The new service from Fidelity comes after Bitcoin
beat its 2017 highest price earlier this month before retreating in recent days. The world’s most valuable digital asset has risen 164% this year, hitting a high of $19,462 on December 3. It traded Monday at about $18,880. Other cryptocurrencies like Ether and Litecoin have also seen gains.
Holding Bitcoin to back loans is “a foundational capability,” Jessop said. “As the markets
grow, we’d expect that this becomes a fairly important part of the ecosystem.”
Fidelity said institutional-investor interest in digital currencies is rising. A survey the asset manager conducted earlier this year found 36% of respondents held crypto in their portfolios. More than six out of 10 expressed interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, up from 47% in a 2019 survey.
Fidelity began a Bitcoin custody service last year but this is the first time it’s allowing the coins to be used as collateral. To get a loan, a Fidelity customer will have to have an account with BlockFi.