Fidelity Investments is working on launching a startup that will be dedicated exclusively to bringing cryptocurrencies to institutional investors. The project which will be dubbed, “Fidelity Digital Assets” the Boston based limited liability company will provide enterprise-grade custody solutions, a cryptocurrency trading execution platform and institutional advising services round the clock, seven days a week designed to align with blockchain’s always-on trading cycle. Fidelity investments is already a financial giant and a mammoth institution managing over 7.2 trillion in customer assets. The behemoth of an institution also provides custody, clearing and investment services for 13,000 institutional advisory firms and brokers.
Despite being such an influential and large organization, fidelity has only involved cryptocurrency technology to some peripheral services and through donations through their non-profit “fidelity charitable”. With the launch of the new digital currency project by fidelity, the first customers are beginning to stream in. the subsidiary will have 100 employees for starters and is slated to begin operations early 2019. This project marks the latest large push by an institutional asset manager when it comes to cryptocurrency.
The founding head of Fidelity Digital Assets Tom Jessop, confessed that institutional demands for virtual assets were picking up, he said; “Family offices, hedge funds, other sophisticated investors are starting to think seriously about this space.” At an event in Bloomberg’s new york headquarters, Fidelity announced that they would be offering custody services for ether, bitcoin, and other digital assets as well. Other Fidelity Digital Assets services will include trade execution services that leverage an internal crossing engine and smart order router that will execute trades using multiple third-party cryptocurrency liquidity suppliers.
According to the CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson, the new project would be part of a larger plan to make it easier for investors of all types to “understand and use” a wide range of assets issued on a blockchain. The captain of the ship will be fidelity’s former head of corporate business development, Tom Jessop. Jessop is not new in the world of cryptocurrency and has recently joined fidelity to help them in their cryptocurrency exploits. Jessop joined in January of this year after spending some time as president of blockchain startup “Chain” before it was acquired by Stelar development. Jessop also has 17 years at Goldman Sachs under his belt making him quite an experienced head, and asset for Fidelity as they seek to explore the crypto industry.