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.”
3 months ago, SEC rejected some bitcoin ETF applications and dashed the hopes of many crypto enthusiasts.
In the order rejecting the last bitcoin ETFs, the SEC reported that the applicants could not show how they could prevent market manipulation and potential fraud.
Meanwhile, VanEck, the ETF management firm wants to be a pioneer in the industry to launch bitcoin ETFs. The director of digital asset strategies of VanEck, Gabor Gurbacs, believes that SEC will approve it soon.
He told Fox Business,
“We are the closest that we can be… It is very clear to me that America wants a bitcoin ETF and we are here to build it.”
Gurbacs long-term outlook is bullish despite the naysaying of many crypto skeptics.
“I say bitcoin is digital gold and we should not dismiss a potential opportunity for the next financial system”.
Another former critic of crypto who recently joined the train is Ron Paul, the former US congressman.
Crypto could prevent recession
Paul is currently calling for tax exemption on cryptos saying that it could prevent a looming economic recession.
“It is likely that the next Fed-created recession will come sooner rather than later… This could be the major catastrophe that leads to the end of fiat currency.”
He believes that the only way to prevent an economic crisis is to allow people use the alternative currencies. He also says all transactions in precious metals should be exempt from capital gains and other taxes.