Fidelity's Missed Opportunity to Rival Coinbase, According to Former Execs

Jurica Bulovic, a former executive at Fidelity who later became the head of mining at Foundry, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG) that offers mining and staking services, recently spoke about Fidelity’s missed opportunities in the crypto space.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report (titled “The ‘Fidelity Mafia’ Behind Big Crypto”) cited by an article published in The Daily Hodl, Bulovic believes that Fidelity could have been a formidable competitor to Coinbase had it been more aggressive in its approach. He stated that Fidelity lost many custody clients to Coinbase and it could have been as significant as Coinbase in the crypto industry today.

Alex Thorn, Head of Firmwide Research at Galaxy Digital, echoed Bulovic’s sentiments. Thorn highlighted that Fidelity was an early adopter in the crypto space, attracting talent and pioneering ventures into digital assets. He emphasized that Fidelity had been working on crypto much longer than any other traditional financial firm, making it an attractive destination for talent in the industry.

Matthew Walsh, a Founding Partner at Castle Island Ventures, also weighed in on the matter. He pointed out that Fidelity Investments CEO Abby Johnson had a more optimistic view of Bitcoin compared to other traditional finance veterans like Goldman Sachs CEO Jamie Dimon. While Dimon was dismissive of Bitcoin, calling it a “tulip bubble,” Johnson took the opposite stance, showing enthusiasm for the digital asset.

However, the WSJ report also noted that Johnson eventually had to pull back on her aggressive push into crypto due to a lack of regulatory clarity and both internal and external pressures. This cautious approach has left Fidelity trailing in the race to become a dominant player in the crypto industry.

Fidelity is among several traditional finance companies, including BlackRock and ARK Invest, seeking a license to issue a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). However, their applications have yet to receive approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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