It looks like Fidelity Investments might finally be ready to introduce its cryptocurrency trading desk. According to a report by Bloomberg, the desk is coming within weeks and will allow institutional clients to trade in Bitcoin Core (BTC) when it first launches. Other digital assets could be added as the platform matures.
Fidelity has been working on the platform for about a year and said this past January that the desk should be operational by March. It was fine-tuning some processes and ensuring that it met with regulators requirements before going live and it has apparently done everything necessary to ensure it won’t meet the wrath of any financial oversight group.
Boston-based Fidelity is one of the largest asset management firms in the world and the largest manager of retirement funds. It isn’t the first to come into the crypto space—both Robinhood and ETrade Financial Corp. beat it to the punch. However, it will look to attract institutional investors, while the others are going after retail clients.
According to Arlene Roberts, a spokesperson for Fidelity, “We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our platform. We will continue to roll out our services over the coming weeks and months based on our clients’ needs, jurisdictions, and other factors. Currently, our service offering is focused on Bitcoin.”
Fidelity began offering crypto custody services earlier this year and will now move into the buying and selling of digital assets for institutional clients. The firm has been preparing to offer over-the-counter trade execution and order routing since late 2018.
At the beginning of 2018, there was a push to try to get institutional investors involved with crypto. They were seen as a catalyst for widespread adoption of digital currencies, but that push never produced the intended results. A lack of global regulations and a certain amount of volatility kept the conservative investors at bay, waiting for a better time to enter the space. While there is still work to be done with regulatory oversight, volatility—even with the current bull run—is less than it was a year ago and more investors are finally warming up to the virtues and benefits of digital currencies.
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