Fidelity Labs, the research and development branch of the privately owned investment manager Fidelity Investments, will now offer the ability to view Coinbase account balances alongside traditional online banking accounts.
This experiment is designed to provide customers with the ability to view their total financial holdings, including cryptocurrency accounts on Coinbase, from the Fidelity online banking portal. The hope is that this new integrated functionality will help to answer the question of whether a person’s digital asset holdings constitute part of their overall financial picture.
The initial staging was reported earlier this year when notoriety around the partnership began to take shape. Fidelity had been rumored to be accepting cryptocurrency payments in its cafeteria – an echo of the pro-crypto stance that was taken when the project was announced at Consensus 2016 in New York City by Chief Executive Officer Abigail Johnson.
Individual customers wishing to participate in this experiment will have the option to authorize Coinbase to provide Fidelity with account data regarding bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether holdings. This data will be used to display cryptocurrency values in their equivalent US dollar amounts, alongside other accounts in their Fidelity Portfolio Summary.
Senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs, Hadley Stern, announced:
“Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are emerging from their infancy but mass adoption is still many years away. And don’t underestimate their disruptive nature. Just as many other technologies have done in the past, Bitcoin and blockchain will transform how we manage our finances.”
While this experiment is sure to produce interesting data that can be considered while the next generation of cryptocurrency-integrated financial services products is built, the main attraction for many users of this new service may be far simpler: It’s just nice to see your crypto next to your fiat.