BlackRock CEO voices his scepticism towards bitcoin

Larry Fink nonetheless hails the wider opportunity afforded by crypto and blockchain

The chairman and CEO of the world’s largest asset manager opined on the world’s largest cryptocurrency on Wednesday. 

Speaking to CNBC, BlackRock’s Larry Fink said that his view on bitcoin aligns with that recently outlined by JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, who recently argued the crypto was “pointless”. 

Fink added that he is “not a student of Bitcoin”, admitting “I can’t tell you whether it’s going to $80,000 or $0”. 

Striking a generally enthusiastic note, however, Fink described the global interest in crypto as “a very good positive action”, adding: “I have more conversations with people on the street related to crypto than anything.” 

CBDC

The head of the investment firm with over $9trn in assets under management and close ties with both the US Federal Reserve and Chinese government seemingly highlighted central bank digital currencies (CBDC) as a potential rival to bitcoin. 

“I do believe there is a huge role for a digitised currency, and I believe that is going to help consumers worldwide. Whether it's bitcoin or something else, more of a government official currency, a digital dollar that will play out.”

In recent years, central banks have accelerated their research and development efforts in the field of digitised national currencies. While the Bahamas can be said to be the first to have launched a CBDC, analysts and commentators are closely awaiting the rollout of China’s digital yuan to gauge their genuine benefits and disadvantages. 

Although the US has joined in efforts with other Western nations to develop CBDC frameworks and stepped up research into a potential digital dollar, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has insisted on the importance of getting such a project right rather than being first. 

By 17:00 (BST), Bitcoin traded up 1.4% at $56,201, up 27% since the start of the month. 

Further reading: BlackRock rebuts Soros’ criticism of its investment in China

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