Why Investment Giant Fidelity Could Allow Bitcoin Trading
Fidelity Investments might provide its clients with access to Bitcoin trading via its brokerage platform, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The firm has been highly engaged in crypto markets, and already announced products that will provide their wealthy clients with exposure to the cryptocurrency.
The new strategy will potentially expand the firm’s Bitcoin offering to its 34.4 million brokerage accounts, per sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal. The strategy was hinted at by Galaxy Holding, one of Fidelity’s largest clients, CEO and crypto bull Mike Novogratz.
In a speech for the SALT Conference, Novogratz stated the following, the report claims:
A bird told me that Fidelity, a little bird in my ear, is going to shift their retail customers into crypto soon enough. I hope that bird is right. And so we are seeing this institutional march.
The potential offering is yet to be disclosed to the investment firm clients, but similar to other banking and financial institutions, Fidelity has stated that the demand for Bitcoin and crypto exposure is driving these offerings.
Fidelity Under Scrutiny For Their Bitcoin Offering
Over the past months, Fidelity has been under the radar of U.S. government officials as the company aims to expand its Bitcoin offering and products. As Bitcoinist reported, a group of U.S. Senators led by Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson.
The government officials inquired about the product, and a potential breach of instructions issued by the U.S. Labor Department for allowing 401(k) accounts to gain Bitcoin exposure. These accounts are used by a large majority of U.S. citizens to save for their retirements.
In that sense, the Senators deemed Bitcoin and crypto, assets unworthy of being used as a long-term investment. The letter classified the nascent asset class as “volatile, illiquid, and speculative”. The document stated:
While we appreciate Fidelity’s efforts to help working Americans realize a more secure retirement, this decision is immensely troubling. Perhaps most troubling is that in pointing to the risks of investing in Bitcoin on its website and planning to cap plan participants’ Bitcoin exposure to 20 percent, Fidelity is acknowledging it is well aware of the dangers associated with investing in Bitcoin (…).
Remains to be seen if the strategy to offer Bitcoin trading to its brokerage accounts will attract the same level of attention from U.S. government officials. At the time of writing, BTC’s price trades at $22,400 with a 4% profit over the last 24 hours.
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