Fidelity, the Boston-based investment giant, which includes $2.3 trillion in managed assets, will soon enable its clients to monitor their bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum holdings, along with traditional assets. Under the project, the company’s innovation center, Fidelity Labs, teamed up with Coinbase, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the US, which serves about 9 million customers.
The new feature will make it much easier for cryptocurrency users to control their assets. To use the service, clients must already have a registered Coinbase account. They can permit Coinbase to share information on their investments in Coinbase digital wallets with Fidelity.
During the testing period, Fidelity plans to learn more about cryptocurrencies and to see how many of its clients will benefit from the feature.
“This is an experiment in the spirit of learning what these crypto assets are like and how our customers may want to interact with them,” Hadley Stern, senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs, told Reuters.
The project was first unveiled by Fidelity at Consensus 2017 conference in May. At the time, Johnson said the company had been accepting payment in digital currency at its cafeteria, what showed the drawbacks of the technology.
“If you are looking for Bitcoin to beat Visa at the point of sale today, you are going to be disappointed,” she said at the time. Although being a traditional financial services business, she noted, her company admits the ongoing development of the technology is likely to disrupt the financial industry.
“But I am still a believer – and it’s no accident that I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services firm that hasn’t given up on digital currencies.”
Fidelity was the first financial company to join blockchain focus group IC3, a joint initiative aimed at promoting and examining how the distributed ledger technology can be used by businesses. Earlier, its parent company FMR invested in TradeBlock and Axoni, two firms focused on blockchain research.
In the first half of 2017, the company’s donor-advised fund, Fidelity Charitable, attracted around $9 million in donations, what is $2 million higher than the overall amount contributed by bitcoin donors in 2016.
Bitcoin, meantime, continues its upward trend and has recently reached a new record high, surpassing $3,500 mark. However, it pulled back and is now trading at $3295.67, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
In view of the growing price of bitcoin, more and more traditional financial companies are staring to examine the digital currency and its underlying technology.