Fidelity is an asset management firm founded in 1946 that recently announced a cryptoasset custody product.
Fidelity: About the Platform
Fidelity is a financial services giant with over 10 thousand employees. In October 2018 they announced the launch of a separate entity, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, which will focus on cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for institutional investors.
The Cryptoasset Custody Solution
Fidelity announced a business-grade offline cold storage solution for cryptoassets. The solution will leverage security methods created for other areas of Fidelity’s business as well as physical segregation and controls.
The solution will be available for BTC, ETH and several other assets that remain unspecified.
The Trade Execution Solution
Besides digital asset custody, the new Fidelity service will provide an efficient way to trade cryptocurrencies.
It will use an existing Fidelity product that effectively works as a router, selecting the best price available from a set of participating exchanges.
This execution engine will probably be used for arbitrage among participating cryptoasset market, making additional revenue.
It is not known which crypto trading platforms will be working with Fidelity but it is expected Fidelity will impose strict requirements with regards to regulatory compliance.
The Market of Legacy Investors Dabbing into Crypto
According to a survey from LendEDU from October 2018, there is demand among legacy investors for a brokerage product that would get them exposure to cryptocurrencies via a trusted party.
The survey participants were adult Americans who are not currently invested in virtual currency.
- 52% of respondents would likely use their brokerage accounts to invest in cryptocurrency if the option existed.
Out of them, 59% would even scale back their traditional investments to invest more heavily in cryptocurrency.
- 41% of respondents would trust a traditional brokerage more than Coinbase in handling their virtual currency investments.
Only 14% of the respondents explicitly stated they would trust Coinbase more than a traditional house.
In the comparison of new players on the investment market, 39% would trust Amazon more than Coinbase in handling crypto-investments, only 15% opted for Coinbase.
Generally, there is a level of mistrust regarding purely crypto investment platforms as 48% of poll participants would likely consider moving their current legacy portfolio to a brokerage account that would let them also invest in crypto.
One reason for the waiting for a first traditional brokerage going crypto could be the less than ideal dealing with breach incidents of various cryptoasset platforms. Nonetheless it could also show conservative habits or simply mean that current legacy investors would like to have the option to invest in both cryptocurrency and traditional assets under one roof.
Fidelity: Token Promotion & Results
Neither Fidelity nor Fidelity Digital Asset Services is a company with tokenized assets.
Fidelity is not new to the crypto trading business, though: It is not widely known but Fidelity started bitcoin mining in 2015 on a location in the US.
Fidelity also has a business deal with Coinbase - Fidelity customers are able to check their Coinbase cryptocurrency balances through the Fidelity app.
The official Twitter @fidelity publishes mainly marketing communications targeting aspiring traders and investors. It has gained over 230k followers as of October 2018 with substantial spikes around the October announcement of crypto custody solution.
The Business Intelligence for Fidelity
Fidelity Investments provides fund distribution and investment advice services, wealth management, securities execution and clearance as well as a number of other services.
Among projects Fidelity invested in are well-known names such as Reddit, MongoDB, New Relic, Group or Spotify.
Among the blockchain technology investments Fidelity made in 2018 is Everledger, the immutable ledger for diamond ownership and related transaction history verification.
Fidelity is based in Boston, MA.
Investing in Fidelity
The new Fidelity venture Fidelity Digital Asset Services started onboarding first clients right after its launch in October 2018.
Services are to be generally available early in 2019, according to CNBC.
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