Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest financial institutions managing assets in excess of $7 trillion, announced Monday that it would be launching a new platform for the trading and storage of digital assets.
— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) October 15, 2018
The company is naming their service Fidelity Digital Investments LLC and will be headed by Fidelity’s Tom Jessup, who announced the new service at Bloomberg’s conference on institutional cryptocurrency investment in New York on Monday morning.
Fidelity Digital, whose slogan is “Institutional Solutions for a New Asset Class,” will handle the digital assets of hedge funds, institutional investors, family offices and trading firms, according to Bloomberg. It will offer its clients security and storage services, as well as trade execution for digital assets.
Fidelity’s bid on cryptocurrency is happening at a particularly volatile time in the market, with Bitcoin having just skyrocketed in value after Tether’s plummet Monday morning. Nonetheless, the company seems to have faith that crypto is the future of finance. In a Medium post from the official Fidelity Digital Assets account, opened the same day as the announcement, the company says of digital currency:
“Digital assets are poised to become accepted as investable assets and stores of value, tradable on global, licensed exchanges, and accessible to individuals and institutions around the world. This global decentralized framework relies on — and is powered by — distributed ledgers that eliminate the need for central intermediaries to facilitate the value exchange.”
Fidelity sites companies like DigiCash, launched in 1989, and the 1997 company Hashcash in its post as stepping stones to the current state of cryptocurrency, as they introduced concepts like public key cryptography.
Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson said in the official statement regarding the launch,
“Our goal is to make digitally native assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible to investors.”
Fidelity has an impressive track record to back its investment in crypto. The company is 72 years old, controls more than 7 trillion in assets, and has over 13,000 financial institutions on its customer roster.
Over 100 people at Fidelity are working on the new venture, Jessup stated at Bloomberg’s conference. They’ve already started to bring on customers, including crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital. There are plenty of crypto funds out there for Fidelity to work with, managing upwards of $10 billion in assets by some accounts.
A Much-Anticipated Launch
Johnson teased back in September that her company would have something to offer in the way of digital assets by the end of 2018, stating at an event at Fidelity headquarters in Boston that:
“We’ve got a few things underway, a few things that are partially done but also kind of on the shelf because it’s not really the right time. We hope to have some things to announce by the end of the year.”
With Fidelity Digital Assets, the company joins the trend of large institutions getting into the crypto market, as with Yale’s investment in two multimillion-dollar crypto funds earlier this month. BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan have all also openly explored cryptocurrency.
Cover Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash