Following the DFS announcement, FDAS explained, “We look forward to making our custody and trade execution services available to firms based in New York.” The firm added, “We have experienced a high interest level from these firms and anticipate that their increased involvement in this industry would enable more activities and development across the spectrum.”
Fidelity Investment’s digital currency arm has been licensed by the New York Department of Financial Services to operate a platform on which individuals and institutional investors can store, purchase, sell, and transfer bitcoin. The regulator also revealed that it has to date approved 23 charters or licenses for firms engaged in crypto activities.
Fidelity’s New Crypto License
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced Tuesday that it has granted a charter under the state’s banking law to Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC (FDAS) to operate as a limited liability trust company in the state of New York. The Bitlicense regulator detailed:
DFS has authorized FDAS to provide a virtual currency custody and execution platform, on which institutional investors and individuals can securely store, purchase, sell, and transfer bitcoin.
“The custody and trade execution services that we provide are essential building blocks for institutional investors’ continued adoption of digital assets,” FDAS COO Michael O’Reilly claims. “The designation as a New York trust company under the supervision and examination of the DFS builds on the credibility and trust we’re establishing amongst institutions and other market participants.”
FDAS is a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest financial services providers with more than $7.2 trillion in client assets under administration and over 1.3 million trades processed each day, according to its website. Established in October last year, the digital asset subsidiary aims to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for storing, trading, and servicing eligible digital assets. Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, said in March that his company had been adding institutional investor clients such as hedge funds and family offices, but noted that certain aspects were still a work in progress.
23 Approvals so Far
Prior to the charter granted to Fidelity, the DFS had issued 22 others since it began approving crypto businesses in 2015. The regulator revealed:
Including the charter granted to FDAS, to date DFS has approved 23 charters or licenses for companies engaged in virtual currency business activities.
The last company that the DFS approved before Fidelity was Bakkt Trust Company LLC. The company was granted a charter under the state’s banking law in August and proceeded to launch regulated bitcoin futures on the NYSE.
Several other firms have been approved by the DFS this year to operate crypto businesses. In September, the regulator green-lighted the first gold-backed digital currency in the state. Paxos, formerly Itbit, was approved to offer three asset-backed tokens: Paxos Standard (PAX); PAX Gold, an asset-backed token pegged to gold; and BUSD, an asset-backed token pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Furthermore, the DFS also approved Seed Digital Commodities Market, Zero Hash, Bitstamp, and Tagomi Trading this year. One company was denied, however. In April, the regulator rejected Bittrex’s applications to engage in crypto and money transmission activities in the state of New York.
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