According to reports, American firm Fidelity Investments, an investment company that administers more than $7.2 trillion worth of client assets, has now revealed that it will finally launch its Bitcoin (BTC) custody service in March this year. The report was initially published by Bloomberg on Jan. 29 following information given by sources familiar with the matter.
Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD
The Move By Fidelity is Part of a Plan That Began October Last Year
Citing unnamed sources affiliated to Fidelity, Smartereum understands that this move by the investment company is reportedly the next step in a larger plan that began in October 2018. At the said date Fidelity revealed that it would be launching a new company called Fidelity Digital Asset Services. Fidelity Digital Asset Services as per the initial report will reportedly provide clients with custody and trade execution offerings for digital assets. The goal is to serve institutional investors including “hedge funds, market intermediaries and family offices.”
Although Fidelity has revealed that its new firm will not be available to retail investors at least for now.
Fidelity Digital Asset Services: Prospects Will be Served Based on Needs, and Jurisdiction
Fidelity reportedly said at the time its new company was launched that Fidelity Digital Asset Services will only serve a section of clients for now. The company had this to say via a statement:
“We are currently going to be serving only a select set of eligible customers as we continue to expand on our initial solutions. In the coming months, we will thoughtfully prioritize and engage with prospective clients according to their needs, jurisdiction and a host of other factors.”
The CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson who is an outspoken digital currency bull, having brought in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) mining to the asset management firm in 2017, called herself a believer of crypto assets during a New York crypto conference. In her words:
“I’m a strong believer. I’m one of a few people standing before you from a large financial services startup that hasn’t given up on virtual currencies.”
While the bear sentiment continues to make the news in recent months, it appears Fidelity is one of the few asset management services providers that believe in crypto assets.
Understanding Custody Services
Custody services are typically commonplace in the traditional stocks and bonds markets. They are third-party services that hold client assets in a bid to reduce or eliminate the possibility of theft. Custody services are different from what banks offer because they are not allowed to utilize the stored or financial assets on their custody to their own benefits. Major firms in the United States such as BNY Mellon, Northern Trust and JPMorgan provide custody for assets like money, gold, securities and diamonds.
While other traditional financial institutions such as Fidelity are starting to shift into the crypto space, even firms like crypto exchange and wallet service provider Coinbase have also introduced their custody offering. Coinbase’s custodial service is designed to target institutional clients specifically. It was launched in July 2018. The crypto exchange then went on to state that it had been storing more than $20 billion worth of clients’ digital assets in the past six years.