Last week was a chaotic week for the banking industry. Over the last seven days the world has seen the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, Switzerland’s central bank providing Credit Suisse with extra liquidity, and eleven big U.S. banks coming together to rescue First Republic Bank.
With all the noise in the financial markets last week Fidelity Digital Assets quietly opened the doors for millions of customers to have access to Bitcoin and Ethereum investments who previously may have been on a waitlist.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two digital assets users can trade right now and trading is commission-free. Fidelity will charge a spread of no more than 1%. Withdrawals are not available at this time.
“Fidelity Crypto is your opportunity to buy and sell bitcoin and ethereum in the Fidelity Investments App,” the company wrote on their website, promising clients the ability “to trade crypto with as little as $1 while also having an integrated view of both your traditional and crypto investments.”
Fidelity Crypto does not offer the advanced features available on competing exchanges. It doesn’t allow staking and customers will not be able to transfer Bitcoin or Ethereum out of their accounts or to external wallets. This effectively rules out self custody or decentralized finance products.
Unlike other crypto exchanges, Fidelity Crypto does not offer round-the-clock crypto transactions, with trading limited to 4 a.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern time.
Though Fidelity Crypto is limited in the user options and the serious crypto enthusiast would probably find it lacking, the firm’s brand name and track record may give some customers a level of comfort moving into a new and risky asset class like crypto.