Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, reiterated during an earnings call Wednesday that the firm is closely studying the broader cryptocurrency market, The Wall Street Journal reported on April 13.
BlackRock, which has more than $9 trillion in assets under management, recently participated in the $400 million funding round of USDC stablecoin issuer Circle. While BlackRock’s partaking in the round was enough to gain attention from the masses, Circle also revealed a partnership with the firm wherein the two would explore the application of USDC in traditional capital markets.
During the Q1 earnings call, Fink revealed that while the company has been managing stablecoin reserves for over a year, it aims to become the primary asset manager of USDC. The CEO did not reveal what percentage of USDC cash reserves BlackRock is holding.
In addition to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, Fink revealed that BlackRock is studying asset tokenization and permissioned blockchains, citing client demand as the top reason for this newfound interest in the technology.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time BlackRock has shown increased interest in the area. In his 2022 letter addressed to the shareholders, CEO Larry Fink cited the recent geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine as one of the matters that could pave the way for increased crypto adoption.
The letter is in contrast to the statements made by the CEO in 2017, where he called Bitcoin an “index of money laundering” and how it shows “how much demand for money laundering there is in the world.” BlackRock has time and again called crypto-assets just “a speculative trading tool” and that its volatility has only benefitted broker-dealers.