Updated 20 Apr, 2021

Fidelity Head of Digital Assets: “Bitcoin at a Tipping Point”

Fidelity Head of Digital Assets_ “Bitcoin at a Tipping Point”

Key Takeaways

  • Tom Jessop says Bitcoin’s institutional adoption will continue growing
  • He argues that low rates environment drives more demand for bitcoin and crypto assets

No Stopping Crypto Adoption

Tom Jessop, the head of Fidelity Digital Assets at Fidelity Investments, expects to see increased adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, given the booming interest from traditional finance to get involved in the crypto space. According to Tom Jessop, Bitcoin has been making solid progress and has reached a “tipping point” due to the continued “unprecedented monetary and fiscal support”.

A Host of Reasons Driving Adoption

“I think we continue to see adoption at an accelerated pace for a host of reasons,” Mr. Jessop said. He argued that the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep the interest rate near zero and easy money policies going has driven retail and institutional investors to look to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that have been skyrocketing this year.

“We’re not going to get out of this stimulating environment anytime soon,” Mr. Jessop said, referring to government stimulus being injected into the US economy. “I think we’ve reached a tipping point.” The head of Fidelity Digital Assets also noted that against the backdrop of the pandemic, bitcoin, and the crypto market as a whole, have enjoyed peak popularity among institutions and corporations.

“I think you’ve had the accumulated experience of now roughly 12 years of the bitcoin blockchain being operative since the genesis block in early 2009. And the pandemic, quite frankly, was a catalyst for institutional adoption, and specifically bitcoin and the narrative, or use-case, around digital gold.”

Fidelity’s Crypto Plan

Fidelity has long been a participant in the digital asset market. In 2015, the firm began exploring bitcoin, and then in 2017, it started experimenting with bitcoin. One of the first steps was to allow its clients to view their holdings of bitcoin and other crypto-assets held with Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, which currently became a public company. The investment firm created the Digital Asset unit, headed by Tom Jessop, in 2019.

More recently, in March this year, Fidelity Investments filed for permission by the SEC to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). If approved, Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETF would be the first in the US.