The largest asset manager in the world and ETF provider, BlackRock, has slowly warmed up to cryptocurrencies. However, the firm will not be launching a bitcoin exchange traded fund. It may consider doing so if the industry becomes legitimate says CEO Larry Fink.
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Fink told CNBC at the New York Times Dealbook conference,
“I wouldn’t say never — when it’s legitimate, yes… it will ultimately have to be backed by a government. I don’t sense that any government will allow that unless they have a sense of where that money’s going.”
Concerns about fraud and scams
The CEO expressed his concern about the high risk of money laundering scams and tax evasion. This is because of the decentralized nature of the currency. It is also anonymous and unregulated for the most part.
Fink said until it changes, the firm with more than $6.4 trillion in assets would not consider a crypto ETF.
“I do see one day where we could have electronic trading for a currency that could be a store of wealth… But right now, the world doesn’t need a store of wealth unless you need that store of wealth for things you should not be doing.”
Index of money laundering
The asset management firm began to explore bitcoin futures as well as other ways to understand the Blockchain and crypto. This came after Fink tagged bitcoin an “index of money-laundering.”
Even though Fink was skeptical about virtual currencies, he has been bullish about blockchain for a while now.
“We are a huge believer in blockchain,” Fink said. “The biggest use for blockchain will be in mortgages, mortgage applications, mortgage ownership — anything that’s labored with paper.”