BlackRock CEO says bitcoin can possibly ‘evolve into a global market’ asset

BlackRock’s Larry Fink sounded almost bullish about bitcoin in an interview on Tuesday, as the No. 1 cryptocurrency briefly surpassed heights not reached for three years.

During a conversation with former Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney at the Council on Foreign Relations, Fink said that bitcoin has caught the attention of Wall Street if not his own.

‘Bitcoin has caught the attention and the imagination of many people. Still untested, pretty small market relative to other markets.’

— BlackRock’s Larry Fink

Fink went on to say that the cryptocurrency could possibly evolve into a global market asset, offering a rare positive statement from the respected asset manager, which may be interpreted by bullish bitcoin


investors as a tacit endorsement.

You see “these big giant moves every day…it’s a thin market. Can it evolve into a global market? Possibly,” he concluded.

Fink’s comments come after BlackRock’s chief investment officer in fixed income, Rick Rieder, last month speculated that bitcoin could take some of the shine off gold, possibly one day rivaling the precious metal’s unimpeachable stature over the past 5,000 years as a store of value and hedge against the devaluing of fiat currencies.

For its part, bitcoin was engineered into existence via computer code in 2009 by an individual or individuals known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and oversees some $7 trillion across a suite of mutual, exchange-traded, and index-tracking funds and other financial instruments used widely in financial markets.

On Tuesday, bitcoin notched a record high, rising to $19,928 before losing steam. The cryptocurrency still has yet to surpass the $20,000 mark.

Gains for the blockchain-backed asset have been attributed to wider mainstream attention, notably from those of Fink’s ilk.

Hedge-fund luminaries, including Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller, also have recently extolled the virtues of the nascent asset, as has Scott Minerd,  Chief Investment Officer of investment bank Guggenheim Partners. 

The quiet focus on bitcoin has helped it surpass the year-to-date performance of stocks, gold and an array of other traditional assets.

Bitcoin prices, for example, are up nearly 170% so far in 2020. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

 is up 4.7% so far this year, the S&P 500 index

 has gained over 13.5% during the same period and the Nasdaq Composite Index

has advanced almost 38% in the year to date. Gold
 meanwhile, has climbed 19.4% thus far this year, as the yellow metal stages a mini reversal of much of its rally as viable COVID-19 vaccines emerge.

Check out coverage of Fink’s comments on CNBC on Tuesday.