Fidelity International “gaming” the prospects of blockchain and cryptocurrency

  • 10 July 2019, Wednesday, 06:00

Take a bite and you just can’t resist, can you?

Fidelity International, under whose umbrella Fidelity Digital Assets was launched in October 2018, is now interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency. With several top investment banks veering ever closer to the cryptocurrency industry, another top player looks to mark its foray.

According to Financial News, Fidelity International is mulling a crypto-initiation, starting off with the possible introduction of blockchain technology. The report added that staff at the bank are “involved in investigating the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies,” citing people familiar with the matter.

Fidelity considers the entry of institutional players, itself included, in the cryptocurrency space as a “milestone moment” for the fledgling industry, which is valued at just over $350 billion, a massive increase in the past few months. Teana Baker-Taylor, Executive Director at Global Digital Finance, a body that promotes the use of digital assets said,

“This signals to the market that traditional financial investment in digital assets is likely to increase and they intend to maintain their institutional first-mover advantage, providing access to digital assets to their mutual fund and pension clients, as well as private and institutional investors.”

In order to better acquaint their staff into the volatile and ever-changing world of virtual currencies, the report stated that Fidelity International has launched a “game” which will allow employees to trade cryptocurrencies, pegged on the underlying blockchain technology.

The employees or “players” rather, are given £10,000 each in “fake currency,” which they have to build a portfolio with after assessing volatile market movements. The report stated that 15 percent of the entire staff at Fidelity International are engaged in this “game.”

Anne Richards, Chief Executive at Fidelity International, said,

“We have a bitcoin trading game that we use internally, as a way of teaching people about distributed ledger technology and digital tokenisation, which ultimately will be an important part of the whole financial system going forward.”

Fidelity is certainly the keenest, if not anything else, big-bank veering towards the cryptocurrency industry, even before the likes of JP Morgan made it fashionable. During the launch of Fidelity Digital Assets back in October, CEO Abigail Johnson had stated that the bank engaged in BTC mining as early as 2017, a certain precedent of their interest.

Back in May, Fidelity Digital Assets had said that they would roll out virtual currency trading imminently for institutional investors. However, the only cryptocurrency they would ‘focus’ on initially would be Bitcoin.

It looks like the cryptocurrency craze is not only spreading among big banks, but within them as well.