Cryptocurrency markets have roared to life over the past several hours, as asset-management giant BlackRock has confirmed that it has established a working group to explore cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
The news is significant, given that BlackRock is the world’s largest provider of exchange-traded-funds (ETFs). The firm is estimated to have $6.3 trillion USD in assets under management, as of 2017.
In an interview with Financial News, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink elaborated that “we are a big student of blockchain,” before adding that he does not foresee a “huge demand for cryptocurrencies.”
Speaking on Bloomberg TV earlier this year, Isabelle Mateos Y Lago – the chief multi-asset strategist at BlackRock –commented that, at the time, cryptocurrencies did not represent an “investable asset” for BlackRock as yet – before offering that could change as such ecosystems are “evolving very fast”.
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) January 29, 2018
Speaking on the news that Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was hacked for $534 million USD, Mateos Y Lago quipped that “The fact that interest has persisted despite these repeated hacks… despite regulators waking up and trying to catch up with this new development and gradually weeding out all the illegal uses suggests there really is something to it.”
In the wake of the news, Bitcoin has climbed by some 5.09% day-on-day, and presently trades for $6,701.97 USD. Ethereum and Ripple have seen similar growth at 5.18% and 5.90%, and the second and third largest cryptocurrency by market cap trade at $473.90 USD and $0.471591, respectively.