Home / Bitcoin / BlackRock CEO Fink Thinks Bitcoin ETFs can Democratize Wall Street: Are We Heading to Decentralized TradFi?
3 min read

BlackRock CEO Fink Thinks Bitcoin ETFs can Democratize Wall Street: Are We Heading to Decentralized TradFi?

Published July 6, 2023 12:31 PM
Omar Elorfaly
Published July 6, 2023 12:31 PM

Key Takeaways

  • BlackRock CEO supports digital assets that are “not based on any one currency”
  • Larry Fink says he’s trying to make crypto accessible to everyone
  • BlackRock aims to change crypto by creating the first spot ETF

On Wednesday, Larry Fink, BlackRock CEO told the media that he’s attempting to “democratize crypto”. The head of the asset manager is trying to move TradFi to the digital age, saying it’s akin to “digitizing gold.”

BlackRock just refiled its spot ETF application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission including Coinbase as its surveillance partner. This comes after years of skepticism toward the application of crypto as a payment solution. So, what changed Fink’s mind?

An International Asset

Larry Fink is encouraging investors to buy Bitcoin, seeing the asset’s potential in future applications in both investment and payment applications. 

“What we’re trying to do with crypto is make it more democratized, and make it much cheaper for investors,” he reported 

“It costs a lot of money right now to transact Bitcoin,”

“We hope our regulators look at these filings as a way to democratize crypto.”

Fink is of course referring to the SEC, the regulating body that ultimately decides whether or not to approve BlackRock’s Bitcoin spot ETF application.

The SEC has already responded to BlackRock’s first application filed two weeks ago saying that it’s “inadequate”. The SEC is demanding major investors such as BlackRock and Fidelity provide further proof of security and transparency.

BlackRock refiled for its spot ETF, adding Coinbase as its surveillance partner. Coinbase, the biggest US-based crypto exchange is currently at odds with the SEC, dealing with a lawsuit that claims Coinbase traded in “unregistered securities”.

Valkyrie also followed BlackRock’s footsteps, re-filing for its spot ETF as well, adding the same clause.

Bitcoin is Digital Gold

BlackRock’s Larry Fink says that “Bitcoin is an international asset—it’s not based on any one currency—so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative,” pointing out the benefit of investing in a decentralized currency, shielding investors from local inflations.

BlackRock being a major influence in the TradFi world led Larry Fink to make a comment regarding switching the company’s focus to Bitcoin, claiming that it’s like “digitizing gold”

“Crypto is digitizing gold, instead of investing in gold as a hedge against inflation, a hedge against the onerous problems of any country, or the devaluation of your currency, whatever country you’re in,” reported Fink, highlighting its similarity to gold, being a standalone value separate from any currency’s position.

A Paradigm Change

BlackRock is known for managing assets of the highest value, such as shares in Disney, Spotify, and Uber. The BlackRock CEO said that he was skeptical of Bitcoin’s potential at first, saying that the currency posed a danger of being used to pay for undesirable products and services.

However, the company’s change of heart has led to renewed optimism in the market. Bitcoin saw an increase in price by $4,000 overnight following the news of the company’s ETF application. 

Numerous organizations have also filed for similar ETFs, following BlackRock’s lead as the company has a nearly flawless ETF application record. The list of companies includes some of the nation’s biggest financial institutions, including Fidelity, another major asset management.