Fidelity Digital Assets, which it the cryptocurrency arm of Fidelity Investments, is now pushing its way into the European cryptocurrency market. Fidelity Investments is one of the biggest fund managers in the world and they have created a new entity in the United Kingdom so they can sell crypto services to clients in Europe. 

Fidelity Digital Assets have been offering trading tools and custody to various financial institutions in the US from as early as 2008. On the 20th of November this year, they got the green light from New York regulators, thereby opening the doors for them to conduct sales to Wall Street investors.

Fidelity Steps into the UK Market

On the 16th of December this year, Fidelity’s UK entity was incorporated and this marked a significant step that will give the fund manager a platform to enable the selling of digital asset services to many European businesses, including family offices and hedge funds. However, it is important to note that the firm does not have any regulatory permissions so far. 

The Fidelity Digital Assets chief operating officer, Michael O’Reilly, stated that they will obviously make sure that they are compliant with any UK regulations and will ensure that they get any other licenses that are required. He also recognizes that, at this point, they do not need any extra licensing within the UK. 

It has been noted that currently, the Fidelity Investment firm will be offering support for Bitcoin investors only. However, there are hopes that in the future, most likely by 2020, that they will move to other types of digital assets.

Meanwhile, former managing director at Barclays’ investment bank, Chris Tyrer, has been selected to lead Fidelity Digital Assets in Europe. He has been instrumental in scoping out potential clients all over London since April this year when he joined Fidelity. In addition to this, Tyrer is known to have led a major project that looked at the opportunities for banks with regards to cryptocurrencies while he was at Barclays, hence making him ideal for the position.

O’Reilly added that Tyrer will be in charge of customer services and business development, and that he was given the go ahead to hire a team to support him, depending on the demand of the clients. 

The Growth of Cryptocurrencies

So much has changed since the introduction of cryptocurrency in the market. With the name coming from the introduction of Bitcoin back in 2009, so many new digital currencies have emerged. There has been a challenge with many rival digital assets looking for the most effective way to enhance online money transfer on the Internet with regard to such digital currencies. Due to changes and extreme volatility in crypto prices, investors have been coming in and out of the market. In addition, without any market infrastructure and fixed regulations, to date, financial institutions have stayed away from cryptos.

Over time, the rise in regulatory measures and infrastructure is enabling this to change gradually. Many financial institutions are now finding ways of getting in on the crypto action.

Since the launch of its blockchain incubator in Boston in 2014, Fidelity Investments has been creating cryptocurrency products. They have stressed that they will work closely with European clients as new investors take their first steps into the crypto space. 

Despite the issue of Brexit, O’Reilly strongly believe that the UK is the right choice for the European branch of Fidelity Digital Assets. He stated that currently, in London, the crypto and fintech communities are growing rapidly and that has been confirmed by the client demands and requests they have been receiving.


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