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Fidelity Launches Institutional Crypto Custody

International finance entity Fidelity has officially launched its ‘Fidelity Digital Assets’ platform, as well as revealing details on its ongoing implementation.

Fidelity Digital Assets was announced first back in Autumn 2019 and offers institutional investors an approach to the world of cryptocurrencies that’s tailored to their requirements, with “enterprise-grade custody and execution services”.

“Our mission is much broader than products. Institutional interest in digital assets is expanding, and these organizations require sophisticated capabilities in order to proceed…

We imagine a world, soon, where all types of assets are issued natively on a blockchain or represented in tokenized format.”

Fidelity Digital Assets – October 15, 2019

The platform went live on October 15, 2019 and was accompanied by two supporting statements posted to its Medium-based blog page. In ‘Fidelity Digital Assets: The Journey From Idea to Market’, the team refers to a statement made back in 2017 by Fidelity as its first public announcement of interest in cryptocurrencies.

After this, they began an “experimentation” phase which involved extensive research and a “batch of trials” which eventually informed the direction and eventual founding of the new company. Fidelity Digital Assets was created and incubated by the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT).

Custody in the Age of Digital Assets’ is the second article published by Fidelity Digital Assets. This contains many insights and predictions about the state of cryptocurrencies derived from its early research and incubation stages, in what it describes as a whitepaper.

Here are some highlights from the piece:

  • Digital assets to potentially be recognised as “investable stores of value” soon, and tradable across various international exchanges,
  • Continued growth expected within digital products and services largely aimed at institutional investors.
  • Institutional adoption of digital assets depends on arrival of professional custody solutions.
  • Participation of known and respected organisations in cryptocurrency will positively correlate with market adoption.

“There are people out there with significant amounts of wealth in cryptocurrencies, probably bitcoin, and they’re looking for somebody to hold those coins for them because in the event of their passing — which is going to happen at some point or another — you’ve got to have a plan to be able to get those coins to somebody else”

Abigail Johnson (CEO, Fidelity)

On October 18, 2019 Financial Times published an exclusive interview with Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity, who stated that the company is in the process of “ramping up its cryptocurrency custody business” and is “now engaged in a full rollout of its custody and trading services for digital assets”.