Fidelity steps up access to cryptocurrency – Citywire USA

Fidelity is furthering its push into the cryptocurrency landscape, with a reported plan to allow retail investors to trade digital assets on its brokerage platform. 
The potential move, which was reported by the Wall Street Journal, was suggested by Galaxy Holdings CEO Mike Novogratz at the NYC SALT conference on Monday morning.
‘A little bird told me that Fidelity is going to shift their retail customers into crypto soon enough,’ he said. ‘I hope that bird is right.’
If introduced, this would give approximately 34.4 million brokerage accounts access to digital assets. However, the $4.2tn firm has remained tight-lipped on its plans.
‘While we have nothing new to announce, expanding our offerings to enable broader access to digital assets remains an area of focus,’ said a spokesperson for the company.
This comes as Fidelity Digital Assets announced it will be backing a new cryptocurrency exchange, called EDX Markets, along with industry peers like Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, Paradigm, Sequoia Capital and Virtu Financial.
EDXM purports to be ‘a first-of-its-kind exchange that will address latent demand for digital asset trading by enabling safe and compliant trading of digital assets through trusted intermediaries.’
EXDM will be headed by CEO Jamil Nazarali, former global head of business development at Citadel Securities.
Former ErisX CTO Tony Acuna-Rohter will be taking on the same role at EDXM, while former Fidelity Brokerage Services chief legal counsel David Forman will serve as general counsel for the exchange. Forman has also worked as general counsel for Fidelity Digital Assets. 
‘The intention of the industry consortium is to build market infrastructure that contributes to increased optionality for liquidity to facilitate a more efficient, secure and cost-effective process for trading digital assets,’ said a spokesperson for Fidelity.
‘This would build upon existing sources of liquidity in the crypto markets to contribute to a broad marketplace comparable to those found for more traditional assets.’
These steps forward into the cryptocurrency space are not out of character for Fidelity, given the firm’s keen interest in digital assets. 
The company started mining bitcoin in 2015, and three years later, Fidelity Digital Assets, a bitcoin trading business for institutional investors and hedge funds, was born.
Later, a feature that let retail customers link their Fidelity and Coinbase accounts to track their investments was introduced.
Earlier this year, Fidelity said that it would allow its corporate clients to offer their employees an option to invest a maximum of 20% of their 401(k)s in bitcoin.
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by Jamie Redman A number of financial giants including Fidelity Digital Assets, Citadel Securities, and Charles Schwab Corp. announced on Tuesday that the consortium of companies plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange called EDX Markets. Reports note that firms like Paradigm, Sequoia Capital, and Virtu Financial are also backing the […]
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