BlackRock is “studying” cryptocurrencies. CEO Larry Fink revealed this on Wednesday. This happened during the New York-based investment firm’s annual meeting. A shareholder inquired if BlackRock would invest in Bitcoin to which Fink responded that the firm was considering crypto, in general, to discern if they could provide countercyclical benefits.
“The firm has monitored the evolution of crypto assets. We are studying what it means, the infrastructure, the regulatory landscape.”
BlackRock, which handles about $9T in assets, is the world’s largest asset manager. Founded in 1988, the firm had, as of September last year, 16,000 employees and was active in 38 countries. With a focus on long-term investments, BlackRock has worked with a slew of clients from individuals to non-profits and governments. Fink opined that crypto assets had the potential to aid long-term investment, likening the asset class to gold.
BlackRock, however, noted that at the moment, it could not be firmly determined that crypto assets are “just a speculative trading tool”.
Some major financial institutions and asset managers have taken interest in crypto.
Earlier this month, it was reported that hedge fund giants Millennium Management, Point72 Asset Management and Matrix Capital Management were all in the process of setting up cryptocurrency-focused trading funds.
One source, who opted to remain anonymous, said:
“Point72 is standing up a crypto fund. They are probably six months away from launch with a product. Millennium is hiring operations people right now, and Matrix has started to build out a crypto team as well.”
Another source revealed that two of the hedge funds were DeFi focused and we’re doing more than just acquiring DeFi tokens.
“These very conservative, traditional hedge funds are not just looking to buy these tokens, but are interested in using these protocols. So they’re looking to trade on some of these decentralized exchanges. They’re looking to provide liquidity on some of these platforms to earn a yield on top of their positions,” said the person.
In March, Morgan Stanley enabled its wealth management clients to access bitcoin funds, becoming the first major American bank to do so.
JPMorgan went on to announce in April that it was planning to offer an actively managed bitcoin fund to its affluent clients.