Fidelity, the multinational US financial services giant, has officially begun opening retail trading accounts for the Bitcoin crypto.
Indeed, it appears that some users have received emails that explain how they now have access to buy and sell Bitcoin on the financial platform.
Fidelity beyond traditional finance: standing on the side of crypto
Fidelity’s pro-Bitcoin platform development comes after their announcement of a waiting list earlier this month.
According to a report by The Block, some users, presumably those on the waitlist, received an email detailing the release, which stated that “The wait is over.”
In any case, Fidelity is not new to the Bitcoin industry. In fact, the financial services platform has been active in the crypto world for some time: according to the company’s website, it began mining Bitcoin in 2014.
In addition, in December 2021, Fidelity launched a Bitcoin spot ETF in Canada. The same group of senators who had previously criticized the blockchain world recently stated in their latest letter:
“Fidelity Investments has chosen to expand beyond traditional finance and delve into the highly volatile and increasingly risky digital asset market.”
Despite these warnings, Fidelity seems to be unhesitatingly extending its hand to Bitcoin as interest in crypto in the mainstream financial community continues to grow.
It is also worth noting that Fidelity’s move comes at a particularly interesting time, given recent developments regarding the collapse of FTX and the increased attention paid to volatility in the sector.
With perceptions of the sector perched so precariously, the actions of giants like Fidelity will almost certainly have implications for the future of Bitcoin regulation.
Fidelity’s previous announcement
Prior to the officialdom of the last few hours, Fidelity had already announced its intention to expand into Bitcoin trading. Specifically, in September of this year, a tweet from Bitcoin Archive stated:
💥BREAKING: Fidelity is launching #Bitcoin trading for retail customers in November! 😱
Fidelity has $4.3T assets under management.
— Bitcoin Archive 🗄🚀🌔 (@BTC_Archive) September 8, 2022
“BREAKING: Fidelity is launching Bitcoin trading for retail customers in November! Fidelity has $4.3T assets under management.”
It had been announced that the Fidelity Hedged Equity Fund (FEQHX), i.e., a fund dedicated to alternative investment products specifically for retail investors, would be launched.
These Fidelity alternative mutual funds, as stated in the official press release, can include alternative investments such as distressed debt, real estate debt, private equity, and Bitcoin.
Not only that, on Fidelity’s official website there is an entire section dedicated to crypto investments and the company also has an entire department dedicated to cryptocurrencies, the Fidelity Digital Assets (FDA).
Thanks to these actions, Fidelity is now able to offer its retail clients the opportunity to open a position on the price of Bitcoin, consequently to trade on the price of BTC, without necessarily having to buy or hold them.
What is special about the services offered by Fidelity Digital Assets is that they do not deal directly with crypto, but with ETFs that have cryptocurrencies as their underlying. Thus, Fidelity offers the opportunity to invest in financial products managed by the platform that enable indirect exposure to the price of crypto.
The future of crypto regulation: why is Fidelity’s decision important
As anticipated, a group of US senators had previously spoken out against cryptocurrencies, as they view crypto investments as something unsafe and dangerous.
Undoubtedly, qualms have increased since the collapse of FTX, a factor that may have prompted the senators to send the above letter to Fidelity. According to them, the recent implosion of FTX perfectly demonstrated the risks and abuses consumers could be exposed to with digital assets.
Thus, the road to crypto regulation, and the subsequent collapse of skepticism, seems increasingly long and winding. Although, with this move by Fidelity, the rules of the game change.
Fidelity Investments is a veritable behemoth in the industry, so much so that it is by far one of the largest asset managers in the world, with more than $4.5 trillion in assets under management and $24 billion in revenues.
Thus, the actions of a company of this magnitude have a great impact, not least in terms of the fate of the crypto world. It is worth mentioning that Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance, also recently emphasized that the adoption of crypto will happen regardless of government decisions on their regulation.
Indeed, the CEO of Binance stated that countries would do better to regulate crypto rather than fight them, arguing that their adoption will happen anyway. And it is common knowledge: CZ’s words are the gospel of the crypto world.