Fidelity, one of the world’s largest financial services providers, has officially started opening retail bitcoin trading accounts.
The development comes after their announcement of a wait list previously this month. According to a report by The Block, certain users, presumably those on the wait list, received an email detailing the release, which stated that “The wait is over.”
Fidelity has been active in the bitcoin industry for some time — according to the company website, it began mining bitcoin in 2014. In addition, it launched a spot bitcoin ETF in Canada in December of 2021.
The financial services giant’s interest in bitcoin has not come without criticism, having been the subject of U.S. senators’ scrutiny for its offering of a 401k plan that allows users to allocate to bitcoin.
The same criticism has resurfaced again recently, from the same group of senators, who stated in their latest letter, “Fidelity Investments has opted to expand beyond traditional finance and delve into the highly unstable and increasingly risky digital asset market.”
Despite these warnings, Fidelity appears to be diving headfirst into bitcoin, as interest in bitcoin amongst the traditional finance community continues to grow. It should be noted, the move comes at a particularly interesting time, given recent developments surrounding the collapse of FTX and the heightened attention being paid to volatility in the industry.
With industry perception perched so precariously, the actions of behemoths like Fidelity will almost certainly have ramifications for the future of bitcoin regulation.
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