- Fidelity Digital Assets has opened its Fidelity Crypto platform to the public, offering commission-free trading of bitcoin and ether to more than 37 million retail users.
- Fidelity Crypto charges a spread of no more than 1% and currently supports only BTC and ETH, with withdrawals not yet enabled on the platform.
- The launch occurred amidst the collapse of two major crypto-friendly banks, Silvergate and Signature Bank, and an increasingly hot regulatory environment in the United States.
Fidelity Digital Assets has recently opened its Fidelity Crypto platform to the public, allowing millions of users to trade bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) commission-free. Previously accessible only via a waitlist, Fidelity Crypto is now available to new and existing customers, making it a formidable player in the retail cryptocurrency market. This move has been welcomed by many investors, especially amidst the backdrop of the collapse of two central crypto-friendly banks, Silvergate and Signature Bank.
Fidelity Crypto’s Attractive Offerings
Fidelity Crypto now grants access to over 37 million retail users, allowing them to trade BTC and ETH without fees. The only charge levied by Fidelity Digital Assets is a spread of no more than 1%, making it an attractive option for investors looking to dip their toes into digital assets.
To join Fidelity Crypto, new customers must create a Fidelity Brokerage account during setup. However, it is essential to note that the service is unavailable in all states. Additionally, while users can trade BTC and ETH, the platform still needs to enable withdrawals.
With 37.1 million retail accounts total, Fidelity has moved ahead of many of its peers in the United States in offering cryptocurrency trading services to retail clients. According to sources familiar with the matter, this full launch has been carried out over the past few weeks.
Fidelity Crypto’s Launch Amidst Banking Collapse and Regulatory Challenges
The launch of Fidelity Crypto coincides with an increasingly hot regulatory environment in the United States and the collapse of two of the largest cryptocurrency banking partners, Silvergate and Signature Bank. These events have caused panic among traders, with many crypto companies moving their funds to asset managers like Fidelity.
Many crypto firms have reportedly contacted Fidelity Investment in search of new banking partners. One top player in the crypto industry revealed that he referred about 25 companies to Fidelity in three days, stating, “Fidelity isn’t a traditional bank, but they’re certainly safer than the tier-two-and-beyond banks.”
The failure of Silvergate and Signature Bank has indeed impacted the crypto industry; however, experts like Tey El-Rjula, co-founder & CEO of FLUUS, believe the effects will be temporary and not significantly detrimental. El-Rjula says the crypto industry is “incredibly resilient” and can adapt to new circumstances. Many financial institutions are already working on new solutions for the crypto market, such as decentralized exchanges and peer-to-peer platforms.
Fidelity’s Expansion into the Metaverse and Virtual Worlds
Fidelity’s move into the cryptocurrency market is one of many indications of its interest in digital assets. The investment manager filed three U.S. trademark applications at the end of 2022, which included providing services in the metaverse and other virtual worlds. These applications mention non-fungible token (NFT) markets, NFT tokens, virtual real estate investments, cryptocurrency trading, and metaverse investment services.
In October last year, Fidelity Crypto announced plans to hire 100 cryptocurrency professionals to expand its digital asset team to 500, further emphasizing its commitment to the digital asset space. After announcing a waiting list, the company opened commission-free retail cryptocurrency trading accounts in November.