A subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, launched a few years ago to allow institutional investors to store and trade bitcoin, plans to double its number of employees this year as it predicts growing demand for cryptocurrencies amid market volatility.
Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC plans to hire 110 technology workers, including engineers and developers with blockchain expertise, to build a digital infrastructure that supports services for cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin, said Tom Jessop, its president. The subsidiary also plans to add 100 customer service specialists.
The planned expansion at Fidelity Digital Assets comes after Fidelity Investments said in April that allow retirement savers to put bitcoin in their 401(k) accounts later this year, the first major retirement plan provider to do so.
At Fidelity Digital Assets, founded in 2018The technology hires will help build infrastructure to support custody and trading services for ether, the digital currency on the Ethereum network, Jessop said. The platform was built to handle the storage, protection, and trading of bitcoin.
The team will also migrate the platform’s data and applications to the cloud to support faster transactions and 24-hour business support and ensure the platform continues to offer institutional-grade security as it grows, Jessop said. In addition, the team will work on tax reporting and compliance tools, she said.
Despite market turmoil, including a sharp drop in cryptocurrency prices in recent weeksFidelity Digital Assets said it planned to continue investing in technology that supports cryptocurrency trading.
“We’re trying not to focus on recessions and focus on some of the long-term indicators,” such as customer demand, Jessop said. “We are trying to build infrastructure for the future because we measure success over years and decades, not weeks and months.”
Mr. Jessop joined Fidelity in January 2018 after a nine-month stint as blockchain firm president Chain Inc. Prior to Chain, he spent 17 years in various senior positions at
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The effects of falling crypto prices on Fidelity Digital Assets have been minimal, Jessop said, though he acknowledged that new customer acquisition has slowed.
Fidelity Digital Assets has about 400 clients, including registered investment advisers, hedge funds and asset managers, according to Terrence Dempsey, the subsidiary’s chief product officer.
The demand for engineers and developers working on blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives continues to grow regardless of market pressures, said Dylan Gomez, director and head of software engineering at financial services recruiter Selby Jennings. “There is definitely more competition and compensation has increased,” he said.
According to information technology trade group CompTIA, between January 1 and May 24, job postings that require cryptographic skills it had quadrupled from the previous year’s period.
The continued interest in crypto and blockchain talent from large traditional financial services firms is a sign that digital currencies are becoming the center of their business, Mr. Gomez added.
write to Suman Bhattacharyya in [email protected]
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