Fidelity’s Crypto Division Expands Into Europe With Bitcoin Custody Services

  • Fidelity Investments' crypto arm has made its first foray into European markets.
  • Fidelity will offer bitcoin custody for London-based crypto investment firm Nickel Digital Asset Management. 

The cryptocurrency arm of financial giant Fidelity Investments has made its first move into Europe by acting as a custodian for London-based Nickel Digital Asset Management. 

According to a report by Reuters published Jan 14., the two companies announced that Fidelity Digital Assets will serve as the official custodian for bitcoin held by Nickel Digital Asset Management, a cryptocurrency investment firm. The report claims institutional investors around the globe have been hesitant to participate in cryptocurrency due to the high volatility and lack of back-office services such as custody.

Chris Tyrer, head of the European division of Fidelity Digital Assets, says the barrier to entry for institutional clients is gradually being lowered. 

He told Reuters, 

We see those three factors slowly resolving themselves, and as a result we are seeing a pick up in institutional investor interest.

Tyrer said the company has been receiving interest from family offices, wealth managers and crypto companies across Europe and stressed the benefit of uniform regulation in the European Union. 

Fidelity, based out of Boston, has more than $7.8 trillion in assets under management. 

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Bitcoin Investors Reportedly Lose Millions in South African Exit Scam

Michael LaVere
  • VaultAge Solutions CEO Willie Breedt is being accused of making off with millions in investor bitcoin.
  • Breedt allegedly fled the country for Mozambique and has not communicated with investors since December 2019. 

South African cryptocurrency investors are accusing the CEO of VaultAge Solutions of stealing millions in crypto before going on the run. 

According to a report by AllAfrica, Willie Breedt, the CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm VaultAge Solutions, is presumed to be on the run after not making public communications since December 2019. The report claims Breedt was speculated to be staying near the town of Jeffrey’s Bay and that his whereabouts where being looked into by the country’s criminal investigation unit. 

However, South Africans who invested cryptocurrency with the now-defunct firm fear the CEO may have fled the country for Mozambique. 

Breedt is accused of stealing millions from bitcoin investors. The report claims VaultAge Solutions is not registered as a legitimate financial institution with the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA), despite having more than 2000 investors. 

The report quoted investor Lettie Engelbrecht from Krugersdrop, 

We are pensioners and invested R200 000. From December until April, we received payments on the growth of our investment. Since then, we never got any money. We are desperate and living on a shoestring budget.

One South African investor reportedly had deposited more than R6 million ($342,000) with Breedt’s company. 

Breedt delivered a written reply to local outlet News24, explaining, 

I am busy attending to the commitments I have made to members. The commitment is to have all the initial capital paid back by 31 May.

Colonel Katlego Mogale of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) said authorities are investigating the case but cannot reveal any more information “at this stage.”

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