BlackRock CEO Denies Crypto Foray Rumors

BlackRock is looking into blockchain, not crypto, as CEO Larry Fink has sought to clarify.

BlackRock is not interested in cryptocurrencies, CEO Larry Fink has claimed. Although the asset management giant is “very excited” about blockchain, no portion of its $6.3 trillion worth of assets has been invested in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, or other altcoins.

According to a media report on Monday, BlackRock has formed a workforce to investigate potential uses of cryptocurrencies. Multi-asset strategist Terry Simpson was said to have joined the team as an adviser on Bitcoin futures. However, later that day, Fink dismissed those rumors in an interview for Bloomberg Television.

“I don’t believe any client has sought out crypto exposure. I’ve not heard from one client who says, ‘I need to be in this,’” the CEO said. 

Fink did confirm BlackRock was studying how cryptocurrencies perform but insisted the focus was on blockchain technology. As he told Bloomberg, the company was looking in that direction, especially in relation to Aladdin - BlackRock’s electronic risk management system, which handles $15 trillion in assets.

Although Fink denied any current involvement with cryptocurrencies, he did not entirely rule out the possibility of BlackRock offering crypto services in the future.

“When it becomes more legitimized, when it has a true open nature of it that you [can] identify who the players are on both sides, that’s when we’ll probably look at it as an alternative to all currencies.”

Bitcoin (BTC) went up 4% after the rumors of BlackRock’s involvement with crypto spread. However, the rebuttal of those rumors does not seem to have affected prices, with BTC stabilizing at around $6,700, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.

This is not the first time the CEO of BlackRock has been skeptical about Bitcoin. In November 2017, Fink expressed concerns over the anonymity of the most popular cryptocurrency.

“If you legitimize it, you know who your counterparties are…Bitcoin is tiny in the scheme of financial markets,” he stated at the time.