On Monday, October 15, financial services giant Fidelity Investments made a big announcement of venturing the cryptocurrency market. According to CNBC, the 72-year-old-firm floated a new subsidiary called Fidelity Digital Asset Services which will provide cryptocurrency storage and trading services to institutional and enterprise clients.
According to the official press release, Abigail P. Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments, expressed optimism on launching a new company dedicated to crypto services.
“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” said Abigail. “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.”
Growing Institutional Demand for Crypto Products and Solutions
Fidelity has cited increasing institutional demand as the reason behind launching this new company. Tom Jessop will chair this new crypto company formed by the financial giant. Jessop said that they are working on cryptocurrency solutions for the commercial space since the last year. Furthermore, Jessop also believes that institutional solutions will help to shape the crypto industry providing a long-term future.
“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 Jessop. “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.”
Interestingly, this announcement comes just in a month’s time when Fidelity launched the crypto and blockchain related products in September. Fidelity is among the top five financial services provider of the globe. Moreover, the company handles $7.2 billion worth customers assets for its 27 million clients.
However, to create and manage these institutional products, Fidelity Digital Assets will partner with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital. Mike Novogratz made this announcement public through his Twitter handle.
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) October 15, 2018
Note that Fidelity is not the first to work on cryptocurrency institutional products. Big names from the crypto space like Gemini, Coinbase, BitGo, and others are already working on similar solutions. However, Tom Jessop thinks that Fidelity has the edge over its competitors considering its huge institutional client base. Moreover, the company has the right technology to build institutional-grade products quickly.
“In our conversations with institutions, they tell us that in order to engage with digital assets in a meaningful way, they need a trusted platform provider to enter this space. These institutions require a sophisticated level of service and security, equal to the experience they’re used to when trading stocks or bonds.”
Considering a massive inrush of investors in the crypto space, Fidelity will be building a “scalable infrastructure.”
In addition to the institutional products, Fidelity is also working on custodial solutions for safe and secure storage of digital assets. Fidelity boasts about having huge expertise in enterprise security. Furthermore, it also holds expertise in dealing with public and private key cryptography.
Fidelity’s custody solutions will be “cold storage” vaults storing Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The press release noted that the vaults would come along with along with “multi-level physical and cyber controls.”
“You might look at the crypto world and say, ‘Wow, is this a new thing?’ but we’ve been managing key materials for a long time,” Jessop said. “We took our learnings in how to run enterprise security, then through our exploration of bitcoin and some of the people we’ve hired, quickly developed some of the crypto native expertise and federated the two of those things.”