Bitcoin holds firm above $51K as Blackrock begins to dabble

© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk – prices held firm above $51,000 on Thursday being supported by further corporate news after BlackRock Inc (NYSE:)’s Rick Rieder said they have “started to dabble” in the cryptocurrency. Rieder, the chief investment officer of global fixed income for the asset manager, was speaking to CNBC on Wednesday.

“Today the volatility of it is extraordinary, but listen, people are looking for storehouses of value,” Rieder said in an interview with Joe Kernen. “People are looking for places that could appreciate under the assumption that inflation moves higher and that debts are building, so we’ve started to dabble a bit into it.”

Bitcoin futures

Last month, the world’s largest asset-manager gave approval for two of its funds to begin investing in . Prospectus documents filed with the US SEC indicated that Blackrock (NYSE:) Global Allocation Fund and Blackrock Funds V may invest in cash settled bitcoin futures. Currently the CME is the only exchange registered with the CFTC that offers similar futures products.

Financial institutions accepting bitcoin

Blackrock is not the first company to start talking about digital assets in recent weeks. Mastercard (NYSE:) said they intend to support certain cryptocurrencies on their network soon. Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:) said they plan to provide custody services for digital assets as soon as this year.

Conflicting opinions

However, the news comes as some other traditional economists maintain that the cryptocurrency space is nothing more than a hugely inflated bubble. Nouriel Roubini, the economist nicknamed Dr Doom, that bitcoin was a self-fulfilling bubble and likened the rally in digital assets to Tulip Mania, the Dutch market bubble of the 1600s. “It doesn’t have any income. It doesn’t have any use. It doesn’t have any utility,” Roubini said.

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