One of the world’s largest asset managers, Fidelity Investments, is doubling down on its involvement in Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency has continued to gain traction on Wall Street. Forbes reported on Wednesday that the company has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a Bitcoin-focused fund.
For years, Fidelity has been dabbling in Bitcoin.
As explained by the company’s cryptocurrency lead Tom Jessop in a podcast, the company has a self-started Bitcoin mining operation that dates back to 2015. The mining operation is so extensive that Fidelity’s chief executive, Abagail Johnson, actually has ASICs in her office. Fidelity also accepted bitcoin in its cafeteria.
The $2.8 trillion asset manager is doing much more than these experiments, though.
On August 26, the company filed a Form D to the U.S. SEC for the “Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I, LP,” a fund incorporated earlier this year. A Form D is used to file notice of an exempt offering of securities to the SEC.
According to Forbes, it is hard to obtain nuance about the fund as there is not much information contained in the form.
What is known, though, is that the minimum investment to join the fund is $100,000 USD. Forbes believes that this is a sign the fund is “only for institutional and accredited investors.” Most mom and pop investors lack the capital, of course, to invest $100,000 USD into a single vehicle. It isn’t entirely clear who the fund is targeted at, though, as there are currently zero investors with allocations to the vehicle.
Fidelity may be launching this fund in response to the strong institutional demand for Bitcoin it gauged with recent surveys.
Earlier this year, Fidelity Digital Assets, the company’s cryptocurrency branch, reported that 36% of 774 American and European institutions it surveyed have exposure to the cryptocurrency market. “Over a quarter” of those surveyed own Bitcoin.
The survey also found that approximately three-quarters of the respondents find at least one thing interesting about the cryptocurrency market.
In launching Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I, LP, Fidelity is expanding on the vested interest it has in Bitcoin already.
The company made headlines in 2018 when it launched Fidelity Digital Assets, a branch of the Wall Street giant focused on providing cryptocurrency services to its institutional clientele. Fidelity has purportedly focused its efforts on Bitcoin, executing trades and storing bitcoin for its clients.
Only recently did Fidelity Digital Assets exit its “beta” phase, with Johnson telling the Financial Times in October 2019 that the branch of the company is engaged in a “full rollout of its custody and trading services.”