On October 15th 2018, Fidelity Investments submitted a press release that already shaking the crypto investors world. Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC is a separate stand alone company that is being launched from it’s parent company Fidelity Investments. The new company is reportedly already equipped with staff and will begin managing assets in early 2019.
Fidelity is currently the world’s fifth largest asset manager with over $7.2 trillion in client assets amongst 27 million customers. Fidelity is a huge name when it comes to the stock market, asset trading, and Wall Street in general. Because of Fidelity being so big, I like to call this ‘one small step for Fidelity and and one giant leap for Wall Street.’
In the past, some large Wall Street players and corporations have done their best to discredit cryptocurrencies. Some saying that cryptocurrencies were a fad that was doomed from the beginning, that all cryptocurrencies are ‘fake money’. But Fidelity’s CEO Abigail Johnson has been interested in cryptocurrencies from the moment she heard about them. Johnson was the reason Fidelity launched a Bitcoin mining scheme in 2014 and partnered with Coinbase in 2015.
“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” Johnson said in a press release. “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.”
It’s planned that Fidelity Digital Assets will manage custody of digital assets for clientele. One of the main concerns potential crypto investors suffer from is the concern of the safety of their assets. The new company has a plan to help ease investors minds.
Fidelity Digital Assets plans to create what they call ‘cold storage’ facilities that will be dispersed amongst many different geographic locations. Theses storage facilities are meant to give a sense of physically housing assets, like a vault. These facilities will be disconnected from the internet and security protected as too reduce the probability of a hack to as low as it can go. Fidelity us looking to improve the cryptocurrency cybersecurity game.
Besides storing assets, they are of course prepared to trade assets. Fidelity Digital Assets is attempting to make the process of investing and trading crypto assets as easy and inviting as they can. They are going to be staffed with a client services team to make the joining process for investors as pain free as possible.
Fidelity’s former head of corporate business development, Tom Jessop is the one leading the new company towards greatness.
“Our long term vision is really that you’ll see lots of assets exist in this new medium,” said Jessop. “And this new medium will bring a host of benefits around efficiency, around access, around automation, which is very exciting for financial services.”