Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) has announced that its Bitcoin Custody Service is now live, offering its service to “a select group of clients.”
Fidelity, the multinational financial services firm, with more than two trillion dollars’ worth of assets under its management announced today that its bitcoin custody service has gone live. It has initially been rolled out to “a select group of clients”, which it stated through a post from its official twitter account.
The news comes as a number of firms prepare to launch custodian services, including Goldman Sachs and Bakkt, the NYSE platform which it is thought will be a game changer in the bitcoin futures market. A handful of other operations have already launched custodian services, including Swiss bank Vontobel. Custodian offering is one of the essential steps in integrating digital assets into the current financial system and will facilitate large amounts of capital to enter the space from institutions.
A Challenging and Rewarding Time
As Toshi Times reported, the firm announced a month ago that it planned to begin offering digital asset custody services in March and is part of a larger venture into the digital assets market, which Fidelity hopes to consolidate over the course of 2019.
In a blog post linked in the tweet breaking the news, the run up to the release has been described as “a challenging and rewarding time” whilst the firm’s development team worked with auditors to create a product which meets industry standards.
“We are committed to exceeding the requirements and standards of existing solutions with both our custody platform and trading venue — providing a combination of security and a central point of market access, disrupting the obfuscated nature of trading digital assets today.”
The president of the Boston-based company has stated that they will hold off support for ether due to upcoming upgrades and hard fork. Despite this, the firm is optimistic about the rest of the year.
Talking with Coindesk, president Tom Jessop said the firm will hold off listing the second largest crypto by market-cap, Ethereum, in order to see how the upcoming upgrades shape up.
“We’re currently supporting bitcoin, we have designs to support other coins over the balance of the year center to various criteria including our [in-house selection framework], where we obviously look … at client demand and other things,”
Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade, which took place in January had, rather embarrassingly, a major security flaw – vulnerability to re-entrancy attacks – which was discovered only hours before the planned execution, leading to its delay. With much change taking place at the moment as Ethereum switches from a Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake model, there is much change taking place on the network. The next upgrade, Istanbul is expected in October of this year.
90% of the US Market Offering
Despite this Jessop is optimistic about the year ahead and is confident that the firm can use the time to shore up its digital asset offering. He stated he wants the digital arm of the firm to scale over the year and cover 90% of the US market offering by the year’s end.
“Despite crypto winter, the market is still pretty robust and so we’re excited about that. The [goal for the] rest of the year is scale the business in terms of adding new clients [and] expanding the scope for offering trading execution services … we can we say we’re live [but] it’s also a function honestly of where we have jurisdictional authority to operate.”
Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.