在过去几周的时间里，来自不同领域的公司都开始决定投资区块链和虚拟货币。例如，摩根士丹利正在研究不同的加密码货币衍生品产品，从而使交易者能够交易比特币。此外，高盛正在开发比特币交易部门，花旗集团正在开发一种数字资产收据（Digital Asset Receipt，简称为DAR）。而另一家重要公司——洲际交易所（ICE）也准备向市场推出一款专门为机构投资者设计的、名为Bakkt的新产品。
Cryptocurrencies are expanding all over the world and several companies are trying to be updated on this trend. This time, Fidelity Investments is trying to not lose this unique opportunity of being ahead of other companies and avoid being left behind.
In the last weeks, various firms from different fields decided to invest in blockchain and virtual currencies. Morgan Stanley, for example, is working on different derivatives products allowing traders to gain exposure to Bitcoin (BTC). Additionally, Goldman Sachs is working on a Bitcoin trading desk and Citigroup is developing a Digital Asset Receipt (DAR).
Another important firm, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is also ready to launch a new product to the market, which is known as Bakkt. This is specifically designed for institutional investors.
Fidelity Investments does not want to lag behind. The company is developing different blockchain and cryptocurrency products and services. According to some reports, the intention is to roll them out in the next months. However, it seems that the market is not in the best conditions to launch new products.
Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments, commented on the matter:
“We’ve got a few things underway, a few things that are partially done but also kind of on the shelf because it’s no really the right time. We hope to have some things to announce by the end of the year.”
At the moment, the market is not offering any institutional grade cryptocurrency trading platform. And that’s an issue that the industry needs to solve. There is an increased demand from institutions and wealthy investors that cannot be fulfilled due to the lack of proper regulations and market infrastructure.
As Reza Jafery, partner at Blockchain Warehouse explains, there are no all-in-one enterprise-level institutional tools currently available. Moreover, there are no mechanisms for investors to trade in the same way as in traditional markets.
Volatility is another issue that must be addressed, but it is not easy to do it. Bitcoin cannot work as a means of payment if it does not provide stability. In addition to it, cryptocurrency exchanges should address liquidity issues. If there are institutional traders placing walls of hundreds of million of dollars, the market would clearly not be able to work as it should.
“What we started with was building a long list of use cases for either Bitcoin, Ethereum, other cryptocurrencies, or potentially just raw blockchain technology,” Johnson said. “Most of them have been scrapped by now or at least put on the shelf. The things that actually survived were not the things I think necessarily we expected. We were trying to listen to the marketplace and anticipate what would make sense.”
Fidelity Investments first put into play that they wanted to open a Crypto Exchange and Custody service back in June, it was put on hold shortly after due to lack of leadership.
One thing is clear, there are many companies that are thinking about the future of the space. Fidelity Investments is one of those, but not the only one. In 2019, when different products would already be available, the market would be different and more mature.