Fidelity, the $2.5 trillion asset manager, specializing in retail-brokerage and 401(k) offerings, is building a new cryptocurrency business. In an announcement on Monday, October 15, 2018, the financial service company revealed its cryptocurrency custody and brokerage solutions for institutions.
The business being setup in order to offer its services will be named Fidelity Digital Assets. The new enterprise will initially offer custody solutions for Bitcoin and Ethereum coins. Altcoins will be included for custody in the future.
Fidelity will also offer broker services for clients, finding the best execution price by routing orders to OTC desks.
Tom Jessop, head of corporate business development, commented on the months leading up to the release of the new endeavour and the set launch date of 2019:
“A lot of the effort over the last 6 to 9 months has been taking what had already been built and elevating it to a level in which we were comfortable to go to market. While there are many places for consumers to buy and trade crypto, we didn’t see analogous developments for institutions.”
Fidelity is not new to the cryptocurrency scene, as the initiated R&D into the industry back in 2014, and then explored digital currency mining in 2015. The financial service company partnered with Coinbase in 2017 allowing customers to monitor their crypto holdings on the crypto exchange.
Jessop commented on the firms exploration into the crypto space:
“Fidelity’s commitment, not only to this space, but other innovation projects is significant. As I go around and talk to folks [at Fidelity], I think the thing they are surprised about is that markets are already this big and there is a meaningful activity, and there is a future value to the underlying technology that probably transcends bitcoin and ether.”