Tech trailblazer Fidelity Investments
has just set its sights on the next big thing: blockchain.
| Abigail P. Johnson|
Chairman and CEO
, the firm's incubator, has joined The Initiatives for CryptoCurrencies & Contracts (IC3)
, a group of academics working
to advance the development of blockchain technology, the powerful distributed ledger that's currently most closely associated with the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Fidelity is the first financial services company to partner with IC3.
According to a blog post
from Fidelity Labs, the firm will "explore a rich spectrum of new financial instruments and business tools that could someday improve the Fidelity customer experience..."
But it's not entirely about the customer — as an early proponent of the technology, Fidelity has a lot to gain from advancing blockchain development. The firm registered for a trademark for "Fidelitycoin" as far back as July 2015, reports Greg Ryan
of the Boston Business Journal
. In February of this year, it filed a patent for a method of using blockchain to process elections and authenticate votes, according to reports
. The quicker blockchain use becomes a reality, the quicker Fidelity cashes in.
Fidelity has an established reputation as a first-mover in tech. Undeniably, widespread adoption of Bitcoin and other blockchain-based applications might still be a ways off (Bitcoin suffered a highly-publicized setback when the SEC struck down the Winklevoss twins' Bitcoin ETF
in early March and another
similar proposal later in the month). But, if Fido is getting involved, it might be a trend worth watching.
IC3 is based at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in NYC and includes faculty members from Cornell and UC Berkeley. Other partners, aside from Fidelity, include IBM and Intel.
, and Bitcoin Magazine
also reported on the story.
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