Bitcoin from an “index of money laundering” to “Digitizing Gold” ft Larry Fink

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock and undoubtedly one of the most powerful person on Wall Street in an interview with Fox News said:

Bitcoin is digitalizing gold in many ways. Instead of investing in gold as a hedge against the onerous problems of any one country or the devaluation of your currency of whatever country you’re in, Bitcoin is an international asset.

The recent comments from Larry is in stark contrast to his comments on Bitcoin in 2017 New York Times Dealbook Conference. Back then he stated Bitcoin as an “index of money laundering” and said “I do believe there’s a great need for distributive ledgers and I do believe there’s a great need for private blockchains and all that so I understand the technology”. He also expressed concerns about the lack of regulation and support for crypto-assets, emphasizing the necessity of government backing before BlackRock’s involvement.

Fast-forward to June, BlackRock worlds largest asset manager which manages $9.5 trillion in asset has filed an application for spot Bitcoin ETF. The asset manager partnered with US largest crypto exchange COINBASE(COIN) for custody and market pricing. For context , their has been a quite a few spot Bitcoin ETF application in the past but none of them were approved by SEC due to concerns regarding market manipulation and limited oversight on numerous cryptocurrency exchanges. Their are some future Bitcoin ETF in the market right now but the problem is that they are paper contracts meaning the ETF is not backed by actual Bitcoin, whereas in case of spot ETF the ETF is fully backed by Bitcoin. However, the only difference with BlackRock’s ETF filling was its Surveillance-Sharing agreements.

Keeping in mind the BlackRock have success rate of 575-1 in getting the ETFs approved from the SEC, the crypto market pumped in response to the news. This filing represents a significant shift in the financial landscape. Fink’s recent statements, coupled with BlackRock’s ongoing efforts, indicate a growing acceptance of cryptocurrency within the financial sector. According to Laser Digital survey after BlackRock’s ETF filing 96% of professional investors are eager to invest in crypto.

The latest update on BlackRock’s ETF filling is that it refiled its application through Nasdaq after SEC deemed earlier proposal “inadequate”.

BlackRock has taken a prominent role in integrating crypto markets with more conventional ones. While the prospect of SEC approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF remains uncertain or one can say very unlikely considering it’s ongoing war with crypto industry , Fink’s change in perspective from five years ago underscores the rapid evolution of the cryptocurrency landscape. His current remarks demonstrate a belief in Bitcoin’s potential as a global asset, independent of any particular nation, and as an investment tool for a promising future. This begs the question of whether BlackRock’s recent actions suggest a newfound acknowledgment of cryptocurrency as a legitimate asset.

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