BlackRock is “dabbling” in bitcoin and comfortable with the direction of regulation in the latest indication of big institutional money moving into crypto.

“My sense is that the regulation has evolved to such an extent that many people think it should be part of the portfolio,” Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of global fixed income at BlackRock, said this morning on CNBC this morning.

Rieder would not reveal how much of the $7.4 trillion that the world’s largest asset-holder manages is in crypto, but did say the firm was “dabbling” in it.

It was only a month ago that BlackRock allowed two funds to invest in bitcoin futures.

That move illuminated a large shift in BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s estimation of bitcoin, which he called an index of money-laundering in 2017. A year after that, Fink said the firm was still waiting for the cryptocurrency to legitimize.

Apparently, the digital currency is legitimate enough to dabble in at this point. But JP Morgan is not so sure.

Bitcoin leapt from $19,452 on Dec. 15 to break $50,000 on Tuesday, traversing many high peaks and low valleys on the way. It is that volatility that has JP Morgan anxious about the asset, according to the firm’s investor letter reported by Reuters.

The digital currency’s trajectory was fueled along the way by Tesla’s $1.5 billion in investment in bitcoin, along with other announcements from mainstay companies such as MassMutual, which announced it was investing $100 million into the currency.

Steven A. Morelli is editor-in-chief for InsuranceNewsNet. He has more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines. He was also vice president of communications for an insurance agents’ association. Steve can be reached at [email protected].

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