Bitcoin has caught our attention

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Blackrock CEO Larry Fink says Bitcoin (BTC) is on his company’s radar following the cryptocurrency’s rapid appreciation over the past few months. 

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday alongside former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Fink reportedly said:

“Bitcoin has caught the attention and the imagination of many people. Still untested, pretty small relative to other markets.”

He then added:

“Can it evolve into a global market? Possibly.”

Fink isn’t the only BlackRock executive touting Bitcoin’s potential value. Last month, the company’s CIO Rick Rieder told CNBC that not only is Bitcoin “here to stay,” but that it will “take the place of gold to a large extent.”

Previously, comments like these would have been considered highly irregular coming from institutional brass, not to mention the world’s largest asset manager with AUM north of $7.4 trillion as of 2019.

But the public’s perception of Bitcoin has changed dramatically over the past year. Record inflows into Grayscale products, the growth of Bitcoin corporate treasuries and Guggenheim’s SEC amendment to gain exposure to BTC represent a seismic shift in institutional adoption.

Beyond these moves, investment legends Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller are also backing Bitcoin.

Institutional demand for Bitcoin has created an alarming shortage in the market, with the likes of PayPal and Cash App scooping up most (if not all) newly mined BTC. PayPal alone is buying up almost 70% of the new supply, according to Pantera Capital.

Currently, only 900 BTC are mined each day. With demand increasing following the deflationary May 2020 halving, prices are likely to continue higher. Even Citibank has predicted a comparatively astronomical Bitcoin price by the end of 2021. 

Although BlackRock doesn’t outright own Bitcoin, it has indirect exposure to the asset through MicroStrategy (MSTR), a business intelligence firm that converted its balance sheet to BTC. BlackRock is the largest MSTR investor with a 15.2% stake in the company.