Fidelity embarks on crypto

Oct 16, 2018 at 21:34

Fidelity Investments revealed its venture into the cryptocurrency space through the establishment of a separate unit that will serve as a crypto trading platform.

The financial services firm that handles more than $7.2 trillion in client assets, said the new firm, named Fidelity Digital Asset Services, will handle custody for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and will execute trades on multiple exchanges for investors such as hedge funds and family offices.

“Our goal is to make digitally native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” Fidelity Investments Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson said in a statement.

The platform will run operations starting next year and will initially support Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The plan is seen to give the firm leverage as the first Wall Street player to turn to multipurpose crypto service provider.

One of the giant providers of retirement savings and mutual fund products, Fidelity has been exploring the potential of digital assets for the past five years while mining Bitcoin beginning 2015.

The 72-year-old Boston-based company, with more than 13,000 financial institutions-partners, is banking on its renowned brand to woo institutional customers keen on digital currency trading.

“In our conversations with institutions, they tell us that in order to engage with digital assets in a meaningful way, they need a trusted platform provider to enter this space. These institutions require a sophisticated level of service and security, equal to the experience they’re used to when trading stocks or bonds,” Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets, said.

“With Fidelity Digital Assets, we’re building a scalable infrastructure for digital assets that meets the expectations of what it means to work with Fidelity,” he added.