Fidelity, the trillion-dollar mutual fund, is targeting a March launch date for its Bitcoin custody service according to a Bloomberg report. The firm, who announced last year that it was looking to create a range of cryptocurrency products, is apparently focused on Bitcoin custody first and foremost, with other products set to follow.
Security of their Bitcoin has long been cited as a major roadblock preventing institutions dipping their toes in the crypto waters, which is not surprising when events such as the ongoing Cryptopia hack continue to make headlines.
Fidelity Bitten by the Crypto Bug
Unlike many rival CEOs, Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson is a proponent of digital assets. Back in November 2017 she revealed that an arm of Fidelity was mining cryptocurrencies, with surprisingly good returns, “We set up a small bitcoin and Ethereum mining operation…that miraculously now is actually making a lot of money.” Seemingly having been bitten by the cryptocurrency bug, and also presumably having given up mining by now, 2018 saw the company researching other ways in which to make the most of the emerging asset class, and now seem to be on the verge of announcing how they plan to do so. Fidelity currently works with over 13,000 financial institutions and will hope to use their respected name as leverage when marketing the product to currently nervous Wall Street investors.
A Green March?
The news of a potential launch being only weeks away comes hot on the heels of the Bitcoin price continuing to drop, the Cboe/VanEck/SolidX ETF application being withdrawn and the launch of Bakkt being delayed, so the market could do with some good news, although the news itself did little to affect the Bitcoin price.
The fact the Fidelity offering seems to involve physical purchasing and ownership of Bitcoin is much better news for investors than a cash-settled futures platform, and so Bitcoin fans will be hoping the rumors are indeed true and March sees some green days after over a year of red.