Fidelity Investments announced Monday it had launched a new company that will offer digital-currency services to its customers.
The company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC, will allow both trading and custody services to hedge funds, family offices and other market participants, the behemoth asset manager said in a news release. Custody is the storing and security of digital assets.
“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” said Abigail P. Johnson, chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments in a statement. “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.”
The move is a significant step for the opaque industry that has grappled with adoption. For the most part financial institutions have remained on the sidelined as volatility and security concerns persist.
According to the release, the company said it began researching digital assets in 2013 and had since experimented with mining. “We started exploring blockchain and digital assets several years ago, and those efforts have been successful in helping us understand and advance our thinking around cryptocurrencies,” said Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets in a press release.
“The creation of Fidelity Digital Assets is the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets.”
Fidelity said its security offering will include vaulted cold storage and physical and cyber controls.
In the company’s most recent Fidelity Global Institutional Investor Survey, 70% percent of institutional investors said the new asset class will begin to emerge as technologies such as blockchain continue to advance.
In Monday afternoon trading a single bitcoin
was trading at $6,533.64, up 4.5% since Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Fidelity manages more than $7.2 trillion in assets and has been one the most outspoken supporters of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies among traditional investment platforms.