This article was originally published by Niko Jilch on FixTheMoney.net
This was a real conversation with Blackrock’s Larry Fink that took place on June 13th, 2018 in Vienna. I was still with my old newspaper “Die Presse” back then and had a chance to sit down with the legendary Larry Fink to talk about bitcoin, among many other things.
Suffice to say, he didn’t like it back then.
Niko: “You said millennials are great. You know what millennials love? Bitcoin!”
Larry Fink: “No they don’t.”
Niko: “Yes they do.”
Larry: “No they don’t, but they’re fascinated by it.”
Niko: “So what do you think about bitcoin?”
Larry: “It’s a fraud. But I’m a big believer in blockchain. For food safety, blockchain is going to be enormous.”
Niko: “So you’re not going to get into bitcoin?”
Larry: “It’s going to fail, it’s illegal. bitcoin is just an example of doing something outside the system. But when the government says that you need to follow the same rules in bitcoin like everywhere else, it’s going to fail, it’s going to zero. The reason it has so much value today is that you’re using it to do something illegal.”
Five years later…
I never thought it would come in handy to keep all my recordings from 5 years ago as a reporter, but I did and today I’m sitting here listening to Larry trash talk bitcoin, one day after his company Blackrock filed for a spot bitcoin ETF.
A year after I talked to him, I also got a chance to speak to Barbara Novick who was one of the co-founders of Blackrock. Back then she said Blackrock would never ever get into bitcoin.
But the world’s biggest asset manager had a change of heart.
The “iShares Bitcoin Trust” is a thing now — and few people think that Blackrock would file for such a high profile ETF if they fear rejection. But the last word is of course with the SEC. The same SEC that is taking aim at “crypto,” Binance, and Coinbase as we speak. Interesting, no?
Obviously, anyone can change their mind. Especially on a new and huge topic like bitcoin. I know I did. I’m only writing about this to show the evolution of Larry Fink on bitcoin.
Two years after our interview in Vienna, Larry had already changed his mind. That was in 2020, the pandemic was raging and we all started having Zoom calls all day every day. Watch this… (sorry for the weird thumbnail)
Another two years later, Larry did a full pivot. He was even voted Coindesk’s “most influential crypto person of 2022”.
Now we have arrived.
Much will be said and written about Blackrock’s ETF. Is it good for bitcoin, if people get easy access to bitcoin, the investment – but don’t get into self storage? Many bitcoiners also think Blackrock is evil for a variety of reasons.
Related reading : Why Bitcoiners Are Unfazed by the New Spot ETF Drama
Related reading : BlackRock, Valkyrie And Others Petition SEC For Bitcoin ETF Approval
I think they are in the business of making money, first and foremost. An ETF was always inevitable. Just like with gold. The GLD ETF did bring a big influx of new investors.
Bitcoin being new and Larry Fink changing his opinion like this is a massive, massive signpost in my opinion. It signals to the “world of money” that bitcoin in fact is a “thing”, that’s it’s “ok” to get in. In a way, it rubberstamps bitcoin for the yuppie elite, who don’t get bitcoin.