BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sent a letter to the firm’s investors this week saying that the company will “continue to be an active participant in the cryptoasset space” but that “we don’t see it as a primary investment opportunity for us.”
BlackRock Inc is one of the largest asset management firms in the world, managing over $6 Trillion (as of Dec 2016). The firm recently announced that it now has 1,400 hedge funds and more than 13,000 individual investors with total assets under management of $6 trillion. But many of these investors are not shareholders, but rather employees of the company who are given the opportunity to invest in certain funds each year.BlackRock, which manages institutional assets indirectly linked to bitcoin (BTC), has seen a significant drop in investor demand for the cryptocurrency.
CEO Larry Fink said Wednesday on CNBC’s Squawk Box that BlackRock has received fewer inquiries from cryptocurrency investors lately, indicating a huge drop in demand for cryptocurrencies.
Fink noted that long-term and fixed income investors are now showing less interest in cryptocurrencies, noting:
In the past you asked me questions about cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. And in the last two weeks of my business trip, I have not been asked a single question about it. This is simply not in the best interests of pensions and long-term investors. We see very little demand from investors.
Fink’s comments came amid continued sideways trading in the crypto-currency markets, where bitcoin has fallen more than 16% in the past 30 days. Currently, bitcoin is trading at $32,572, up slightly by about 0.3% over the past 24 hours. The most expensive cryptocurrency has lost nearly half of its price since BTC hit an all-time high of more than $64,000 in mid-April.
Bitcoin price in the past year. Source: CoinGecko
BlackRock is known for its pro-bitcoin stance, and has gained indirect influence on bitcoin through its investment in MicroStrategy, a business intelligence company. The company initially invested $425 million in BTC in 2020, and continued to buy new bitcoins thereafter.
Related: Fidelity is recruiting new cryptocurrency experts amid growing institutional interest.
The CEO of BlackRock also spoke positively about bitcoin. Last December, Fink said bitcoin had the potential to become a global market, even though it was still largely untried.
Despite claims by the CEO of BlackRock that demand for bitcoin from long-term investors has waned, institutional interest in cryptocurrencies appears to be continuing to grow. Last week, Bank of America, the second largest bank in the United States, reportedly created a cryptocurrency research group in response to growing institutional interest in digital assets.
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