Canadian regulators body, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), has authorized Fidelity Investments to launch a bitcoin custody and trading platform for institutional investors. A move that was said would pave the way for Canadian organizations, such as pension funds, portfolio managers, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, to invest in bitcoin.
President of Fidelity Clearing Canada, Scott Mackenzie, said: “The demand for investing in digital assets is growing significantly, and investment firms have been looking for a regulated dealer platform to access this asset class”. Adding that many bitcoin funds in Canada now utilize custodians situated in the United States, making Fidelity’s move to introduce an option to the local market improve the experience while allowing more institutional investors to buy BTC directly.
According to a survey, “Fidelity Clearing Canada provides services to more than 100 investment businesses in Canada.” “As of June 30, they represented more than $222 billion in assets under administration and management, together with Fidelity Investments Canada ULC.”
The introduction of the new platform will be Fidelity Canada’s first foray into Bitcoin. However, in 2018, Fidelity Investments Inc. established Fidelity Digital Assets, a similar offering in the United States that has since supplied institutional investors with bitcoin custody and trade execution capabilities.
“Mr. Mackenzie asserts that the company’s launch in the United States offered Fidelity Canada a four-year runway in which to quickly set up services in the cryptocurrency industry”.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies in Canada has not gone as smoothly as expected. Owing to, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange firm at the time, QuadrigaCX’s collapse after the untimely and suspicious death of Gerald Cotten, the company’s co-founder, resulted in the loss of access to assets held in cold wallets. Cotton allegedly had sole access to the wallet keys that would enable over 115,000 former QuadrigaCX customers to retrieve $143 million in deposits. A Netflix documentary on Cotten’s life and death is currently under production.