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Fidelity Plans Bitcoin Custody Launch For March
On Tuesday, reports arose that Fidelity Investments, the Boston-based finance giant with trillions of dollars worth of assets under management, revealed that its crypto-centric subsidiary, Digital Asset Services (FDAS), has plans to launch its Bitcoin (BTC) custody service by March.
LATEST: Fidelity is targeting a March launch date for its Bitcoin custody service, according to three people with knowledge of the matter https://t.co/IjaZm93aQ3
— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) January 29, 2019
According to the report, which cited three individuals familiar with the matter, the custody service, the flagship product of FDAS, which was first announced in mid-October, will first only support the flagship cryptocurrency. Ethereum (ETH) custody will purportedly go live if the Bitcoin launch is successful, corroborating previous reports on the matter. In response to the rumors, Fidelity released a statement on its crypto-friendly offering, while remaining rather nebulous as to not reveal any details. The company noted that it is “serving a select set of eligible clients,” as it continues to build and bolster its crypto offerings. Fidelity spokespeople elaborated, writing:
Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and prioritize prospective clients based on needs, jurisdiction and other factors.
This breaking development comes just weeks after a number of reports arose that Wall Street’s demand for this nascent asset class has begun to wane. According to exclusive reports from The Block, institutional heads from both Blockchain.com and Coinbase, two of the most popular cryptocurrency companies in the world, recently left their positions vacant, with company sources noting that these occurrences were a result of waning demand from non-crypto-native funds/firms.
However, pundits like Mike Novogratz, Brian Kelly, along with dozens of credible commentators on Crypto Twitter, claim that FDAS’ custody service could entice the firm’s thousands of institutional clients to invest capital in cryptocurrencies and the broader ecosystem. In an interview with Bloomberg, Novogratz remarked that the custodial service could potentially spark mass renewed interest in Bitcoin from Wall Street’s biggest hotshots.
Crypto Community Reacts
As this news broke, crypto’s largest commentators took to Twitter en-masse to touch on the role this development could play on this industry in the near feature. Bully Esq, a popular trader & Twitter character, astutely reminded his tens of thousands of followers that FIdelity manages over $2 trillion in assets, purportedly a sum equal to France’s 2018 GDP. This was likely in reference to the “FOMO” that the company could catalyze once its custody service goes live.
Friendly reminder that Fidelity manages over 2 TRILLION dollars of assets.
For reference, that’s about equal to France’s 2018 GDP. pic.twitter.com/vUKqX66fiz
— ฿ully esq. (@BullyEsq) January 29, 2019
Referencing a debacle that a fellow industry analyst was undergoing, Sicarious, a semi-retired crypto trader noted that Philakone is “quietly filling longs on this Fidelity news,” hinting that the market could eventually pump on this pro-Wall Street development.
Phil has you all distracted while he’s quietly filling longs on this Fidelity news. Wake up sheeple, it’s a ruse!
— sicarious (@Sicarious_) January 29, 2019
Joseph Young, a leading crypto journalist, noted that the planned March date for the launch of FDAS’ inaugural product means that it would “see some demand from institutions.” Joseph added that it is refreshing to see Fidelity renew its push in this industry.
If Fidelity goes ahead with the launch of Bitcoin custody by the end of Q1, it would mean it sees some demand from institutions.
Blockchain, Coinbase, and other companies laid off execs in charge of institutional clients. Refreshing to see Fidelity push forward. pic.twitter.com/BO4eAcAGOc
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) January 29, 2019
So make no mistake, the underlying growth of crypto industry isn’t slowing, even in spite of the crash of the Bitcoin price.
Title Image Courtesy of Chris Li Via Unsplash
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