Franklin Templeton President and CEO Talks Up Bitcoin Demand

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  • Jenny Johnson, Franklin Templeton’s CEO and President, recently highlighted Bitcoin’s rising institutional demand
  • Johnson recognized Bticoin’s utility as a payment tool and a viable investment option
  • She added that individuals increasingly turn to Bitcoin, considering it an effective safety measure against aggressive governments

Franklin Templeton President and CEO Jenny Johnson recently emphasized the institutional demand for Bitcoin, noting its increasing utility, capability as a payment tool, and its growing place as part of a suite of investment possibilities. Despite previously deeming Bitcoin a distraction from blockchain, Johnson now seems to have come around to the belief that it could be an effective hedge against aggressive fiscal policies, a sentiment that she says is leading to individuals swapping more and more fiat for it.

Franklin Templeton Has Been Into Blockchain Since 2019

Johnson made her comments to CBNC on Friday, extolling the virtues of blockchain technology and outlining its potential for diverse investment opportunities. Franklin Templeton, founded in 1947, manages over $1.4 trillion globally and its blockchain roots go back to 2019 when it partnered with Curv for digital share management on the Stellar blockchain, showcasing its early involvement in blockchain.

Allied to this, in 2021 it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $20 million for a blockchain venture fund.

No Keys, No Worries

Addressing Bitcoin’s increased interest, helped in no small measure by the awarding of multiple Bitcoin ETFs this month, Johnson echoed BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in emphasizing Bitcoin’s role as a hedge against oppressive governments and their wayward fiscal policies. In an echo of the 1933 gold confiscation order in the US, Johnson noted that global fears have led individuals to allocate 50% of their savings to Bitcoin due to concerns about fiat money confiscation. 

This wasn’t the sole reason behind Bitcoin’s popularity, however, with Johnson noting “…you can see, obviously, the demand that’s out there for Bitcoin, and I think there’s a lot of reasons why that is.”

Regarding the Bitcoin ETFs, a clutch of which were awarded earlier this month, including one from Franklin Templeton, Johnson highlighted their attractiveness to investors due to their elimination of the complex matter of managing private keys. She stressed that Franklin Templeton’s focus is on active investment strategies, available through various forms like mutual funds and ETFs.

Johnson also looked beyond Bitcoin, talking up the potential of future plans involving Ethereum and Solana, recognizing their potential in decentralized blockchains:

I think there’s a lot of reasons why [Bitcoin] is considered almost an insurance or safety component. But I also think it’s really important to be fueling what is the next real opportunity in the blockchain world.

ArkInvest filed for an Ethereum ETF last year, with BlackRock following months later, although there is less optimism from analysts that this will get the go-ahead, at least while securities laws remain as vague as they are.