Fidelity Gearing Up For Creation of a Digital Asset Exchange

FinTech, Investing, News, Regulation | June 7, 2018 By:

Institutional investor Fidelity is about to expand on its interest in the cryptocurrency market, hiring engineers to build and deploy a digital asset exchange.

The Boston headquartered firm hopes to develop “first-in-class custodian services for bitcoin and other digital currencies.” according to Business Insider. The move is a major milestone toward cryptocurrency’s continued mainstreaming and adoption by establishment financial players.

Abigail Johnson, the chairman and CEO of FMR, the parent of Fidelity Investments, has long been a supporter for blockchain and bitcoin.

In a keynote speech in May 2017 at the Consensus 2017 conference in New York City, Johnson said a world where the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are increasingly important is paving the way for blockchain and bitcoin.

“I am in a traditional financial services business — but we at Fidelity can see that the evolution of technology is setting our industry up for disruption,” said Johnson. “What if this technology could do for the transfer of value what the Internet did for the transfer of information? There would be greater access to financial services and it would potentially give customers more control over their data.”

FMR has since invested in TradeBlock and Axoni, two blockchain research firms, and offers tracking on crypto assets in preferred customer accounts.

So far, Fidelity Labs, the internal research and development arm of the company, has experimented with bitcoin micro-payments and mined bitcoin and ethereum. The company also as a cryptocurrency mining operation, and Fidelity’s charitable organization allows donors to contribute using bitcoin.