Big financial player launches crypto division

Katie McDonaldOctober 16, 2018

Financial services company Fidelity will offer a new business unit to manage and provide trading services for cryptocurrencies.

Fidelity announced its plans for the new division, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, yesterday, which will provide enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for digital assets.

The company, which is one of the world’s largest financial service providers with more than US$7.2 trillion in client assets, hopes to make crypto more accessible to institutional investors, including hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries.

“We started exploring blockchain and digital assets several years ago, and those efforts have been successful in helping us understand and advance our thinking around cryptocurrencies,” said Tom Jessop, Fidelity Digital Assets head.

“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.”

Fidelity noted in its announcement that while there were many retail service providers currently operating in the digital space, there was a gap in support for institutions.

This, it said, had created a ‘paradox’; Greenwich Associates found that 70 per cent of institutional finance executives believed crypto would have a place in the future, yet many firms were still waiting on the sidelines to enter the market.

“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,”  said Abigail Johnson, Fidelity Investments chair and CEO.


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