The world's largest asset manager has taken notice of Bitcoin.
Rick Rieder, CIO of Fixed Income at multi-trillion asset manager BlackRock, on Friday spoke about Bitcoin on CNBC's Squawk Box, stating "Bitcoin is here to stay."
When asked about Bitcoin's recent price movement, Rieder cited "particularly millennials' receptivity" as one reason why digital currencies have gained momentum on the world stage, and further elaborated on Bitcoin's durability in comparison to gold:
Do I think it's a durable mechanism that [...] will take the place of gold to a large extent? Yeah, I do, because it's so much more functional than passing a bar of gold around.
When it comes to incorporating Bitcoin into his corporate portfolios, however, Rieder stated he doesn't do "a lot of it" at this point.
BlackRock is the world's leading asset manager, with $7.43 trillion in assets under management at the end of 2019.
2020 has become the year Bitcoin entered Wall Street, with multiple publicly traded companies making investments in the pioneering cryptocurrency.
Between August and September, MicroStrategy famously purchased 38,250 bitcoin, an investment that, at press time, counts almost $300 million in unrealized profits.
In October, Jack Dorsey's Square allocated one percent of its assets to Bitcoin.
(As a side note, 1 percent of BlackRock's asset under management would be $74 billion, or a fifth of Bitcoin's market cap today.)
As more institutions jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon, it appears that commercial banks, too, do not want to be sleeping on Bitcoin. A note to institutional clients of Citibank this week included a price prediction of over $300,000 by the end of 2021. Southeast Asian bank DBS is working on a cryptocurrency exchange tailored towards institutional clients, as an accidental premature release of a landing page revealed in October.
While Rieder believes "it's hard to say [whether] it's worth the price it's trading at today," his comments show that Bitcoin has long reached the radar of the world's largest institutions.
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