One of the world's largest asset management companies Fidelity Investments announced the launch of a new division that will focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum trading and custody services for institutional clients, The Financial Times reports.
The new company, Fidelity Digital Assets, will go live in early 2019, while Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital will become one of its first clients.
It’s a significant move for the crypto industry towards institutional adoption and a bold decision for a cautious, regulated company with $7.2 trillion in client assets under management.
Security considerations, high volatility and lack of confidence in cryptocurrency assets held large institutions back from getting involved in trading cryptocurrencies; however, new services offered by Fidelity Digital Assets may change this trend.
Fidelity has become one of the first large financial institutions to get involved bitcoin, but offered no crypto-related products to customers, lagging behind such startups as Robinhood and Square ’s Cash that already provide direct crypto trading to retail customers.
Now the company is focused on institutional clients, citing a lot of demand in the market that is still evolving rapidly.
“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors. 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,” Abigail Johnson, chairman, and chief executive of Fidelity Investments, said in a statement.
The crypto industry and crypto asset managers met the news with enthusiasm, noting that this step will clear the significant hurdle for cryptocurrency mass and institutional adoption.
“For many institutional investors, a trusted custodian like Fidelity entering the space removes a huge obstacle to investing in crypto assets. I think we’ll look back on 2018, and particularly this moment, as the time that crypto became cemented as a new asset class,” a crypto asset manager Hunter Horsley of Bitwise Asset Management commented.
Source: Tanya Abrosimova FXStreet