BlackRock CEO: Ukraine War Could Speed Digital Currency Adoption

Larry Fink says world’s largest asset manager is studying digital assets, stablecoins and the underlying technologies

share

key takeaways

  • A global digital payment system can enhance the settlement of international transactions and reduce the risk of money laundering, Fink said in a shareholder letter
  • The company filed to launch a blockchain ETF in January

The war in Ukraine could accelerate the adoption of digital currency, according to the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager. 

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote in a shareholder letter published Thursday that Russia’s “brutal attack” on Ukraine has had, and will continue to have, a range of ramifications on the world. 

Though several governments were already looking to play a more active role in digital currencies and define the regulatory frameworks under which they operate, Fink said, the war will prompt countries to re-evaluate their currency dependencies.

“A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions while reducing the risk of money laundering and corruption,” he wrote. “Digital currencies can also help bring down costs of cross-border payments, for example when expatriate workers send earnings back to their families.”

Fink said that due to increased interest from clients, BlackRock is studying digital currencies, stablecoins and the underlying technologies. US government agencies are also researching various parts of the crypto space following President Biden’s executive order earlier this month focused on the “responsible development” of digital assets. 

A BlackRock spokesperson declined to comment about future crypto-related products and services the company could look to offer.

BlackRock’s CEO has sent mixed messages on crypto over the past year. 

Fink said during an interview with CNBC in October that he believes there is “a huge role for a digitized currency” and noted that his firm was learning about the blockchain and crypto sectors. He said at the time, however, that he is “probably more in the Jamie Dimon camp.”

Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, called bitcoin “worthless” that month during a virtual event held by the Institute of International Finance. 

Fink had said during an earnings call last April that investors worldwide, such as pension funds, insurance companies and registered investment advisers, were showing little interest in the space.

But BlackRock, which manages $10 trillion in assets, began allowing its Strategic Income Opportunities and Global Allocation mutual funds to invest in cash-settled bitcoin futures in January 2021. 

More recently, the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January to launch the iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF

The fund would track an index comprising companies involved in the development and deployment of crypto technologies in the US and abroad.

The initial Jan. 21 disclosure proposed for the ETF to become effective 75 days after the filing, signaling a potential launch next month.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space

article-image

Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?

article-image

Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month

article-image

It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet

article-image

Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend

article-image

Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million