BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, has started "dabbling" in Bitcoin, according to its chief investment officer Rick Rieder:
We've started to dabble a bit in it[...]My sense is the technology has evolved and regulations have evolved to the point where a number of people feel it should be part of the portfolio.
He claims that diversifying into assets such as cryptocurrencies "makes some sense" because traditional hedges like interest rates no longer work.
That said, Rieder declined to specify what percentage of one's portfolio should be kept in the flagship cryptocurrency:
I wouldn't put a number on the percentage allocation one should have, it depends on what the rest of your portfolio looks like.
The signs were there
As reported by U.Today, the investment management corporation indicated that it could get exposure to Bitcoin derivatives through two of its funds (BlackRock Global Allcoation Fund, Inc. and BlackRock Funds V) in its SEC filing dated Jan. 20.
BlackRock did not become bullish on Bitcoin overnight. Some past comments made by its executives, however, signaled that the top asset manager was actively exploring the cryptocurrency.
In late November, Rieder mentioned that Bitcoin could potentially replace gold because it is "much more functional" than the yellow metal.
Do I think it is a durable mechanism that, you know, that I think could take the place of gold to a large extent? Yeah, I do, because it’s so much more functional than passing a bar of gold around.
In early December, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink went as far as predicting that Bitcoin could potentially threaten the dollar's hegemony after evolving into a global market:
Bitcoin has caught the attention and the imagination of many people. Still untested, pretty small market relative to other markets. You see these big giant moves every day…it's a thin market. Can it evolve into a global market? Possibly.