Larry Fink, the Chairman and CEO of investment giant BlackRock, said that the war in Ukraine has the potential to accelerate digital currencies.
In a letter to investors on Thursday, Fink highlighted the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for companies, countries and clients, also addressing the impact on energy sources.
“The war will prompt countries to re-evaluate their currency dependencies,” Fink said, adding that some were already looking to play a more active role in digital currencies even before the start of the war. As an example, he pointed to the US Federal Reserve’s study on the implications of a central bank digital currency
“A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions while reducing the risk of money laundering and corruption," as well as bring down cross-border transaction costs, Fink said.
"As we see increasing interest from our clients, BlackRock is studying digital currencies, stablecoins and the underlying technologies to understand how they can help us serve our clients," he went on to write.
BlackRock has reportedly been planning to offer crypto trading to its investors. In December of 2020, Fink noted that growing interest in bitcoin could be a sign that the cryptocurrency would gain its place in the global financial system and last year the company bought bitcoin futures.
Earlier this year, BlackRock’s iShares filed for an exchange-traded fund to track the performance of an index composed of blockchain and crypto companies.
In the letter, Fink said that the war will intensify some of the trends already brought on by the pandemic when it comes to how nations are connected in the global economy.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the last three decades,” he said.
The chairman argued that while the shift in energy sources across the globe due to the war will slow down progress towards zero net emissions in the short term, eventually it will accelerate the shift to greener energy sources. According to the Fink, the current crisis will push countries to come up with solutions that will secure their access to energy. For many that will mean investing in wind and solar power.
The head of the investment group also noted that BlackRock had joined other companies in freezing out Russia from their portfolios, although the company didn’t have significant investments in the country to begin with.