Fidelity Investments has launched a company focused on cryptocurrency trading and custody services for institutional investors, such as hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries.
“For many institutional investors, a trusted custodian like Fidelity entering the space removes a huge obstacle to investing in crypto-assets,” according to Bitwise Asset Management CEO Hunter Horsley. “I think we’ll look back on 2018, and particularly this moment, as the time that crypto became cemented as a new asset class.”
The news comes about two weeks after popular advisor Ric Edelman became an advisor to Bitwise, a leader in cryptocurrency index funds, and several days after former chief economic aide to President Trump and ex-Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn came on board blockchain-technology startup Spring Labs as an advisor.
It also follows congressional testimony by professor and author Nouriel Roubini, who last week referred to cryptocurrencies as the “mother of all scams” and blockchain as “the most overhyped — and least useful — technology in human history.”
In announcing the formation of Fidelity Digital Assets, the investment company — which has assets under administration of $7.2 trillion, including managed assets of $2.6 trillion — was, naturally, more upbeat on the emerging asset class.
“Our goal is to make digitally native assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” said Fidelity Chairwoman and CEO Abigail P. Johnson, in a statement. “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.”