A&O Shearman | FinTech | Fidelity Investments Announces Launch of Digital Assets Business
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  • Fidelity Investments Announces Launch of Digital Assets Business

    Fidelity Investments yesterday announced the launch of Fidelity Digital Asset Services, LLC (Fidelity Digital Assets), a new company that will provide custody, trade execution and client services for digital assets to institutional investors, including hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries.  Fidelity Investments said that it plans to leverage its existing infrastructure to support the new company and further market adoption of digital assets.  Fidelity Digital Assets reportedly will have its services “generally available” to the market at some point during early 2019.

    Fidelity Investments Chairwoman and CEO Abigail P. Johnson in a statement said that the firm’s goal is to “make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors,” while Tom Jessop, the head of Fidelity Digital Assets, said that the launch of the new company is “the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets.”

    As other large financial institutions actively explore blockchain and the provision of digital asset services, the launch of Fidelity Digital Assets marks a significant milestone as the digital asset industry attracts further institutional interest.  We will continue to monitor for additional information and the impact this announcement has on other prospective digital asset service providers.  In particular, given the importance of developing digital asset custody platforms for institutional investors, we expect to see follow-on announcements of other custody offerings in the coming months.