Fidelity Looking to Expand Digital Asset Trading Beyond Bitcoin and Ether

Ian Allison
Nov 29, 2018 at 15:18 UTC
Updated Nov 29, 2018 at 16:36 UTC
news

Fidelity Investments is looking to expand its institutional crypto asset platform to include trading services for the top five to seven cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Revealed today at the Block FS conference in New York, the news came in response to a question from CoinDesk posed to Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets, on what other cryptocurrencies may be added to the platform, to be launched next year.

Last month, the buy-side giant announced it would be launching a separate company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, at the time stating that it would be offering custody and trading services for bitcoin and ether, the cryptocurrency that powers the ethereum blockchain.

“I think there is demand for the next four or five in rank of market cap order. So we will be looking at that,” he said.

Jessop explained that Fidelity is taking a customer-driven approach for now and that its 13,000-plus institutional clients are interested in bitcoin and ether because they make up a large part of the current market cap.

“I think when it comes to security tokens or tokens that are likely to be deemed securities, we are waiting for that space to develop,” he explained, going on to say:

“We have had some interest but we don’t think it’s a groundswell of interest, so our focus is really on the top, call it five-seven, before we start building capabilities for the tail. But I think it will come.”

Fidelity has spent four to five years of R&D in the space and has a long view of the crypto asset class and the underlying technology’s potential, which Jessop compared to the exponential sweep of the internet.

He acknowledged that digital assets have not had a great run this year, pointing out that, a year prior, the run-up in prices saw Fidelity’s charitable crypto donations vehicle garner some $70 million in contributions.

“It was a great story and a great source of donations,” Jessop added.

Fidelity image via Shutterstock