Fidelity Investments is hiring new managers to run its internal fund that was launched last year to support its involvement in the evolving cryptocurrency sector. The Boston-based asset manager decided to shut down the fund as certain key managers have left the company, including Matt Walsh, former vice president at the company, and Nic Carter, who worked as an investment researcher analyst at the firm.
Fidelity Investments, which manages $2.3 trillion worth of mutual fund assets, has been a leader in helping clients navigate crypto markets, and was among the first Wall Street firms to allow Coinbase clients to view their crypto holdings right on its platform.
The company’s CEO Abigail Johnson has also exclaimed that she “love(s) this stuff — bitcoin, ethereum, blockchain technology — and what the future holds.”
She believes that blockchain isn’t just a new way to settle transactions, but it can fundamentally change market structure, or maybe even the architecture of the internet itself. “When combined with things like the Internet of Things or the cloud, there’s no underestimating the potential that’s on the horizon,” said Johnson.
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In addition, Fidelity allowed employees to use cryptocurrency to pay for canteen lunches, though it was aware of SEC’s restrictions over handling virtual coins as a utility currency.
Although Fidelity’s actual experiments in cryptocurrencies were largely modest, this was a good indication of how the company perceives the value of cryptocurrency, as we saw subsequently.
Last week, Business Insider reported that Fidelity is planning to open a cryptocurrency exchange.
Johnson also revealed last year that the company mines cryptocurrency. At the time, she said: “We set up a small bitcoin and ethereum mining operation…that miraculously now is actually making a lot of money.”