BlackRock says it is studying crypto

It is too early to determine whether cryptocurrencies are “just a speculative trading tool”

Reuters May 27, 2021


BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink said on Wednesday that the company is studying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to determine whether the asset class could offer countercyclical benefits.

In response to a shareholder asking whether the company would invest in bitcoin, Fink told its annual meeting that “the firm has monitored the evolution of crypto assets. We are studying what it means, the infrastructure, the regulatory landscape.”

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager running roughly $9 trillion, is a long-term investor, Fink said. And cryptocurrencies could potentially play a role in long-term investing as an asset class similar to gold.

For now, it is too early to determine whether cryptocurrencies are “just a speculative trading tool”, he said. He also noted that broker dealers are the ones making the most money from the volatility of many cryptocurrencies and their wide bid-ask spreads.

Earlier in the meeting, BlackRock said all of its 16 director nominees were elected with a majority of shareholder votes cast. It also said that executive pay had been backed by 93% of shareholder votes. A shareholder resolution to convert the company into a public benefit corporation was rejected, receiving only 2.3% of the vote.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2021.

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