Larry Fink, CEO of investment management firm BlackRock, said on Thursday about a possible boost in crypto adoption due to the Russia-Ukraine war, changing his crypto stance to positive. He says, the war has pushed foreign transactions’ settlement shift to crypto and digital currencies from banks and foreign-exchange settlement companies.
BlackRock CEO Fink On War Accelerating Digital Currencies
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink believes digital currencies, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, could be used as a tool to settle international transactions, as witnessed during the Russian-Ukraine war, Reuters reported on March 24.
The war will force countries to rethink their dependencies on fiat currencies and adopt crypto as an alternative, said Fink in a letter to BlackRock’s shareholders. With the increased client’s interest in digital currencies and stablecoins, BlackRock is also studying its usefulness and benefits.
Moreover, he believes a well-designed payment system based on digital currencies will improve the current system of international transactions’ settlement. He said:
“A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions while reducing the risk of money laundering and corruption.”
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, BlackRock had suspended buying any Russian securities in its active index portfolios, preventing capital flow to Russia, and investments in Russia.
According to BlackRock, its total client exposure to Russia plunged from $18 billion to less than $1 billion amid the war, Western sanctions, and closure of the Russian stock market.
Rising Crypto Adoption During the Russia-Ukraine War
The Russian-Ukraine conflict has led to global supply chain disruption, a rise in inflation pushing countries to tighten their monetary policies, and a rise in energy and oil prices. However, it accelerated crypto adoption as the prices of cryptocurrencies rose higher, with bitcoin moving above $43,500. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin are considered as an inflation hedge and a store of value.
The rising crypto adoption led to the settlement of foreign transactions in crypto as Russia used digital currencies to evade sanctions and Ukraine sought donations in crypto for military and humanitarian aid.
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