Crypto news: Fidelity Crypto finally opens to the public and provides access to Bitcoin and Ethereum investments to tens of millions of users. The product from Fidelity Digital Assets was previously available only to users on a waiting list.
Fidelity Crypto opens access to the masses: the details
Fidelity Crypto is now available to new customers and the company’s more than 37 million retail users and will enable trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum without fees on the platform.
As anticipated, Bitcoin and Ether transactions on the app are free of fees. In fact, Fidelity Digital Assets will collect a spread of no more than 1%. Fidelity Crypto is open to new and existing customers: new customers must create a Fidelity Brokerage account during the setup process.
However, the service is not currently available in all states. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two resources that users can trade right now, although withdrawals have not yet been enabled on the platform.
Fidelity, which has 37.1 million retail accounts in total, has moved ahead of most of its peers in the United States when it comes to offering cryptocurrencies to retail customers. Full launch took place in recent weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The launch coincided with an increasingly hot regulatory environment in the United States and the collapse of two of the largest cryptocurrency banking partners, Silvergate and Signature Bank. Investment manager filed three US trademark applications in late 2022, which included providing services in the metaverse and other virtual worlds.
The trademark applications of Fidelity Crypto
As anticipated, Fidelity filed three US trademark applications to provide services in the metaverse and other virtual worlds in its latest step into the realm of digital assets.
Specifically, the company wants to provide its traditional services in alternate realities, according to the documents. The applications mention NFT markets and NFT tokens, virtual real estate investments, cryptocurrency trading and metaverse investment services.
Back in October, Fidelity Crypto said it was planning another 100 cryptocurrency hires to expand its digital asset team to 500. The company opened commission-free retail cryptocurrency trading accounts in November after first announcing a waiting list.
However, it is worth noting that the company has received some push back. In fact, three US senators last month called for reconsideration of the decision to allow retirement plan participants to invest in Bitcoin, saying the industry has become increasingly “volatile, tumultuous and chaotic.”
Updates regarding Signature Bank and crypto regulation
As anticipated above, Fidelity Crypto’s move comes at a very delicate time for the blockchain industry and the market in general, given the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the closure of Silvergate and Signature Bank.
Specifically, Signature Bank, a crypto-friendly bank, was reportedly under investigation by two US government agencies prior to its collapse.
According to a Bloomberg article published 15 March, citing people familiar with the matter, Justice Department investigators were looking into whether Signature had taken adequate measures to detect potential money laundering by its customers.
The regulator was particularly concerned about whether the bank was taking preventive measures to monitor transactions for “signs of criminality” and to properly verify account holders.
According to two anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg, a separate investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission was also cautiously monitoring the bank. However, no details were provided on the nature of the SEC investigation.
It is also unclear when the investigation began and what effect it had on the recent decision by New York State regulators to close the bank.
Signature and its staff are reportedly not accused of wrongdoing and the investigation could be concluded without the SEC or the Department of Justice (DOJ) bringing charges or taking further action.
The news comes in the wake of a class action lawsuit filed 14 March by Signature shareholders against the bank and its former executives for claiming they were “financially strong” just three days before the forced closure.
On 13 March, Barney Frank, a former board member of Signature Bank, said regulators wanted to “send a very strong anti-crypto message.”
Frank added that the crypto-friendly bank became the “poster boy” since there was “no insolvency based on fundamentals.”