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The financial services giant Fidelity is putting more money in cryptocurrency-related services, despite the recent market downturn. President Tom Jessop has confirmed that the firm will start developing services for cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin, such as Ethereum trading.
Unphased by the Bear Market
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Fidelity Digital Asset Services plans to hire 110 engineers with blockchain expertise. It will also bring 100 customer service specialists to the team.
The new hires will have to help launch Ethereum trading and custody at Fidelity. The platform was specially designed for handling and storing Bitcoin when founded in 2018. Just recently, it announced that it would become the first retirement plan provider to allow the inclusion of Bitcoin in 401(k) accounts.
The team also plans to work on speeding up transactions by moving platform data to the cloud. Furthermore, the company will work on compliance and tax reporting tools – a tough part of crypto management.
“We’re trying not to focus on the downturns and focus on some of the long-term indicators,” said Jessop when explaining the timing of the move. “We are trying to build infrastructure for the future because we measure success over years and decades, not weeks and months.”
Dylan Gomez – director at Selby Jennings – says that demand for developers in blockchain is rising irrespective of market movements.
“Continued interest in crypto and blockchain talent from large, traditional financial-services firms is a sign that digital currencies are becoming core to their business,” he added.
Bitcoin VS Ethereum
Fidelity has previously singled out Bitcoin as “different” from all other cryptocurrencies. The company put special emphasis on the asset in its reports, believing it to have fulfilled a market niche similar to digital gold.
Ethereum, by contrast, was believed not to be a competitor to Bitcoin, as the latter had already perfected money.
“No other digital asset is likely to improve upon bitcoin as a monetary good because bitcoin is the most secure, decentralized, sound digital money and any “improvement” will necessarily face tradeoffs,” stated the report from January.
That said, the company still acknowledged that Ethereum fulfilled a different market niche, and could be complementary rather than competitive. The firm believes Ethereum and altcoins exhibit more venture-capital-like qualities – just as legendary investor Bill Miller has hypothesized.