Fidelity Crypto Arm to Offer Clients Bitcoin-Backed Cash Loans

The crypt-backed loans will be offered in a partnership with New York-based startup, BlockFi.

In yet another sign of cryptocurrency’s emergence as a store of value, Fidelity Digital Assets will allow its customers to borrow fiat loans against as much as 60 percent of their bitcoin holdings.

Fidelity Digital Assets, the cryptocurrency arm of Boston-based Fidelity Investments, only serves institutional investors such as hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries.

According to a Bloomberg report, the crypt-backed loans will be offered in a partnership with New York-based BlockFi, a wealth management platform for crypto investors.

Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, said the new service caters to Bitcoin investors who are not ready to part with crypto assets but want to turn their digital stash into cash without selling. Based on a 60% loan to value ratio (LTV), potential customers include hedge funds, crypto miners and over-the-counter trading desks.

A number of platforms offer crypto-backed cash loans, and their popularity is growing among cryptocurrency investors who are intent on holding. BlockFi launched its service earlier in March 2019, offering loans to those interested in borrowing crypto, starting from $2,000, and up to as much as $100 million, against bitcoin, Ethereum and stablecoins.

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BlockFi said that it saw a doubling in monthly revenue since its latest $30 million Series B funding in February. Although it did not reveal the exact figures, the New York-based crypto lender said it is on track to generate $100 million in revenue over the next year.

According to the company’s website, so far the BlockFi crypto lending platform has attracted over $1.5 billion in deposits from retail, corporate and institutional crypto investors. Additionally, BlockFi reported strong increases in earnings and a broadening of its client base as it is eyeing a more substantial footprint in Asia and elsewhere.

Fidelity’s cryptocurrency unit already features institutional-grade, crypto linked services, including custody offerings to safeguard holdings and execution services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On a related note, Fidelity has named former Managing Director at Barclays, Chris Tyrer to lead the European business. Tyrer was tasked with developing the investment bank’s digital assets project and was previously its head of commodities trading.

 

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