On Thursday (January 31), Fidelity Digital Assets, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest multinational financial services companies in the world with over $7.2 trillion in client assets under management, provided a report on how things are going over there as it gets ready for a wider launch of its services.

Fidelity Digital Assets, that was launched on 15 October 2018, promised to deliver three institutional-grade services: 

  • trade execution
  • custody
  • support

This is what Tom Jessop, the head of Fidelity Digital Assets, had to say at the time:

“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 29), 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.”

Then, on Thursday (January 31), we finally saw a Medium blog post from Fidelity Digital Assets that provides an official status report on the preparation it has been doing for a wider launch of its trading/custody services (which Bloomberg believes will take place in March). The company said that since October it has “continued to build the technical and operational capabilities needed for securing, trading and supporting digital assets with the exacting oversight required by institutional investors.”

Furthermore, Fidelity says:

“We are currently serving a select set of eligible clients as we continue to build our initial solutions. We’ve established a robust set of technical and operational standards at a level that institutions have come to expect from Fidelity. Our initial clients are an important part of our final testing and process refinement periods, which will eventually enable us to provide these services to a broader set of eligible institutions.”

“Final testing” in the quotation above makes it sound like a full launch in March may be possible (just as Bloomberg reported), but the paragraph in the blog post just before the end seems to suggest that Fidelity will not be fully ready by then:

“Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and stage prospective clients based on their needs, jurisdiction, and other factors.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Fidelity Digital Assets