Friday, Oct 15th 2021

Follow the bite, not the bark



That’s what JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin at an event on Monday, kicking off a busy week for prominent financial executives opining on crypto.

Speaking with CNBC on Wednesday, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink was a bit more diplomatic.

"I'm not a student of Bitcoin and where it's going to go so I can't tell you whether it's going to $80,000 or zero,” Fink told the network. “But I do believe there is a huge role for a digitized currency and I believe that's going to help consumers worldwide.”

Similarly, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman closed his company’s latest earnings call with crypto commentary, saying, “I don’t know what the value of Bitcoin should or shouldn’t be, but these things aren’t going away. And the blockchain technology ... is obviously very real and powerful.”

Some in the crypto market might see this executive commentary as just more FUD from a financial establishment threatened by crypto’s rise. But what this continuing chatter around the value of Bitcoin and the promise of blockchain technology really tells us is what these firms’ clients are asking about.

As Larry Fink told CNBC, “I have more conversations with people on the Street related to crypto than anything.” And this is coming from someone who runs an asset management firm with more than $9 trillion under management. The size of the entire cryptocurrency market, in contrast, is just over $2 trillion.

Wall Street powerbrokers talk about Bitcoin and other digital assets because these are executives in the business of helping their clients solve problems. To help solve these problems, they charge a fee. So if the clients of Wall Street’s biggest firms are looking to invest in digital assets, then we believe it’s inevitable the leaders of these companies find ways to make this happen.

Whether an executive believes there’s value in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency matters less than what their words indicate: more investors want more exposure to digital assets.

Andy Warhol once said, “Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.” To a degree, a similar approach can be applied to gauging institutional sentiment on Bitcoin and crypto: the fact that they’re talking about crypto this much is what matters.

And as long-term believers in the value of crypto who are bullish on broad institutional adoption, we’re very pleased to see it.

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