BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, leaving behind his previous skepticism of Bitcoin, today championed Bitcoin as a countermeasure against authoritarian governments. 

Fink spoke about this significant week marked by the SEC's approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs. He praised Bitcoin for its value retention capabilities and as a means to resist economic manipulation by governments.

He stated:

Let's be clear: if you're in a country where you're fearful of your government—and maybe this is one of the reasons why China has banned it—if you're in a country where you're fearful of your future, fearful of your government, or you're frightened that your government is devaluing its currency by too much deficits, you could say this is a great potential long-term store of value.

Fink's recent stance is dramatically different from his views in 2017. At that time, he joined forces with Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan and a well-known Bitcoin skeptic, in publicly denouncing Bitcoin.

Fink had even gone as far as to describe Bitcoin as an “index of money laundering,” highlighting his previous strong skepticism.

While Fink today acknowledged the use of Bitcoin in unlawful activities, he explained that his perspective began to shift during the pandemic, recognizing the potential within Bitcoin. In a conversation with Fox Business anchor Charles Gasparino, Fink reflected on his evolving stance.

There's a lot of merit to it, there's a lot of opportunity... [Bitcoin] is a great store, and this is where you can debate if it is a good store.

With this revised outlook, Fink highlighted the current challenge: convincing people that Bitcoin can serve as a cross-border asset.

Fink stated that despite FTX's downfall, Bitcoin is gaining increased legitimacy.

I think the advent of Bitcoin ETFs is an example that we’re legitimizing it; we’re creating more safety.

On Wednesday, the SEC greenlit the inaugural batch of spot Bitcoin ETFs, featuring offerings from BlackRock, VanEck, Hashdex, Grayscale, Bitwise, and others.

Following this announcement, Bitcoin's value approached $49,000 on Thursday but subsequently dropped to as low as $41,500 as the initial enthusiasm over the ETF approvals waned.

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