FMR LLC, which is the parent company of Fidelity Investments, has filed with the US Patent Office and Trademark Office to trademark “FIDELITYCOIN.” Application number 86699431 concerns “financial services, namely, financial exchange services for virtual currency; electronic wallets; charitable services in the nature of virtual currency.”
The trademark application was not made known to CCN until the weekend, thus reaching anyone at Fidelity for comment proved difficult. However, in December 2013, Fidelity stopped allowing clients to invest in the Bitcoin Investment Trust and gave little indication as to why. Could this be representative of a new interest in cryptocurrency?
CCN contacted Fidelity about the trademark filing, and while they wouldn’t confirm or deny that they are experimenting with their own cryptocurrency, press representative Stephen Austin told us the following:
I can confirm the filing, we are always experimenting with emerging technologies.
The revelation follows on the heels of news that Citi is working on a cryptocurrency, Citicoin. It seems that over the years financial institutions have evolved from dismissing Bitcoin outright to embracing it to developing their own cryptocurrencies, as we see now.
News of these new “bankcoins” might be disappointing to Ripple Labs, who from the beginning have aimed to become a settlement protocol for large institutions among other uses. Recently Ripple’s Ryan Zagone joined a team investigating the use of cryptocurrencies for the Federal Reserve, called the “Faster Payments Task Force Steering Committee.” Banks would have no need of Ripple’s offerings if they simply implemented their own cryptographically secure protocols.
Featured image from Ken Wolter / Shutterstock. Logo property of FMR LLC.