Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, stated that the firm invested $24 million in the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX through the funds it manages. He also stated that, despite the fact that FTX failed, the technology underlying crypto will remain relevant in the future.
According to Fink, FTX failed because it created its own centralised FTX token (FTT). This token’s structure ran counter to the decentralised nature of cryptocurrency.
The Blackrock CEO was speaking at the New York Times’ 2022 Dealbook Summit on 30 November when he made these remarks. He said that despite believing that FTX’s token is itself responsible for its collapse, the technology underlying cryptocurrency and blockchain is revolutionary.
No future for centralized tokens
According to Fink, most of the exchanges issuing centralized tokens are not going to be around.
Fink stated, “I believe the next generation for markets, the next generation for securities, will be tokenization of securities.” This development is going to alter the nature of the investing ecosystem as transactions would take place on trustless distributed ledgers rather than banks.
“Think about instantaneous settlement [of] bonds and stocks, no middlemen, we’re going to bring down fees even more dramatically,” Fink added.
Blackrock’s relationship with crypto
The world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock, has made major crypto investments this year.
On 27 September, Blackrock launched an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for its European customers. The blockchain that powers it is known as the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF.
According to BlackRock, 75% of its holdings are in blockchain companies such as miners and exchanges, with the remaining 25% in companies that support the blockchain ecosystem.
On 3 November, Circle announced that it was going to invest some of its funds in Circle Reserve Fund which was created in partnership with BlackRock. Circle is the issuer behind USD Coin (USDC).