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BlackRock’s Larry Fink points to value in Ethereum ETFs, crypto asset class


Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, likened Bitcoin to gold a day after spot BTC ETFs went live but forecasted slim chances for cryptos as currency. 

Speaking with CNBC on digital assets, ETFs, and tokenization, BlackRock’s CEO noted that the world’s largest asset manager sees value in spot Ethereum (ETH) ETFs as another crypto-related investment product following the successful launch of identical funds underpinned by Bitcoin (BTC), crypto’s biggest token. 

Fink clarified that BlackRock views cryptocurrencies as a prospective asset class, with Bitcoin utility revolving around storing and protecting wealth akin to the popular yellow metal. His comments also alluded to BTC’s hardcoded 21 million supply with the halving upcoming in April, touting scarcity as one factor behind future price increments.

BlackRock was one of 11 issuers the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved to begin trading spot Bitcoin ETFs across registered national exchanges like the Nasdaq. The basket of new ETFs garnered over $2 billion in trading volume on day one as Wall Street and TradFi tuned into crypto’s 15-year chorus. 

Crypto’s center of gravity is shifting from San Francisco to Wall Street. Upon approval, expect to see pension funds, family offices, and other investors who have historically been very skeptical finally dip their toes into this new asset class. Most likely, we’re nearing the next bull run.

Bam Azizi, co-founder and CEO, Mesh

Fink’s company filed for a spot ETH ETF shortly after bidding for a BTC counterpart. However, it’s unclear if the SEC will approve such products following the nod for spot BTC ETFs. 

In his statement after approval, SEC chair Gary Gensler stressed that existing financial laws applied to most cryptocurrencies. Gensler further emphasized that approval for BTC ETFs was not an endorsement of Bitcoin or other blockchain digital assets, noting that the Grayscale ruling essentially promoted the SEC’s decision.

Gensler specifically addressed Bitcoin as a “non-security commodity”, a designation withheld from other cryptocurrencies like ETH. In response, ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood opined that Gensler denigrated crypto with his comments, while SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce said the SEC had squandered legislative resources denying these products for over a decade.

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