Fidelity Investments is keen on a March launch for its Bitcoin Custody Service. The mutual-fund giant had leaped into cryptocurrency industry in October 2018 with the launch of Fidelity Digital Asset Services, to handle cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for institutional investors.
In an official statement, the company said “We are currently serving a select set of eligible clients as we continue to build our initial solutions. Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and prioritize prospective clients based on needs, jurisdiction and other factors.”
Bloomberg says custody is a commonplace practice in conventional financial markets such as stocks. It involves a third party holding onto securities to reduce the risk the risks of it being stolen or lost. According to crypto expert Phil Glazer, custodians serve the role of safekeeper for assets like stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies. Glazer says custodians reduce the operational complexity of running an investment firm. “Rather than figuring out how to hold assets securely and deal with account administration, firms can pay custodians to provide these services.” He further said that it allows investment firms to focus on their core competencies of evaluating investment opportunities without having to worry about keeping assets safe and meeting operational compliance.
Fidelity Investments took up mining Bitcoin four years ago in 2015 under the CEO, Abigail Johnson’s leadership. Johnson has been a known advocate of digital assets. She had told CNBC that their Fidelity Investments’ goal was to make digitally native assets such as Bitcoin more accessible to investors. She said they will continue to invest and attempt ways to make the emerging asset class easier for the clients to understand and use.