Larry Fink says ‘crypto is digitizing gold’ and that BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF could help make the sector ‘more democratized’

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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said Bitcoin is an “international asset” in an interview that comes just weeks after the world’s largest asset manager applied to offer a spot Bitcoin ETF.

In an interview with Fox Business, Fink added that instead of putting money into gold to hedge against inflation, investors could buy Bitcoin.

“The role of crypto is digitizing gold in many ways,” he said.

Fink added that BlackRock has worked closely with regulators in the past on ETF applications and hopes the firm’s track record will help this latest application get approved.

“What we’re trying to do with crypto is make it more democratized, and make it much cheaper for investors,” he said.

Although the BlackRock CEO admitted he originally was skeptical of crypto, because it was used as a payment method for illicit activities, he’s since changed his mind.

“Bitcoin is an international asset—it’s not based on any one currency—so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative,” he said.

BlackRock filed an application to create a spot Bitcoin ETF last month and was quickly followed by several other TradFi firms, including Fidelity. The asset manager has a near-perfect record with getting ETFs approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the agency has never accepted an application for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

BlackRock faced a setback last week when the SEC called its application inadequate, the Wall Street Journal reported. On Monday, Nasdaq, the exchange that would be listing BlackRock’s ETF, resubmitted the firm’s application.

Bitcoin’s price has trended upward in recent weeks. The cryptocurrency hit a 52-week high at the end of June, and has since mostly held above $30,000. It was trading down about 1%, near $30,500, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Learn more about all things crypto with short, easy-to-read lesson cards. Click here for Fortune’s Crypto Crash Course.

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