Fidelity Joins Crypto Space with Trading Platform for Institutional Investors

Fidelity Digital Asset Services has been launched in response to institutional investor demand for crypto trading and storage services.

US financial services giant Fidelity Investments is jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon with the launch of a new company offering digital assets trading and storage services.

Called Fidelity Digital Asset Services, the new venture will provide hedge funds, family offices, and other financial institutions with enterprise-grade custody solutions, cryptocurrency trade execution, and dedicated customer support service, Fidelity said in a press release on Monday.

“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors. We expect to continue investing and experimenting, over the long-term, with ways to make this emerging asset class easier for our clients to understand and use,” Fidelity Investments chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson stated.

Fidelity, which had more than $2.4 trillion in assets under management in 2017, went on to cite research from Greenwich Associates, which found that 70% of institutional finance executives believe crypto will have a role in the future of the financial sector, yet many are still “sitting on the sidelines.”

Fidelity also noted it began researching digital assets in 2013 and had since experimented with mining. According to Tom Jessop, head of the new venture, “those efforts have been successful in helping us understand and advance our thinking around cryptocurrencies.”

While not allowed to invest in digital coins directly, Fidelity clients have been able to add their Coinbase wallets to their Fidelity accounts. In addition, Fidelity Charitable, the corporation’s donor-advised fund, accepts crypto.

Against this background, the launch of Fidelity Digital Asset Services is not an unexpected move. Furthermore, Johnson told the Boston Fintech Conference last month the company planned to roll out cryptocurrency and blockchain-related products by the end of 2018.

The crypto market is attracting a growing list of traditional financial services giants, including Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, all of which have recently indicated interest in the nascent industry.