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Fidelity Digital Assets to expand in Europe due to increasing interest from institutional investors

Fidelity’s crypto arm Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) will be expanding its services to cater to European investors and has appointed Barclay’s former managing director.

Image: Fidelity Digital Assets website

Thu, 19 Dec 2019, 12:37 pm UTC

Multinational financial service provider Fidelity Investments announced that it will be expanding its digital asset operations to cater to European investors. Through its crypto arm Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS), the Boston-based firm plans to offer hedge funds, family offices, and market intermediaries the opportunity to enter the digital space.

The announcement was made through a press release published on Dec. 17. In it, Fidelity revealed the three core services that it will be providing. They are digital asset custodial services, trade execution, and dedicated client service.

Since the crypto industry has penetrated the financial sector, there have been increasing interests from institutional investors to at least explore the emerging market. Tom Jessop, head of Corporate Business Development for Fidelity Investments and president of FDAS, revealed as much in the announcement, adding that the proliferation is only gaining more momentum.

“We’re also encouraged by continued corporate and venture investment in market infrastructure companies as well as the entry of traditional exchanges into the digital assets ecosystem. These and other market indicators, alongside interest expressed from U.K. and European client prospects, indicate a market with increasing potential which gives us the confidence to expand the digital assets business geographically,” Jessop said.

The man leading the charge

Fidelity has appointed Chris Tyrer to spearhead this expansion. Tyrer is a former managing director at Barclays Investment Bank who helmed the company’s digital asset division to identify opportunities in the crypto ecosystem. In his new role, Tyrer will be leading customer service activity in Europe.

“The demand we’ve seen for Fidelity’s digital asset custody and trade execution services has been borderless, and we’re scaling our business to operate in a variety of jurisdictions to support this industry for the long-term. In doing so, we’re building on the commitment to make digitally-native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to institutional investors,” Tyrer said.

Fidelity’s crypto exploration trudges on

This new development comes amidst FDAS’ plan to add its first crypto exchange by the end of 2019. The firm said that their chosen candidates will undergo extensive screening first as crypto exchanges are far more complicated to onboard compared to over-the-counter desks.

Crypto analytics firm CipherTrace recently said that one in every 10 U.S. retail bank is exposed to questionable exchanges that are moving funds without the financial firm knowing. Given this data, it’s understandable that Fidelity is being careful about the exchanges it’s trying to add into its fold.

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