Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s biggest asset management companies, is to open a cryptocurrency exchange, according to a report in Business Insider.
Citing internal job advertisements sent out to Fidelity employees, the report says that the company is advertising for a programmer to “engineer, create and deploy a Digital Asset exchange to both a public and private cloud.” The sources said that move has been in the works for a year already.
Fidelity and cryptocurrency
Fidelity Investments is a family operation, created in 1946 by one Edward C. Johnson and run now by Abigail Johnson, his granddaughter. The latter Johnson has a net worth of $17.9 billion.
The company manages, amongst other things, various types of mutual and venture capital funds and a brokerage, handling in all around $2.45 trillion of customer money. It also has a charity wing. CoinDesk reported in June 2017 that Fidelity Charitable had at that point raised $9 million in Bitcoin.
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Johnson is a believer in cryptocurrency, saying “I love this stuff” at a New York blockchain conference in May 2017, according to Quartz. She announced at that conference that Fidelity customers will be able to check their cryptocurrency balances on the Fidelity website, and added: “We set up a small bitcoin and ethereum mining operation…that miraculously now is actually making a lot of money.”
This latter service is offered through a with Coinbase, a big American cryptocurrency exchange. According to CCN, at around that time the company experimented with Bitcoin in its employee cafeteria. Quartz reports that Fidelity employees that use cryptocurrency gain the nickname ‘Bitcoin vikings’ – “named for their adventurous spirit” said Johnson.
No details have yet been released as to the new project.
Whatever the form and scale of the new exchange, Fidelity won’t be the first financial institution to make such a move. That honour goes to Japanese giant SBI Holdings which launched a cryptocurrency exchange earlier this week.