Chief BlackRock Strategist Doesn’t See Connection Between Crypto And Fiat Markets

BlackRock’s Global Chief Investment Strategist, Richard Turnill, told reporters at a press conference Tuesday that fiat markets are virtually isolated from any potential crashes of cryptocurrencies.

“There’s no evidence that if that price went to zero tomorrow that there’d be any broader financial implication over time,” said Turnill while introducing BlackRock’s midyear investment outlook to journalists in New York. “But to me it is [an] example of where you’re getting some big price movements in the market.” Turnill’s remarks appear to have been ad-hoc as he was asked by reporters to comment on cryptocurrencies, a subject not mentioned in the report he was introducing.

Turnill leads the Investment Strategy function for the BlackRock Investment Institute, an in-house research and development initiative created in 2011 to leverage the overall expertise of the firm for internal portfolio managers to capitalize on for clients.

Traditionally, BlackRock has not paid much attention to cryptocurrencies. Aside from helping to educate summer interns about the emerging field, the asset manager of more than $5 trillion has kept its distance, even while other noteworthy firms have begun to entertain interest. Turnill remains unconvinced, however, and sees cryptocurrencies as similar to the internet boom of the 1990s. “I look at blockchain, I look at the charts, and to me, that looks pretty scary and reminiscent of what we’ve seen before.”

Turnill’s comments come off the heels of a dramatic downturn across cryptocurrency markets and reveal a stark contrast to other professional opinions. Speculation about cryptocurrencies continues to fluctuate as wildly as the markets themselves. However, there are initiatives around the world helping to close the adoption gap and create real value for cryptocurrency platforms.

There have been several notorious bubbles throughout the history of trading and capital markets. Perhaps for now, while crypto is still so volatile, we should be glad that it remains relatively detached from fiat.