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Fidelity and Goldman Sachs wade deeper into the world of crypto

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(Kitco News) - Fidelity is ramping up its efforts to entice retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies on its platform by offering commission-free trading of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) alongside traditional stock investments on its mobile app.

The new crypto offering will be powered by Fidelity Digital Assets, the company’s cryptocurrency subsidiary. To go along with the announcement of commission-free crypto trading, the financial services firm opened up a waiting list for Fidelity Crypto so that users can get on the early access list.

At the time of writing, no specific launch date for the new offering has been provided.

The choice to launch the service comes as interest in digital assets is on the rise, with the percentage of the population who own crypto steadily increasing.

“Where our customers invest matters more than ever,” Fidelity said in a statement shared with CNBC. “A meaningful portion of Fidelity customers are already interested in and own crypto. We are providing them with tools to support their choice, so they can benefit from Fidelity’s education, research, and technology.”

According to the brokerage firm, while only Bitcoin and Ether will available at launch, additional cryptocurrencies are in the process of being evaluated and could be added in the future.

In lieu of commission fees, Fidelity indicated that a spread of 1% would be incorporated into every trade. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell prices quoted for an asset.

The new product comes just weeks after Fidelity Institutional President Michael Durbin stated that he sees more room for crypto in consumer portfolios. In October, the firm launched Ether custody and trading services for its high-net-worth clients, and bank in April, it announced plans to allow retirement savers to directly invest in Bitcoin through their 401(k) accounts.

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Goldman Sachs launches a crypto data service

In other crypto-related news from major financial services providers, Goldman Sachs has revealed that it is working with index provider MSCI and crypto data firm Coin Metrics to develop a crypto classification service.

The new service has been dubbed Datonomy, which is a play on taxonomy – the scientific term for naming and classifying the natural world.

Institutional investors will be the main target for the investment bank’s new crypto classification service as the firm looks to help investors make sense of crypto.

“This new classification system for digital assets aims to provide market participants with a consistent view of the market, allowing them to track trends across different industries, such as Smart Contract Platforms and Decentralized Finance, screen assets by a range of different filters based on their objectives, and understand aggregated properties of these assets at the portfolio level,” the brokerage firm said in its press release.

According to Anne Marie Darling, head of marquee client strategy and distribution at Goldman Sachs, the firm has made the creation of reliable data services for the emerging digital asset community one of its strategic points of focus moving forward.

Datonomy is designed to “provide a consistent, standardized way to help market participants view and analyze the digital assets ecosystem,” according to Goldman Sachs, and will “help create an increased level of transparency into how the market is moving and can be licensed for a variety of use cases, such as the review and assessment of portfolio performance and reporting.”

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