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Fidelity Digital Assets Brings its Cryptocurrency Business into the UK

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Fidelity Timmer
Fidelity Timmer

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Fidelity Digital Assets, the cryptocurrency-focused arm of Wall Street asset management behemoth Fidelity Investments, has begun the first phase of its strategic expansion into Europe. According to a press release published earlier this week, the company explained that it would be opening a branch in the United Kingdom, as it is now setting its sight on the European digital asset space. The company explained that it plans to serve European institutional investors through the branch. 

The company also expressed its understanding of the regulatory requirements that it will need to comply with to stay in the U.K., and showed its commitment to ensuring full compliance going forward. 

No License Yet

By expanding into the U.K., Fidelity will be able to provide hedge funds, multinational businesses, and other institutional investors looking for a chance to diversify their portfolios with easy access to the crypto space. However, as a post from Financial News London explained, the company is entering the country without any extra regulatory licenses. 

The company launched its digital asset service in the United States last year, and has already gotten regulatory clearance from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). However, company chief executive Michael O’Reilly explained to Financial News they’re not aware of any additional regulatory clearance that they need to operate within the U.K. 

“Obviously, we’ll make sure that we’re compliant with any U.K. or any other licenses that are required, but at this point, our understanding is that we do not require any additional licensing to do this in the U.K,” he explained.

Support for Ether a Possibility 

For now, the company plans that its U.K. branch will only provide services related to Bitcoin. However, there is an opportunity for them to branch out next year. Recently, Tom Jessup, the chief executive of Fidelity Digital Assets, explained in a podcast that there is a significant possibility of the company rolling out support for Ether in the new year. On the podcast, he spoke on the company and their direction, adding that while they’ve done much work with the top altcoin, they’re seeing signs that their customers will be interested in it, and there are signals that they will be providing support for it in the near future. 

The podcast also saw Jessop address issues with institutional crypto adoption. As he sees it, institutions’ appetite for the asset class has so far been stifled by price volatility, a lack of regulatory clarity, and a notable absence of a considerable track record. However, he expressed confidence that these issues will be treated as time goes on. 

“Meaning like, ‘How do I know that if I buy this thing, it’s gonna be around tomorrow? Like what indicia of durability or longevity do I have based on the fact that the history of this asset is 10 years old?’ I think many of these things solve themselves with time,” he asserted.

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