Bitcoin is drawing in the banking world's core customers, Fidelity exec says

Episode 17 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Fidelity Digital Assets’ Christine Sandler. 

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Fidelity Digital Assets — the cryptocurrency division of multi-trillion asset manager Fidelity — is among the several firms riding the institutional bitcoin wave. 

FDA, which launched amid a bitcoin bear market in 2018, offers trading and custody services to a wide range of institutional firms. On this episode of The Scoop, Fidelity's Christine Sandler — a veteran of the trading world — walked through the breakneck growth of the crypto market in the past six months and explained how Fidelity has positioned itself during this period. 

Sandler, who previously held positions at Coinbase, New York Stock Exchange, and Barclays, said Fidelity's crypto unit experienced 4x growth during 2020 and is currently working with hedge funds, corporates, family offices, and registered investment advisers.

"Our overall account growth was absolutely phenomenal," Sandler said. "We saw participation across all segments. So whether it was corporations adopting it and putting assets on their balance sheet, or hedge funds beginning to approach this from a strategic perspective, registered investment advisors, family offices, ultra-high net worth individuals."

Fidelity also works with large banks on sub-custody, according to Sandler. She said that these banks have sought out partners as they look to enter the market.

"They’re starting to see more of their core customers adopt either strategies or maybe think about launching an asset management business in the space and perhaps this creates this opportunity that it’s not this fledgling business anymore," she said. "It is potentially much more viable."

Sandler also discusses the growth of the crypto credit market, women in the crypto market, and rich crypto valuations during this episode of The Scoop.

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