Hodl Your Horses: BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink Clarifies Position on Crypto

Avi Rosten

Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has been quick to clarify the firm’s position on the crypto industry following reports today that they have set up a team to examine blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Talking today to Bloomberg, the veteran investor explained that while they are very interested in blockchain technology, they have no plans to invest in cryptocurrencies themselves:

“As I’ve said in the past – we’re very excited about blockchain technology, that’s what we're looking at even in the Aladdin universe [the firm’s risk management and trading platform] - what we’re trying to do there.”

Asked whether any client has sought crypto exposure, Fink was quick to explain:

“I have not heard from any one client who is looking to buy a cryptocurrency at this time, when it becomes more legitimised, when it has the true open nature of it that you identify who the players are on both sides, that’s when we’ll probably look at it as an alternative to all currencies.”

After Financial News last night reported that BlackRock had created a team to “investigate cryptocurrencies and their underlying infrastructure” with a view to investigating bitcoin futures - some within the industry took the news as indicative of a possible move into crypto-investing:

With some attributing bitcoin’s surge in price this morning to the news, Fink’s latest comments however make it clear that the firm has no immediate plans to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Managing nearly $6.3 trillion dollars of assets, investment interest from a financial heavyweight such as BlackRock would undoubtedly be a significant endorsement of cryptocurrency markets - but it seems that crypto investors and enthusiasts alike will have to wait for another day for that news.