Larry Fink, the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, thinks that the rise of digital currencies like Bitcoin and other digital assets, reflects how much money laundering is going on.
He said that he’s a “big believer” in an interview with Bloomberg News, but he thinks that the current market today is primarily focused on speculation.
“Related to cryptocurrencies, I’m a big believer in the potential of what a cryptocurrency can do. You see huge opportunities, but what we’re talking about today, it’s much more of a speculative platform, people are speculating on it.”
“Most importantly, when I think about most of the cryptocurrencies, it just identifies how much money laundering is being done in the world. How much people are trying to move currencies from one place to another,” Fink said.
Also by his opinion it’s much more of a speculative platform for Asia and it’s heavily used for money laundering.
“We’re being asked that question but it’s more of a venture capital type of interchange, but we’re not hearing clients say ‘we want to use this as an asset class’,” he said.
“But let’s be clear if we created a true global digital currency – I hate the word crypto – then you would not have money laundering anymore you would have everything understood, everything would be flowing through,” he said.
Fink was optimistic about so-called blockchain, an open-sourced, distributed ledger, which underpins cryptocurrencies. He also said that the asset manager consider blockchain technologies as a way to facilitate the “more flow through of information.”
When JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin “a fraud” and said it was “worse than tulips bulbs” in the 1600s, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman took a more moderate position on bitcoin, saying the cryptocurrency was “more than just a fad.”
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal Reported that Goldman Sachs is considering new trading services for cryptocurrencies as bitcoin for its clients.
When Fink was asked if BlackRock was close to exploring products connected to bitcoin, he said:
“We are not hearing any demand from our clients. We are not hearing clients saying ‘we want to use this as an asset class.’ No.”
In recent trade, a single bitcoin was down 2.6% at $4,288, but has been up about 350% so far in 2017. Comparatively, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.22% is up 13% year to date and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.37% has gained 14.5% over the same period.