BlackRock CEO: Bitcoin’s Role Is “Digitizing Gold”

BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink, expressed his willingness to collaborate with regulators and address any concerns they may have regarding the asset manager’s recent filing for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Fink also emphasized his view of Bitcoin as a means to “digitize gold.”

BlackRock’s Regulatory Engagement

During an interview with Fox Business, Fink stated, “We have a good track record working with our regulators and trying to make sure we’re thinking about all the issues around any filing.” While he couldn’t provide specific details about the application, he emphasized the importance of BlackRock’s collaboration with regulators, stating, “We work really closely with our regulators, and we want to hear from the regulators.”

Fink further explained the intention behind embracing cryptocurrencies, stating, “What we’re trying to do with crypto is make it more democratized and make it much cheaper for investors.” He highlighted the expensive bid-ask spread in the crypto market, which erodes returns for investors. Fink expressed hope that regulators would perceive these filings as an opportunity to democratize cryptocurrency.


Coinbase Surveillance Plans

Last week, Nasdaq refiled a 19b-4 form for BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicated that previous filings for spot bitcoin ETFs lacked clarity and comprehensiveness, according to The Wall Street Journal. The updated filing included plans for surveillance sharing agreements with Coinbase. Expanding on his perspective of Bitcoin, Fink likened it to “digitized gold” and acknowledged its potential as an alternative investment. However, he clarified that he personally did not own any Bitcoin.

BlackRock’s initial filing for the bitcoin ETF on June 15 spurred similar moves by other asset managers, including Fidelity. In the aftermath, Bitcoin experienced a 19% surge over the past month, according to CoinGecko. While spot bitcoin ETFs are yet to receive approval from the SEC, the recent applications may face scrutiny due to the agency’s concerns about potential fraud and market manipulation.