UPDATE: BlackRock's Fink says rise of bitcoin shows 'how much money laundering is being done in the world'
By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch
Fink: 'I am a big believer in the potential in what cryptocurrencies can do'
Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., on Tuesday said bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may help to identify the extent of money laundering happening across the globe.
The rapid ascent of cryptocurrencies "identifies how much money laundering there is being done in the world," Fink said during a Bloomberg interview of the Wall Street luminary at the BlackRock Fixed Income ETF conference in New York.
The belief that bitcoin and other digital assets, like ethereum and litecoin, are being employed for online gambling, tax evasion, and money laundering, has been one of the biggest criticisms of cryptos, which are viewed as a shadowy, mostly unregulated sector.
Check out:Opinion: Stay away from bitcoin and ethereum--they are complete garbage (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stay-away-from-bitcoin-its-complete-garbage-2017-06-15)
Overall, Fink offers a relatively nuanced view of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which presently boast a combined market value of about $144 billion, with bitcoin representing about half of that value, according to Coinmarketcap.com (https://coinmarketcap.com/).
"I am a big believer in the potential in what cryptocurrencies can do," he said. He said he saw "huge opportunities" but that presently the atmosphere around bitcoin was "more speculative."