Former Barclays CEO says he ‘loves’ seeing BlackRock involved in crypto
BlackRock recently filed for a Bitcoin ETF. Ex-Barclays CEO Bob Diamond discussed BlackRock's past investments in USDC and the broader crypto landscape.
Bob Diamond, a former CEO of Barclays, commented on BlackRock’s recent crypto activities during a CNBC interview on June 21.
Diamond, now the CEO of Atlas Merchant Capital, said:
“I love seeing some of the more mainstream firms getting involved here like BlackRock…I’m not surprised that they’re more involved now in crypto more broadly.”
BlackRock recently filed for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). If it succeeds, it will be the first company in the U.S. to offer such an investment.
BlackRock took part in an April 2022 funding round through which Circle raised $400 million. Diamond’s current firm, Atlas, was not named as an investor in that press release, and as such, the capacity in which Diamond and his firms invested is unclear.
Diamond comments on crypto industry
Diamond also commented on the crypto market more broadly. He said:
“Crypto is a broad term, but if you narrow it down to the digitization of so much of what we’re doing it’s a natural course.”
He argued that the cryptocurrency industry should stop avoiding regulation, adding that cooperation with regulators will appeal to the banking industry. He said that “strong banks want strong regulation.” He said that clarity is needed for crypto to have a positive impact.
Though Diamond did not name any companies that are struggling with regulations, two leading crypto exchanges, Coinbase and Binance were faced with charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June. Both companies said that they had attempted to work with regulators but were given no means to register.
Diamond said that he has not purchased Bitcoin (BTC). However, he said that his partner at Atlas Merchant Capital, David Schamis, has invested.