BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink is certain that the recent geopolitical crisis may pave the way for increased cryptocurrency adoption. Consequently, the world’s largest asset manager is also looking to offer crypto services as institutional demand for the financial product rises.
In his 2022 letter addressed to the shareholders, the CEO pointed out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in several nations imposing economic sanctions and severing contact with Russia
The chairman re-evaluated the reliance on traditional money and payment systems, and noted that “the war will prompt countries to re-evaluate their currency dependencies.” He added:
“A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions while reducing the risk of money laundering and corruption. Digital currencies can also help bring down costs of cross-border payments.”
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.” At the time, the renowned cryptocurrency was just trading above $5,800.
Since then, Fink and many other Wall Street mammoths have shifted their perspective on digital currencies, with many of them offering services in the emerging space. BlackRock started offering investments in cash-settled bitcoin futures in April last year.
“BlackRock is studying digital currencies, stablecoins and the underlying technologies to understand how they can help us serve our clients,” the client note read.