Business 20 September 2018

Erik Gibbs

Fidelity Investments poised to launch crypto products by end of 2018

This past summer, Fidelity Investments indicated that it was preparing to join the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It said at the time that it had plans to introduce a cryptocurrency exchange, but didn’t lay out a time frame for when it would be ready. Now, the company has announced that it is setting up a number of crypto options, and that it expects to launch some, or all, by the end of this year.

The company’s CEO, Abigail Johnson, spoke last Friday at the Boston FinTech Week conference. In her speech, she said that Fidelity’s crypto and blockchain-related products will go live in the last quarter of 2018, but didn’t provide details on exactly which products and services the company would be rolling out. Johnson said, “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.”

Given that Fidelity is one of the most well-known financial companies in the world, the announcement will certainly have all eyes watching for future releases from the company to find out exactly what’s in store. Traditional finance entities and cryptocurrency companies alike will be anxiously awaiting any and all further announcements on the topic.

Johnson alluded to the fact that the rollout of products and services isn’t the same as what the company had first envisioned. She said, “What we started with was building a long list of use cases for either Bitcoin, Ethereum, other cryptocurrencies, or potentially just raw blockchain technology. Most of them have been scrapped by now or at least put on the shelf. The things that actually survived were not the things I think necessarily we expected. We were trying to listen to the marketplace and anticipate what would make sense.”

Institutional investments are often seen as being the best way to ensure widespread adoption and market stability. The last quarter of the year could prove to be extremely beneficial to the cryptocurrency industry with developments like those from Fidelity, and a ruling by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a number of cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETF), also expected sometime later this year.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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