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Fidelity Sets Launch Date for Bitcoin Custody Service

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Fidelity — an American investment firm that administers more than $7.2 trillion in client assets, will launch its Bitcoin (BTC) custody offering in March.

This is according to a report from Bloomberg.

The report from Bloomberg states that this is a progression in a plan that began in October 2018, when Fidelity declared the launch of a new company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services.

The new firm would supposedly offer custody and trade execution services for digital assets, focusing on institutional investors such as “hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries,” but would not for now be accessible to retail investors.

Fidelity said in a statement, “We are currently serving a select set of eligible clients as we continue to build our initial solutions. Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and prioritize prospective clients based on needs, jurisdiction and other factors.”

Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson is an avid supporter of digital currencies, having launched Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) mining at the company a few years ago.

She said at a conference in New York: “I’m a believer. I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services company that has not given up on digital currencies.”

Custody services, which are common in conventional stocks and bonds markets, are third party services that offer to hold an asset to diminish the chances of theft. Custody services vary from banks in that they are not permitted to use the stored financial assets to their own ends. Major companies such as BNY Mellon, JPMorgan and Northern Trust offer custody for assets such as money, securities, gold and diamonds.

While established financial institutions like Fidelity are starting to dip their toes into the crypto sphere, companies like cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase have launched their own custody solutions. Coinbase’s custodial service, which focuses on institutional clients, began in July 2018. The exchange then said that it had already been keeping over $20 billion worth of clients’ crypto over the last six years.

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