BlackRock says it is ‘studying’ crypto but cites volatility

2 minute read

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012. B REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

NEW YORK, May 26 (Reuters) - BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink said on Wednesday it is studying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to determine whether the asset class could offer countercyclical benefits.

In response to a shareholder asking whether the company would invest in bitcoin, Fink told its annual meeting: "The firm has monitored the evolution of crypto assets. We are studying what it means, the infrastructure, the regulatory landscape."

BlackRock (BLK.N), the world's largest asset manager running roughly $9 trillion, is a long-term investor, Fink said. And crypto currencies could potentially play a role in long-term investing as an asset class similar to gold.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

For now, it is too early to determine whether cryptocurrencies are "just a speculative trading tool" he said. He also noted that broker dealers are the ones making the most money from the volatility of many cryptocurrencies and their wide bid-ask spreads.

Earlier in the meeting, BlackRock said all of its 16 director nominees were elected with a majority of shareholder votes cast. It also said that executive pay had been backed by 93% of shareholder votes.

A shareholder resolution to convert the company into a public benefit corporation - with the aim of putting all stakeholders on equal footing with shareholders - was rejected, receiving only 2.3% of the vote. The vote was in line with what similar proposals have received this year at other big U.S. companies and financial firms.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Kate Duguid and Ross Kerber Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.