BlackRock CEO Seeing No Demand for Crypto


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On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW addresses recent shifts in institutional and regulatory discussions on crypto, including:

  • How BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sees the state of crypto
  • ShapeShift’s final structural shift
  • Fed Chairman Jay Powell’s stance against stablecoins
  • A dissenting letter from two SEC commissioners

BlackRock made headlines when it entered the crypto market because it viewed bitcoin as a hedge play that could no longer be ignored. Now, this investment management company finds itself in a changed landscape as bitcoin prices have fallen from all-time highs. How has CEO Larry Fink’s view of crypto changed with this new price point?

ShapeShift, a global digital asset trading platform, was created with a vision of minimizing user-collected data. That vision was tarnished in 2018 when the platform began requiring basic information, resulting in a 95% loss of its user base. ShapeShift’s tumultuous history has added another chapter today with the announcement that it is converting to a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, owned by the users. Is this one step in a greater trend of fundamentally shedding corporate organizational power structures?

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell countered Vice Chairman Randal Quarles’ pro-stablecoin stance in a recent testimony before Congress. While Quarles asserted successful stablecoins would make a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) redundant, Powell offered the opposite opinion: “You wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital U.S. currency.” Whose stance will win in the growing stablecoin versus CBDC debate?

Two members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released a letter of dissent following a SEC enforcement action against U.K. company Coinschedule for anti-touting provisions. The letter expressed the members’ disappointment at the lack of regulatory clarification following the Coinschedule opportunity and an overarching distaste at a lack of transparency surrounding crypto guidance. Will more members follow in their footsteps and push for a clearer SEC stance?

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom. Image credit: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

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