It’s the year of the Bitcoin (or at least the year of the Blockchain,) and many different stakeholders, from big regulators to small investors, are getting attracted to this digital asset – cashing in on short term Bitcoin value increases, and buying and holding for the long term.
Amidst the fray, brokerages like Fidelity are getting on board to with plans to get on board with BTC.
“In an interview with Bloomberg, Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson described the company’s initial foray into the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces,” wrote Nathan Reiff at Investopedia in June. “She described a scenario-planning exercise that took place within the firm and which imagined the impact on Fidelity’s business of a world in which ‘capital markets became completely frictionless.’ That happened just prior to the launch of bitcoin in 2010, at which point, Johnson says, ‘A few of us were like, ‘Oh, this is kind of actually what we were just talking about in our crazy scenario plan.’’ The exploration of the cryptocurrency industry then took place over an extended period of time.”
Not so with one of the most prominent financial advisor names in the industry.
New remarks from Charles Schwab reps show that that firm is not planning to get directly involved in cryptocurrency anytime soon.
With $3.2 trillion in assets under its control, Charles Schwab is America’s largest investment brokerage firm.
According to Cointelegraph, Schwab’s managing director for corporate communications Rob Farmer recently told reporters that the firm is not building in cryptocurrency trading services right now.
According to some critics, later may be too late.
Tim Welsh of Nexus Strategy and Larkspur, quoted in the Cointelegraph coverage, suggests the company is “sleepwalk(ing) through innovation.”
It’s a powerful visual, as there seems to be a real immediacy to getting in on the Bitcoin rush – although some analysts suggest it’s too early for firms like Schwab to move in. They point to the risks inherent in developing initiatives for cryptocurrency.
However, with Bitcoin ATMs on the streets, new Bitcoin investor products rushed to market, and thawing by American regulators as well as global agencies, we can reasonably expect that the sea change toward crypto currencies is likely to continue in some form.