November 13, 2017 / 6:09 PM / in a year

RPT-REUTERS SUMMIT-BlackRock's Fink says bitcoin thrives on its anonymity

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By Jennifer Ablan and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Bitcoin, whose value has fluctuated significantly this month, remains a “speculative” investment that thrives because of its anonymous nature, BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Larry Fink said on Monday.

“There’s too much focus on bitcoin,” Fink, whose firm oversees nearly $6 trillion of assets, said at the Reuters Global 2018 Investment Outlook Summit. “I don’t know why it has so much fascination for the press.”

The value of bitcoin plunged as much as 29 percent from its Nov. 8 record high of $7,888, following the cancellation of a planned technology upgrade, and amid persistent concern of a bubble. Bitcoin recouped some of its losses on Monday.

Investors who have held bitcoin for the long-term have fared well.

Even after the recent drop, its value has increased more than sixfold this year. Investors who held on longer have been rewarded even more: in 2011, bitcoin traded at below $3.

Fink, however, said most investors with long-term horizons, and who are keeping “record amounts” on the sidelines, should be focused on traditional assets such as stocks and bonds.

He said that for a 30-year-old person, “100 percent equities is the right investment strategy,” at a time when the world’s economies are enjoying “synchronized growth” for the first time since the financial crisis.

Bitcoin “is tiny in the scheme of financial markets,” Fink said. “It is a very speculative instrument.”

Follow Reuters Summits on Twitter @Reuters_Summits (Reporting by Jennifer Ablan and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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