The crypto market is having a choppy, bearish week, but there’s been no shortage of bullish institutional news to grab by the horns. Case in point: financial services giant Fidelity Investments is set to grow its crypto-focused team, Fidelity Digital Assets (FDA), by 70%.

According to a Bloomberg report this week, the asset manager’s president Tom Jessop confirmed FDA is looking to add about 100 staff to its Boston, Salt Lake City and Dublin offices.

There are currently 18 positions up for grabs on the firm’s careers portal. Unfortunately, Casual Work From Home Consultant With No Blockchain Experience isn’t one of them.

Partnered with crypto lender BlockFi, FDA offers custodial holding of crypto assets as well as a trading desk. It also lets institutional clients pledge Bitcoin as collateral against cash loans.

Because crypto markets have no closing bell and are open 24/7, Fidelity is also looking to offer trading for most hours of “most of the week”, which should please crypto traders like this:

Into the Ether

Ethereum moonboys (Ed: moonpeople) will particularly like this from Jessop: “We’ve seen more interest from Ether, so we want to be ahead of that demand.”

That oughta keep the fact ETH has dipped back below US$2K this week in some sort of perspective.

“Bitcoin has been the entry for a lot of institutions,” Jessop explained. “It’s now really opening up a window on what else is going on in the space.”

Fidelity isn’t the only institution probably scouring the interwebs right about now for hoodie-wearing talent. The second-largest bank in the US, Bank of America, is also making a crypto move. According to Bloomberg, BoA is creating a team “dedicated to researching crypto assets and related technologies”.


Recap: The herd came, and it’s still coming 

Ex Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, now CEO of Galaxy Digital, was telling anyone who cared a good year ago that the “herd is coming”. He was referring to institutional players entering the crypto investment world.

It may feel at times more like an Easter Show display than a full-on stampede, but when you begin to list them all, he wasn’t wrong.

In the past six months to a year, the cryptoverse has been introduced to numerous fund managers with billions of dollars spilling from their pockets and dominating headlines.

Some of them have Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF (exchange traded fund) applications piling up in the SEC’s in-tray, too. Crypto commentators and influencers such as Lark Davis and Alex Saunders often remind their subscribers that a Bitcoin ETF is a matter of “when not if”.

Notable big players now either full-on championing or gaming the crypto space, or just wading in, include Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest, the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini, Grayscale, large financial institutions in Korea, plus more US investment banking giants than you can shake a hardware wallet at.

In addition to Fidelity and BoA, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BlackRock (“dabbling”, apparently) and Goldman Sachs have all been increasing their exposure to crypto this year. The latter recently labelled and legitimised Bitcoin as an entire “new asset class”.


Laser eyes and sovereign states

Then there are legendary Wall Street hedge fund types such as Paul Tudor Jones, Ray Dalio and Mexico’s second richest man, Ricardo Salinas Pilego… all with a toe, foot or more dipped right into the orange coin.

And let’s not forget Tesla (okay, who knows what Elon’s Dogecoin game really is), PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and MicroStrategy‘s laser-eyed BTC permabull Michael Saylor.

The June news that El Salvador passed a bill in seemingly record time to accept Bitcoin as legal tender is also still gaining traction and helping to float positive sentiment.

And its Central American neighbour Paraguay is also reportedly looking to embrace Bitcoin. Although, perhaps not quite in the same capacity as El Salvador, according to a Decrypt report and the leaked draft of a bill proposed by congressman Carlos Rejala on Wednesday.

But this is all just scratching the surface. There’s so much global institutional interest, it’s difficult to keep up. Of course, there’s a fair chance some of these high-falutin’ johnny-come-latelys have brought their high-falutin’, market-manipulating games with them. Possibly.

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for Guggenheim Investments CIO Scott Minerd’s next Bitcoin price analysis. Maybe he can split the difference between the US$600K BTC top prediction he made in February and the US$10K he’s been calling for in the past week or so.