Fidelity launches crypto trading for retail investors

Fidelity Investments, one of the largest brokerages in the world, has officially rolled out a commission-free crypto trading product for retail investors, starting with zero-fee trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The investment powerhouse has opened up a wait list for its new service, dubbed ‘Fidelity Crypto,’ earlier this month. Today, some users received an email detailing the release, which stated that “The wait is over” and that they are now able to fund a new crypto account.

Fidelity doesn’t have a date identified for when all customers will receive full access. Invitations will be sent based on timing of sign-ups and state eligibility, the firm said in an FAQ. It will also offer custody and trading of the supported coins, while allowing users to have an integrated view of both crypto and traditional investments.

“Fidelity Crypto is your opportunity to buy and sell bitcoin and ethereum in the Fidelity Investments App. Users will be able to trade crypto with as little as $1 while also having an integrated view of both your traditional and crypto investments.” The broker will collect a spread at no more than 1%, according to its website.

In the email, Fidelity explains that users have to read and accept some risk disclosures. They are made to understand that “investing in, buying, and selling digital assets presents a variety of risks that are not presented by investing in, buying, and selling products in other, more traditional asset classes.”

The milestone comes barely a few days after three Democratic senators urged Fidelity to reconsider its retirement product that allows investors to put bitcoin in their 401(k)s, citing the rapid downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire.

United States senators Elizabeth Warren, Tina Smith and Richard Durbin said in a letter addressed to Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson that while the full extent of the damage caused by FTX’s collapse continues to unfold, the contagion is being felt across the broader digital asset market. Bitcoin is no exception, they warned.

FTX aside, the lawmakers said that cryptocurrency investments have only grown as a risky and speculative gamble, and they are concerned that Fidelity would take these risks with millions of Americans’ retirement savings.

With more than $10 trillion in assets under administration, Fidelity is the US largest retirement plans provider, and its decision was seen as a major catalyst to make crypto even more mainstream. The crypto offering is available for 23,000 employers that use Fidelity to administer their 401(k) retirement accounts.