Fidelity May Be Developing a Crypto Exchange

According to Coin Telegraph, the U.S. investment firm Fidelity may be working on building its own cryptocurrency exchange. Citing internal correspondence, reports released Wednesday suggest that Fidelity Investments is hiring developers to work on creating the exchange. While Fidelity has already explored entering the cryptocurrency space, such a development would surely upend the rapidly changing cryptocurrency exchange world.

Job Offers Circulated

Speculation about Fidelity's plans arose following the circulation of job offers related to constructing a digital asset exchange, according to the report. Executives at Fidelity notified employees that the company is seeking a DevOps system engineer "to help engineer, create and deploy a digital asset exchange to both a public and private cloud."

Should Fidelity move toward launching its own cryptocurrency exchange, it would not be the first large financial industry entity to do so. Earlier this spring, Pennsylvania's Susquehanna International Group announced plans to offer cryptocurrency services, beginning with bitcoin  futures. Susquehanna anticipates offering trading options in cryptocurrencies at a later time. Goldman Sachs revealed in May that it would initiate cryptocurrency services for clients in a similar manner.

Fidelity Expands Cryptocurrency Offerings

Another job posting by Fidelity suggests that the company is looking to offer "first-in-class custodian services for bitcoin and other digital currencies." As of this writing, Fidelity allows clients to hold bitcoin alongside more traditional assets. The company's CEO, Abigail Johnson, has been a vocal proponent of bitcoin and digital currencies more broadly for years. As of this writing, however, executives at Fidelity have yet to comment on the development. Fidelity has yet to formally announce plans to launch a digital currency exchange, as well as a timeline of when this might take place.

For the time being, cryptocurrency exchanges have tended to be upstart companies that have to deal with launching from the ground up. As regulatory measures continue to change, some of these exchanges have been faced with overwhelming obstacles. Should major traditional financial institutions become involved in the digital currency exchange space, these firms would bring additional stability and existing client bases to their offerings. However, critics of these developments could point to these firms as going against the decentralized and non-traditional elements which have come to define digital currencies as a group.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.

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