The CEO of the world’s largest asset management firm, BlackRock, believes that the reason why FTX failed is that it created its own FTX Token (FTT), which was centralized and therefore at odds with the “whole foundation of what crypto is.”
Larry Fink, who serves as chairman and CEO of the $8 billion investment company, made the remarks during New York Times’ 2022 Dealbook Summit held on Nov. 30 and added that despite his belief that FTX’s own-created token caused its downfall, he believes that crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it will be revolutionary.
Centralized exchange tokens, such as BNB (BNB) and fellow exchange Crypto.com’s Cronos (CRO), account for over $57 billion of the $862 billion total crypto market cap, according to CoinMarketCap. Fink suggested that he was still skeptical of these tokens and believed “most of these companies [controlling the tokens] are not going to be around.”
Later in the interview with New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin, Fink said that while he sees exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as being the cause for the previous evolution of investing, he believes that tokenization will be behind the next, noting:
“I believe the next generation for markets, the next generation for securities, will be tokenization of securities.”
He then elaborated on some of the potential benefits of tokenization, suggesting that it would change the investing ecosystem, as rather than trusting banks, “instantaneous settlement” would be possible on distributed ledgers that show every owner and seller of securities.
“Think about instantaneous settlement [of] bonds and stocks, no middlemen, we’re going to bring down fees even more dramatically,” he explained.
Fink admitted that BlackRock had a $24 million investment in FTX, but refused to speculate on allegations that they and other venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital had failed to do the proper due diligence on FTX:
”Right now we can make all the judgment calls that it looked like there was some misbehavior of major consequence [...] if you look at the Sequoia’s of the world they’ve had unbelievable returns over a long period of time, I am sure they did due diligence.”
BlackRock has been an active investor in the crypto industry since 2020. Its latest move was revealed on Nov. 3, in which it announced it would be managing USD Coin (UDSC) issuer Circle’s reserve fund.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 27, it announced the launch of an ETF giving investors exposure to 35 blockchain-related companies.