US asset manager, Fidelity Investments, will offer cryptocurrency trading targeting institutional investors within the next few weeks, according to Bloomberg.
Fidelity created a digital assets company for the custody of cryptocurrency last October, saying at the time that over-the-counter trading would follow in early 2019.
“We currently have a select set of clients we’re supporting on our plartform,” Arlene Roperts, Fidelity spokeswoman, told Bloomberg.
“We will continue to roll out our services over the coming weeks and months based on our clients’ needs, jurisdictions, and other factors.
“Currently, our services is focused on Bitcoin.”
While cryptocurrency is already brokered by some asset managers such as Robinhood, Fidelity is specifically looking to target the institutional market, rather than retail.
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Fidelity cryptocurrency research
This news comes shortly after Fidelity released research detailing the increased interest institutional investors have for digital assets.
According to the study of over 400 US investors, 40% plan to invest in digital asset in next five years.
Family offices were the class of investor most attracted to this type of investment, with some 80% viewing the characteristics of digital assets favourably.
Additionally, Fidelity found that 37% of investors preferred to use a mainstream financial services framework, compared to 24% being happy to deal with a specialist cryptocurrency firm.
While there are numerous aspects of cryptocurrency that institutional and high-net-worth investors may find appealing, the asset class remains dogged by lack of robust regulation in the world’s leading financial markets.
With this comes frequent cases of fraud, as well as wild volatility in the value.
Bitcoin peaked at just under $20,000 in December 2017, but had fallen to the $3500 mark a year later.
It is currently sitting just shy of $6000 after a 50% increase in 2019.
The presence in the space of major players like Fidelity may help to calm cryptocurrency’s volatility, as deep-pocketed institutional investors buying and selling bring much-needed liquidity.