Jurica Bulovic, a former Fidelity executive and current head of mining at Foundry, stated that Fidelity could have been a formidable competitor to Coinbase in the cryptocurrency exchange sector. The comments were made in a Wall Street Journal article, sparking discussions about what could have been a different landscape in the crypto industry.
According to Bulovic, Fidelity could be as significant a player as Coinbase. He argues that the financial giant should have been more aggressive in its early days of venturing into digital assets. “Fidelity could have been more aggressive,” he said, emphasizing that the company had a unique advantage over its traditional finance competitors.
Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy Digital, concurs. He notes that Fidelity was ahead of the curve, delving into the crypto space earlier than most conventional financial institutions. “Fidelity has been doing it longer than any other regular financial institution,” Thorn stated. He added that the company’s early investment in the sector made it an attractive destination for top talent in the industry.
Interestingly, Fidelity Investments CEO Abby Johnson had a more bullish stance on Bitcoin (BTC), especially compared to other traditional finance (TradFi) executives like Jamie Dimon, CEO of Goldman Sachs. Matt Walsh, founding partner at Castle Island Ventures, pointed out the contrasting views. “Jamie Dimon compared Bitcoin to tulip bubbles, while Abby was on the other end of the spectrum,” Walsh said.
However, despite Johnson’s initial enthusiasm, a combination of factors led her to scale back Fidelity’s crypto ambitions. The Wall Street Journal article cites a lack of regulatory clarity and internal and external pressures as key reasons for the shift in strategy.
Fidelity and other major financial players like BlackRock and Ark Invest are currently applying for an ETF license to trade spot Bitcoin. Unfortunately, their applications have not received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).