Bitcoin is 'digital gold' and the blockchain has the potential to 'change the world,' according to the senior vice president at Fidelity Labs.
Responsible for running Fidelity's bitcoin, blockchain and digital currency incubator, Hadley Stern and his team have been experimenting with the distributed ledger. Speaking on CNBC's Closing Bell Stern said:
The big story is you can transfer value through software and software alone. This is a huge societal breakthrough.
He adds that whether bitcoin survives, it could be a stepping stone to other innovations that produce better results.
I do think [cryptocurrencies] will make things, whether it's bitcoin or something else, faster and cheaper and create new products and services that we can't even imagine.
These comments from Fidelity come at a time when Fidelity Investments announced last week that it would allow its clients to view their bitcoin and ethereum holdings on Coinbase.
Back in May, the company’s CEO, Abigail Johnson, said that it was testing a Coinbase integration with its employees and that the service would be introduced in the second or third quarter of 2017. Now, in a rare move from a financial establishment, Fidelity Investments are embracing the world of digital currencies to learn more about it instead of shying away from it.
Unlike most financial service institutions Fidelity Investments has taken a more open approach to the space. So much so, that in April it was reported that the financial service provider had joined the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3), a research group mainly consisting of academic establishments.
Not only that, but in 2015 CCN reported that Fidelity filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademarn FIDELITYCOIN. According to the application, it covers financial exchange services for digital currencies and electronic wallets.
Even though the price of bitcoin has shot up to over $4,200 in a new historic high, Stern states that the company's embracive approach has nothing to do with its price.
This is an experiment in the spirit of learning what these crypto assets are like and how our customers may want to interact with them.
Featured image from Shutterstock.