Fidelity, With $7.2 Trillion in AUM, Reportedly Launching Crypto Custody in March

Siamak Masnavi

Boston-headquartered Fidelity Investments ("Fidelity"), one of the largest multinational financial services companies in the world with over $7.2 trillion in client assets under management, launched a new subsidiary called "Fidelity Digital Assets" on 15 October 2018. Now, we are seeing reports that this subsidiary is getting ready to launch its crypto custody service in March.

Fidelity Digital Assets promised to deliver two institutional solutions: 

  • "Institutional-Grade Custody of Digital Assets"
  • "Trade Execution"

Here is Fidelity explaining at the time the motivation for getting into the crypto custody business:

"Institutional clients represent a broad spectrum of financial firms, including mutual funds, investment managers, family offices, public and private retirement plans, registered investment advisers, insurance companies, corporations, endowments, and foundations. As many of these institutions serve as stewards for their clients’ assets, these institutions must work with a custodian that can demonstrate a significant track record and experience in safeguarding client assets. Institutional investors need to know who is holding on to — and securing — the private keys."

Here is what Abigail P. Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity Investments, said back in October:

“Our goal is to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors. 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.”

And Tom Jessop, the head of Fidelity Digital Assets, had this to say:

“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. 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.”

On Tuesday (January 29th), Bloomberg reported that "Fidelity Investments is targeting a March launch date for its Bitcoin custody service," according to "three people with knowledge of the matter." The Bloomberg article went on to say:

"Bitcoin storage will be the first one available, according to employees of three firms that spoke with Fidelity in the past several weeks and asked not to be named discussing plans that are still private. Ether custody is expected to be next, they said."

Fidelity sent this statement to Bloomberg yesterday:

“We are currently serving a select set of eligible clients as we continue to build our initial solutions. Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and prioritize prospective clients based on needs, jurisdiction and other factors.”

At press time (09:20 UTC), according to CryptoCompare, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $3,445, up 0.99% in the past 24-hour period.

Featured Image Courtesy of Fidelity Digital Assets