Boston-based financial service firm Fidelity Investments is likely to open up its Bitcoin over the counter (OTC) trading desk to institutional investors in the coming weeks, according to reports by Bloomberg.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, the source stated that Fidelity will buy and sell the world’s most popular digital asset for institutional customers within a few weeks. This comes after discovering an institutional appetite for digital assets is still growing. According to reports from a survey carried out by the firm, of the 441 institutional investors questioned, 72% of them revealed they prefer to buy investment products that hold digital assets, while 57% preferred to buy them directly.
Fidelity will reportedly join brokerage firm E*Trade Financial Corp. and Robinhood in offering cryptocurrency trading to clients. However, Fidelity will only offer its services to institutional customers. This was made clear in an email disclosed to Bloomberg from Fidelity spokeswoman Arlene Roberts, who said: “We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our platform.”
Last November, Fidelity was reportedly considering the top five to seven cryptocurrencies, however, it appears it will be fluid with client needs and will adjust its services based on the requirements of its client base. But first, Bitcoin will be its top priority upon launch. Roberts said:
“WE WILL CONTINUE TO ROLL OUT OUR SERVICES OVER THE COMING WEEKS AND MONTHS BASED ON OUR CLIENTS’ NEEDS, JURISDICTIONS, AND OTHER FACTORS. CURRENTLY, OUR SERVICE OFFERING IS FOCUSED ON BITCOIN.”
Earlier in March, Fidelity went live with a select few clients, stating clearly in a Tweet that it was after institutions and large funds:
“WE ARE LIVE WITH A SELECT GROUP OF ELIGIBLE CLIENTS AND WILL CONTINUE ROLLING OUT SLOWLY. OUR SOLUTIONS ARE FOCUSED ON THE NEEDS OF HEDGE FUNDS, FAMILY OFFICES, PENSIONS, ENDOWMENTS, OTHER INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS.”
One of the most daunting challenges of the cryptocurrency markets is its allure for bad actors, and this to a great degree has limited the growth and adoption of emerging digital asset classes. Fidelity’s plan all along is to provide a top-notch custody solution that meets all regulatory standard and offer a safe portal for institutional investors to buy-in into the cryptocurrency markets.