Fidelity to allow clients to view Digital Currencies on Website

According to Reuters, Fidelity Investments will allow its clients to see their holdings of virtual currencies such as bitcoin which are held on the digital asset exchange Coinbase on the company’s site, Abigail Johnson, Chief Executive said on Tuesday.

This implementation will make Fidelity one of few large financial service firms to have integrated digital currencies on its website for clients to view.  Currently the company is testing the digital currency with its employees, Johnson said.  "I love this stuff – bitcoin, ethereum, blockchain technology – and what the future holds," Johnson said at a blockchain conference called Consensus in New York City. 

Although many large financial service firms have neglected virtual currencies, Fidelity is one of the few investment companies to openly back digital currency.  "We have built proofs of concepts that accept bitcoin micro-transactions," Johnson said. "We set up small bitcoin and ethereum mining operations, just done in the spirit of learning." 

Fidelity has been testing bitcoins internally in its cafeteria where less than 100 employees have made purchases using the virtual currency, Johnson stated.  "If you are looking for bitcoin to beat Visa at the point of sale today, you are going to be disappointed, Johnson said. "If you are looking at this technology as just a faster settlement system for financial transactions … also disappointing."

Although negative views have emerged on the virtual currency, the asset manager has faith in them, Johnson added.  "But I am still a believer – and it's no accident that I'm one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services firm that hasn't given up on digital currencies," Johnson said.

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