BlackRock CEO Larry Fink specifically mentioned cryptocurrencies, or what he calls Crypto assets, for the first time in his annual letter to investors and CEOs.
“Aside from the headlines — and the media obsession with Bitcoin — there are very interesting developments happening in the Crypto asset space,” Fink said in a wide-ranging letter covering events ranging from Ukraine to Silicon Valley bank failures.
“For the asset management industry, we believe the operational potential of some of the underlying technologies in the Crypto asset space may have exciting applications,” Fink said.
“In particular, the tokenization of asset classes offers the prospect of increased capital market efficiency, shortened value chains, and improved costs and investor access.”
Just last month, the Blackrock ETF iShares Core S&P 500 ETF was tokenized and made available for trading on Uniswap.
This token share is one of the first to be traded in USDc by an entity that claims to be fully regulated in Europe.
“At BlackRock, we continue to explore the Crypto asset ecosystem, particularly those areas that are most relevant to our clients, such as permissioned blockchains and the tokenization of stocks and bonds,” Fink said.
They’ve also explored broader territory as BlackRock becomes asset manager of $37 billion in assets in USDc.
They have also explored investing in bitcoin futures, and a January filing suggested that BlackRock Global Allocation Fund may also invest in cash-settled bitcoin futures.
“We plan to apply the same standards and controls to the Crypto assets we do across our business,” Fink said, so effectively formalizing their cryptocurrency debut.
Fink also noted that, in stark contrast to emerging markets, the U.S. and Europe may be lagging behind in payments.
“In many emerging markets – such as India, Brazil and parts of Africa – we are witnessing huge advances in Crypto payments, reducing costs and advancing financial inclusion.
In contrast, many developed markets, including the US, lag behind in innovation, resulting in far higher payment costs. “
In a fairly recent development, some are including cryptocurrencies in this payment innovation, Fink above commented in the context of crypto.
A statement that may indicate there is room for growth explains the widening participation of one of the world’s largest asset managers.
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