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Crypto Pledged to Dethrone Wall Street. It's Getting Swallowed Instead

By The Washington Post

July 10, 2023

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Wall Street heavyweights are changing their tune on crypto.

Take BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink, who in 2017 dismissed bitcoin as "an index of money laundering." Last week, the chief of the world's largest asset manager gave a starkly different appraisal of the most popular cryptocurrency, saying it is "digitizing gold" and could "revolutionize finance."

Then there's fellow billionaire financier Ken Griffin, who blasted the sector as a "jihadist call" against the dollar two years ago. Now, his electronic trading firm, Citadel Securities, is backing a recently launched platform that allows institutional investors to trade the digital assets.

Fidelity Investments, the nation's largest 401(k) administrator, is another example. The 77-year-old financial stalwart is nobody's idea of an anti-establishment renegade. Yet it, too, is moving on several fronts to get into crypto. It started allowing workers to invest a portion of their retirement savings in bitcoin last year. Its subsidiary Fidelity Digital Assets joined Citadel Securities — and Charles Schwab — in investing in the new crypto exchange, called EDX. And like BlackRock, it is seeking approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to introduce a publicly listed fund that will track the real-time price of bitcoin.

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