Bloomberg reported on 6th May that Fidelity Investments will commence institutional bitcoin trading in a matter of weeks. The firm is one of the largest asset managers in the world and by setting up Fidelity Digital Assets it has bet that Wall Street’s nascent appetite for trading and safeguarding digital currencies will grow.
The move puts Fidelity ahead of its competitors. Although Fidelity is joining with brokerages E*Trade Financial Corp. and Robinhood in offering cryptocurrency trading to clients, it will only offer the service to institutions, whereas Robinhood and E*Trade sell to retail customers.
A study released by Fidelity on May 2 found that 47 percent of institutional investors think digital assets are worth investing in. Fidelity spokeswoman Arlene Roberts told Bloomberg, “We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our platform. We will continue to roll out our services over the coming weeks and months based on our clients’ needs, jurisdictions, and other factors. Currently, our service offering is focused on Bitcoin.”
According to the Fidelity survey, which questioned 441 institutional investors from November to February, 72 percent prefer to buy investment products that hold digital assets, while 57 percent choose to buy them directly. Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, commented on the findings: “We’ve seen a maturation of interest in digital assets from early adopters, like crypto hedge funds, to traditional institutional investors like family offices and endowments.” As the study showed, financial advisors (74%) and family offices (80%) reportedly view the features of digital assets most favourably.
Jessop also commented in a press release accompanying the survey: “More institutional investors are engaging with digital assets, either directly or through service providers, as the potential impact of blockchain technology on financial markets — new and old — becomes more readily apparent.”