In brief

  • Rick Rieder, BlackRock CIO, has said that Bitcoin could surpass gold.
  • What's more, Rieder said that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.
  • This is not the first time BlackRock employees have talked about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Blackrock CIO Rick Rieder said today on CNBC that Bitcoin could replace gold—adding that's it's "here to stay."

Bitcoin—and by some extension the wider cryptocurrency industry—has received praise from several high profile names in the traditional finance world in recent months. The likes of MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller are two of many who have become outspoken Bitcoin advocates. Now, it seems, Bitcoin has another fan.

"I think cryptocurrency is here to stay," Rieder said, adding that “digital currency, and millennial’s receptivity of technology and cryptocurrency is real.” He also pointed out that Bitcoin is a durable mechanism that could take the place of gold in the future.

“Do I think it’s a durable mechanism, do I think it 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,” he said.

Rieder declared, however, that he "doesn't do a lot" of Bitcoin, and that the cryptocurrency doesn't feature heavily in his business or corporate portfolios.

BlackRock is a global investment management and technology provider. The firm offers investment solutions including portfolio construction, as well as providing iShares exchange-traded funds. 

BlackRock is a global investment management company. Image: Shutterstock

BlackRock employees have spoken before about crypto. 

“We see cryptocurrencies potentially becoming more widely used in the future as the markets mature,” Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock, said in 2018. 

Yet, he added that these markets “should only be considered by those who can stomach potentially complete losses.” What’s more, Turnill said he didn’t “see [cryptocurrencies] becoming part of mainstream investment portfolios soon.” 

In fact, it wasn’t long before BlackRock itself even became indirectly invested in Bitcoin as a result of MicroStrategy’s August Bitcoin investment. BlackRock Fund Advisors reportedly hold an approximate 15% stake in MicroStrategy, which owns a big stash of Bitcoin that’s now worth over $650 million—up 33% this month alone.