far as highlighting over 400 high-profile Bitcoin “obituaries” that have all been wrong. On his end, MicroStrategy's Michael Saylor believes that Bitcoin frustrations stem from a lack of understanding of the digital asset.



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