Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, has made a significant shift in his stance on Bitcoin, referring to it as an “international asset” and comparing it to digitized gold. This marks a notable change in perspective for Fink, who previously criticized Bitcoin, calling it an “index of money laundering” during a 2017 Institute of International Finance meeting.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with nearly $9 trillion in assets under management, has taken concrete steps toward embracing Bitcoin. The company recently filed for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), a move that indicates their intention to offer clients exposure to the digital asset. While the SEC responded to the initial filing by requesting additional information, BlackRock resubmitted the filing, including Coinbase as one of the firms involved.

In a recent appearance on Fox Business, Fink discussed the role of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, stating that they are “digitizing gold.” He explained that instead of investing in gold as a hedge against inflation or currency devaluation, Bitcoin could serve as an alternative asset. Fink emphasized that Bitcoin is an international asset, not tied to any specific currency, highlighting its potential as a store of value on a global scale.

This endorsement from Fink, coupled with BlackRock’s pursuit of a Bitcoin ETF, signifies a significant shift in the attitude of major financial institutions toward Bitcoin. It demonstrates their growing recognition of the digital asset’s potential to revolutionize finance and reshape the financial landscape.

While Fink expressed his enthusiasm for the potential of tokenization and the transformative impact of Bitcoin on the financial system, he refrained from speculating on the timeline for the approval of BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF filing by the SEC.

Despite Fink’s apparent bullishness on Bitcoin, the price of the cryptocurrency remained relatively unchanged, hovering just under $30,500 at the time of his statement.

Overall, Fink’s recognition of Bitcoin as an international asset and his endorsement of its role as a digitized form of gold reinforce the case for increased institutional interest and investment in the cryptocurrency. BlackRock’s foray into the Bitcoin ETF market, combined with Fink’s evolving perspective, signals a growing acceptance of Bitcoin within the mainstream financial industry.