Business

Paul How

Financial giant Fidelity launches crypto company

Financial services giant Fidelity Investments has launched its cryptocurrency service for institutional investors.

The new company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, LLC, will be providing cryptocurrency trading as well as custody services, according to Fidelity.

Fidelity Investments Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson said, “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 Digital Asset Services head Tom Jessop said that his team had been exploring blockchain for years. The company began researching with its Blockchain Incubator in 2013, experimenting with mining, and allowing clients to view their Coinbase exchange accounts on Fidelity.com. It had also launched Fidelity Charitable in 2015, which received $69 million in cryptocurrency donations in 2017.

“The creation of Fidelity Digital Assets is the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets,” Jessop said.

He noted that there remained a lack of support for institutions, even as there are already numerous cryptocurrency-related services available.

According to the Fidelity Global Institutional Investor Survey conducted this year in 25 countries, 70% of institutional investors saw new asset classes coming about with the increased use of blockchain and other technologies.

“Whether it’s the rising popularity as a store of value or relative non-correlation to the broader market, the potential to power lower-cost global payments, or the emergence of protocols that could power new industries, institutional investors are interested in engaging with this new asset class,” the Fidelity Investments statement read.

Aside from digital asset custody and trade execution services, Fidelity Digital Asset Services will also offer client support where investors “will have access to a dedicated team of client service specialists, from onboarding throughout the entire relationship with the company.”

Fidelity Investments, a 70-year-old company, manages $7.2 trillion in assets worldwide, and employs 40,000 people. The company first announced its intention to enter the cryptocurrency market last June.

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