BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who once called Bitcoin an “index of money laundering,” today said the oldest and biggest cryptocurrency was “digitalizing gold.”

The billionaire’s comments in a Fox Business interview Wednesday came weeks after the world’s largest asset manager applied to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

BlackRock—which manages $9.5 trillion in assets—helped spur a Bitcoin run with its application, leading institutional investors to pour money into the space and causing the asset to jump to a 12-month high. 

“I do believe the role of crypto is digitalizing gold, in many ways,” said Fink. “Instead of investing in gold as a hedge against the onerous problems of any one country.” 


“Let’s be clear—Bitcoin is an international asset,” he added.

Fink has come a long way since 2017 when he said, “Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world.” Rude? Maybe.

Years later, though, he admitted that Bitcoin was a “great asset” and that BlackRock had, in fact, made money from investing in the digital currency. He has continued to say that the asset would grow.


Now, BlackRock is hoping to get approval from Wall Street’s biggest regulator. A spot Bitcoin ETF does not yet exist in the U.S., and the SEC has launched a tough crackdown on the digital asset industry. But experts think BlackRock has a chance: the asset manager has had nearly every single one of its ETF applications approved by the regulator. 

Bitcoin is currently trading for $30,446 per coin, according to CoinGecko data. At the start of the year, it was priced at less than $17,000.

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