Fidelity Investments, one of the leading asset managers in the world is about to dive deeper into the crypto domain as it prepares to launch cryptocurrency trading services in the coming few weeks, reported Bloomberg on May 6. The asset manager will buy and sell Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap and popularity, on behalf of institutional investors.

Fidelity Is Not New to the Crypto Sphere

Fidelity, with more than $2.4 trillion in assets under management (AUM), is not a newcomer to the nascent cryptocurrency market. The firm launched Fidelity Digital Assets in October last year to serve as a custody solution for Bitcoin. Fidelity’s move at the time signified Wall Street’s growing interest in digital assets and their custody.

The latest move, which has only been confirmed to Bloomberg by sources privy to the matter, puts the firm ahead of its competitors that have largely remained cautious on going all out into the volatile crypto market that has seen the prices of digital assets take a beating since January last year.

Fidelity promised in October 2018 to offer Bitcoin order routing and over-the-counter trade execution in early 2019.

The launch of the new services places Fidelity on par with brokerages such as E*Trade Financial Corp and Robinhood who provide cryptocurrency trading services to clients. However, Fidelity differs from the two brokerages firms because it only targets institutional clients while others cater to retail investors.

In an email to Bloomberg, Fidelity’s spokeswoman Arlene Roberts said:

“We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our platform.”

She further said that the firm currently focuses on Bitcoin but is planning to expand its services depending on customer needs and other factors. She said:

“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.”

Fidelity Survey and Bitcoin’s Price

Fidelity published a survey on May 2 in which the results showed that the crypto industry will grow in the next five years.

The survey questioned 441 institutional investors in a period spanning from November last year to last February. 72 percent of the respondents expressed interest in buying investments products that hold digital assets and 57 percent were in favor of directly buying digital assets. 47 percent of institutional investors believe that investing in digital assets is a wise move.

The quest to make crypto appealing to institutional investors has suffered major setbacks arising from several cases of fraud and theft. The QuadrigaCX scandal – a case where an Australian crypto exchange lost access to $193 million of customers funds in cash and digital assets and the recent Bitfinex $850 million scandal – have done the crypto industry more harm than good.

On a positive note, the price of Bitcoin has gained more than 50 percent since the turn of the year. Bitcoin shot to the moon in December 2017 but it crashed back to earth last year, resulting in the number one digital asset losing more than 70 percent of its peak value.

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