Bitcoin price LIVE: BlackRock chief Larry Fink
8.00am MORNING HEADLINES
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of all things cryptocurrency, including price, regulation, innovation and financial crime.
It has been revealed that the world’s biggest asset management firm is looking at ways to enter the crypto space, potentially with a move into bitcoin futures.
I don’t know why it has so much fascination for the press.
Financial News report that BlackRock has set up a working group to investigate what its competitors are doing with cryptocurrencies, and how they will shape the investment landscape over the years ahead.
The move towards crypto marks yet another U-turn from a powerful investment juggernaut after Larry Fink, the chief executive, said last year that bitcoin was merely “speculative” and that the only reason it thrived was due to its anonymity.
He said: “It is an instrument people use for money laundering.”
“The reason why it does so well is it is anonymous. It’s anonymous, and it’s cross-border.
“If you legitimise it, you know who your counterparties are. The question is how many people will use it if you have to acknowledge you are a buyer or a seller.”
Bitcoin price LIVE: BlackRock New York
Mr Fink, who oversees $6 trillion of assets said that bitcoin “is tiny in the scheme of financial markets,” adding that, “there’s too much focus on bitcoin.
“I don’t know why it has so much fascination for the press.”
A spokesman from BlackRock told the Express.co.uk: “Like most financial institutions, BlackRock has a working group that meets periodically to exchange information on blockchain and consists of employees from various parts of the business.
“We have been looking at blockchain technology for several years, recognising potential for shared processes and data across market participants, clearing, settlement and reconciliation and simplified securities issuance.”
Mr Fink is not the first major player in the money markets to seemingly change his tune on crypto.
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co described the technology as “a terrible store of value” in 2014 before moving senior staffer Oliver Harris into the role titled Head of Crypto-Assets Strategy in May this year.
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Updates below throughout the day….
9.09am – BTC optimism
Jordan Hiscott, Chief Trader at ayondo markets told Express.co.uk after last week’s price fall that nothing is so absolute.
He said: “Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are an exciting venture and, in my opinion, are the perfect vehicle for a digitalized form of payment for the 21st century.
“Their virtues are clear to me; however, one important point resonates with me highly. Email was touted as the end to all letter writing due to ease of use, efficiency and lower cost in comparison, yet letters remain an important form of communication for many institutions and individuals.
“Technology has the ability to dramatically speed up the pace of change, but the human interaction and take up of these technologies is slower. Due to how dominating the current monetary system is, it means crypto and fiat currencies will work together going forward.”
9.27am – Danger of the 51% attack
Evgeny Chereshnev, CEO and founder at Biolink.Tech warned Express.co.uk that the liklihood of the once theoretical 51 percent attack is on the increase.
A 51 percent attack is a potential attack on the bitcoin network whereby a dominant collective rewrites the rules imposed on the remaining 49 percent.
In short, 51 percent group could just empty the wallets of the 49 percent into their own – theoretically speaking.
He said: “Basically, if several bitcoin owners who control 51 percent of it as a group get together and agree to rewrite all of the bitcoin operations, they will be able to do that. They would have the power to decide which transactions get approved or not, who owns what.
“This is the same principal as a board of directors in an enterprise – when you have the majority vote, you can do whatever you want! Now imagine that you are a well-funded hacker team and you somehow managed to hack into several crypto exchange services and get 51 percent over time.
“Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No.”
Bitcoin price LIVE: Cyber crime alert
Mr Chereshnev warns that, due to massive electricity costs, it’s economically inefficient for any private individual to mine cryptocurrency.
He said: “Mostminers are basically working collectively. They build their own farms, but it’s very expensive to be able to buy this equipment and maintain profitability by paying their huge electricity bills!
“So basically they unite together; everybody is mining as much as they can and they get paid proportionally according to the processing power they actually provide to the community.
“Most of those mining right now belongs to approximately five crypto farms, and most of them are in China which, right now, has the resources to pretty much own the blockchain.”
Bitcoin price LIVE: BTC up $100
10.27am – BTC in the green
Bitcoin is up $110 on the day so far with prices now at $6,461.
11.44am – BTC even greener
Bitcoin up $176 on the day so far with the price now at $6,526.
Bitcoin started last week at $6,723 and a return could be on the cards.
12.44pm – $8billion on the up
In just 24 hours, the crypto market has added $8 billion to its valuation. Bitcoin Cash and Ether rose by more than 3 percent.