Mr. Fink added that BlackRock is looking at the spot bitcoin ETF as "an opportunity to move one step further in providing investors fractions of shares" and further "democratizing the cost of investing."
New York-based BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with approximately $9.1 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, filed an application for a spot bitcoin ETF with the SEC on June 15. BlackRock's application kicked off a mad scramble among other firms, including Fidelity, Invesco, Bitwise and Valkyrie, to get in their own applications for similar products before the SEC makes any decisions.
Though the SEC has historically denied every other spot bitcoin ETF application, Mr. Fink seemed confident in BlackRock's ability to get their application approved this time. In the firm's history of ETF applications, only one has ever been rejected.
"I think we have a good track record working with our regulators and trying to make sure we're thinking about all the issues around any filing," Mr. Fink said. "We hope that, like in the past, we can be working with our regulators and get the filing approved one day. I have no idea when that one day will be, we'll see how that all plays out."
Mr. Fink said the goal of a BlackRock spot bitcoin ETF would be to make crypto "more democratized" and cheaper for investors.
"Right now, the bid-ask spread for crypto is very expensive, and it does erode a lot of the returns," Mr. Fink said, adding that transaction fees for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be quite high.
Aside from bitcoin potentially leading to asset and securities tokenization, Mr. Fink said he believes blockchain technology — the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies — is "fantastic."
"The blockchain will help you accelerate the processes of transactions," Mr. Fink said. "If you have a pure blockchain, and you have knowledge of who the buyers and sellers are, we don't need custodians anymore. The whole process of finance — some of the intermediaries are broken down, this is why we're all studying (crypto)."
Mr. Fink's excitement about bitcoin is a bit of an about face for the BlackRock founder, who in 2017 called bitcoin an "index of money laundering."
"I was skeptical because the early users were … it was heavily used for, let's say, illicit activities," Mr. Fink said. "I do believe the role of crypto is digitizing gold in many ways."
Despite his newfound enthusiasm, Mr. Fink does not own any bitcoin himself, telling Fox Business that he only owns mutual funds and BlackRock shares.