BlackRock (BLK), the world’s largest asset management, publishes quarterly profits on Friday. In Tuesday’s trading, BlackRock stock rose.
On June 15, BlackRock filed for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund with the Securities and Exchange Commission, sparking a bitcoin spike. Following the filing, the world’s largest cryptocurrency climbed back above $30,000, where it has been for the past three weeks.
In the last several weeks, Fidelity Investments, Invesco (IVZ), WisdomTree (WT), Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management, Valkyrie, and Bitwise Asset Management have all submitted or refiled bitcoin ETF applications. HSBC Bank (HSBC) of Hong Kong debuted its bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETFs on June 26.
In a July 5 interview with Fox Business, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink stated that bitcoin, which tokenizes assets and securities, had the potential to “revolutionize” finance. “I do believe that the role of cryptocurrency is digitizing gold in many ways,” he remarked.
However, there will very certainly be barriers ahead. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited persons familiar with the subject, the SEC notified the Nasdaq and CBOE Global Markets exchanges that the latest wave of bitcoin ETF applications aren’t sufficiently clear or thorough.
“We work really closely with our regulators, and we want to hear from them — what are their issues, and can we fix those issues around that,” Fink explained.
The ESG Debate Is Heating Up
Meanwhile, BlackRock’s conference call is likely to focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rules and regulations. Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee intend to hold hearings and vote on proposals related to ESG investment this month. BlackRock had focused heavily on ESG attention in recent years, but has since softened its stance as ESG has become a political football.
Conservatives, such as Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry (R-NC), argue that ESG policies are a weapon for pushing a left-wing agenda. Democrats claim that they raise investor awareness of the effects, risks, and possibilities of business activities.
Fink stated last month that he no longer uses the phrase ESG because it has become “weaponized” and “misused by the far left and far right.”
Conservative groups have previously accused BlackRock of contributing to “woke capitalism” and the company is currently facing boycotts from Texas and Florida. Texas restricted 10 corporations and 348 investment vehicles from doing business in the state in August after they took steps to “boycott energy companies” in the fossil fuel industry. Florida withdrew $2 billion in invested state assets from BlackRock funds in December, with intentions to distribute it to other money managers this year.
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