The world’s largest investment management firm is keeping a close watch on the cryptocurrency market to see if it can be turned into a viable investment.
These views were shared by Isabelle Mateos y Lago, chief multi-asset strategist at BlackRock.
Founded in 1988, the company is as revered in the world as any entity could get in its respective niche, which is why the comments from one of its high officials could not be taken lightly.
While Mateos y Lago mentioned that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “a very new thing” and at this stage of their evolution are not considered as “an investable asset class,” she also noted the interest in this financial phenomenon and stated that the company will continue to observe the developments in order to devise a change in its stance in the future, if required.
She said during an interview with Bloomberg:
“The fact that interest has persisted despite these repeated hacks, despite regulators waking up and trying to catch up with this new development and gradually weeding out all the illegal uses suggests there really is something to it. Clearly, it is evolving very fast.”
Mateos y Lago’s comments came in the wake of the $530 million hack endured by Coincheck.
Speaking on methods such as blockchain based investment products and initial coin offerings (ICOs), she stated that while there are a lot of ways to get into the world of cryptocurrency, what investors need to ask themselves is if they are safe.
She further mentioned that it was hard to put a fair value on any cryptocurrency product from a perspective of traditional investment.
Does that provide a clear approach at all?
While the comments provide mixed signals about cryptocurrencies’ eventual future at BlackRock, they make it clear that the firm is not looking to host any investment products relating to them right away.
That conclusion would cause some to be disappointed, seeing that, with Bitcoin futures trading at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and CME Group, the industry has been hoping to see more investment products to come from other revered organizations.
That being said, as Mateos y Lago mentioned, the market is still in its phase of evolution and any firm with the stature of BlackRock would need to consider all possible scenarios before it can offer any product based on a market segment that is still going through infancy (it has only been 9 years since Bitcoin’s release).
With time, one can certainly hope that cryptocurrencies could reach that certain level of stability and liquidity which would warrant their entry to these avenues, as that would not only work in favor of establishing their credibility. This would also provide more opportunities for growth that had been rendered unexplored due to the posed limitations.
Not stopping former execs from getting into cryptocurrency
While the stance form Mateos y Lago is officially that of BlackRock, some ex-employees of the company apparently do not hold the same views themselves.
Michael Wong and Adam Grimsley, two former bond specialists from BlackRock, recently launched a Bitcoin-based hedge fund by the name of Prime Factor Capital, which is scheduled to start its operations in April, two months from now.
This goes on to show that while the company might maintain a skeptical stance towards cryptocurrencies to uphold its reputation, it is not necessary that its employees hold the same views.
Cryptocurrency investments through BlackRock might not be that far off in the future, after all.