CEO Larry Fink said Friday that BlackRock’s move into crypto fits with the company’s larger goal of making goods that are easy to use and cheap for investors.
“We think it’s our job to make buying accessible to everyone. We’ve done a great job, and ETFs are changing how people invest worldwide. Fink said on “Squawk on the Street” that this is just starting.
BlackRock filed for a spot bitcoin ETF on June 15, which caused cryptocurrencies to go up and many other asset managers to do the same. When the iShares Bitcoin Trust was first registered, it had no management fee.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has turned down dozens of applications for similar funds. However, many in the crypto industry see BlackRock’s involvement and the planned surveillance-sharing agreement in the filing as signs that things are changing.
Fink said, “We’re working with our regulators because if BlackRock’s name is going to be on a new market, we’re going to ensure it’s safe and protected.”
Fink had been critical of crypto in the past. In 2017, he said that a big reason why digital currencies were so popular was because of money theft.
Fink said that clients’ interest and the high cost of transactions made BlackRock think more about getting into the area. He also noted that crypto could help investors diversify their holdings.
“It has a different value than other asset classes, but more importantly, because it’s so international, it won’t be tied to any one currency,” Fink said.
The CEO wouldn’t talk directly about the spot bitcoin ETF because he said he couldn’t do that while the filing was with the SEC.
BlackRock released its second-quarter numbers on Friday. Adjusted earnings per share were $9.28, and the company made $4.46 billion in sales. The company said it is now in charge of more than $9 trillion in assets.