The institutional buy-in through major banks and adjacent firms continues this week. Fidelity Digital is the company’s enterprise-grade solution for digital assets. In a recent story first broken by Bloomberg this week, crypto demand is leading the Fidelity division to expand staffing by roughly 70%.
Fidelity Digital: Doubling Down
The report cites an interview with Fidelity Digital Assets president Tom Jessop, who specifically called out Ether as a high-interest product in particular.
Jessop noted that 2020 was “a real breakthrough year for the space, given the interest in Bitcoin when the pandemic started.” He added that the firm has seen “more interest in Ether, so we want to be ahead of that demand.”
In present day, the digital division currently only offers custody, trading, and select services for Bitcoin; however, the asset list seems likely to expand, and Jessop also cited the firm’s desire to offer crypto trading “full-time for most of the week.”
Fidelity Investments is a Boston-based firm that oversees over $10T in assets under management. The expansion for the Fidelity Digital team is likely to result in hiring as many as 100 employees throughout Boston, Salt Lake City, and Dublin. The hiring spree will come on the heels of a November expansion late last year that brought in more than twenty engineers for development of the division’s trading and custody services.
In the first half of this year alone, Fidelity has filed for a Bitcoin ETF and announced Sherlock, an analytics tool for institutional investors in digital assets. The powerhouse investment firm also has a partnership with BlockFi, which enables institutional customers to leverage Bitcoin as collateral against cash loans. Fidelity has also made investments in firms such as Circle, the USDC stablecoin issuer. Circle is on the cusp of going public in a SPAC deal valuing the firm around $4.5B.
Meanwhile, outside of the US, the firm has also partnered with UK-based broker TP ICAP and Zodia Custody to launch a crypto trading platform.
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In recent weeks and months, institutions such as banks and credit cards seem to continue to hit the headlines with increasing initiatives in cryptocurrencies. In the past week alone, Swiss bank Sygnum has launched Ethereum 2.0 staking, Visa reported over $1B in crypto-card spending this year thus far, and a bank in Ukraine announced the launch of a Bitcoin trading feature.
Venture capital firms also continue to pour money into the crypto space, including the likes of crypto-dedicated firms.
BTC has been the horse and carriage for Fidelity Digital Assets service offerings, but that could soon be expanded as customers diversify in digital asset demands. | Source: BTC-USD on TradingView.com
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