Fidelity Investments is to allow both its own staff and clients to use bitcoin in a sign of the growing acceptance of the crypto-currency.
Employees of the US fund giant can now pay for their lunch at the office canteen with bitcoin, reports the Financial Times, reflecting the firm’s desire to position itself at the forefront of developing technology.
The company’s chief executive Abigail Johnson, in a speech on Tuesday, also said that its US clients will be able to add their bitcoin investments to their portfolios, giving a more accurate picture of their overall net worth.
Speaking at a New York blockchain conference yesterday, Reuters reports Johnson as saying: ‘I love this stuff – bitcoin, ethereum, blockchain technology – and what the future holds.’
Bitcoin hit a record high earlier this week after passing through the $2,200 mark, but its reputation for facilitating dubious transactions has deterred many mainstream financial institutions from accepting the currency.
But Fidelity has dipped its toe into blockchain, the electronic ledger that logs bitcoin movements.
‘I am in a traditional financial services business, but we at Fidelity can see that the evolution of technology is setting our industry up for disruption,’ Johnson said, reports the FT. ‘What if this technology could do for the transfer of value, what the internet did for the transfer of information?’