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Even though the crypto bear market remains in full swing, the fundamentals paint a different picture. While probably the biggest news came from Russia before Christmas, when the head of the Congressional Finance Committee said that the country plans to legalize international bitcoin and crypto trading in January, a lot is happening on U.S. soil as well.
U.S. investment giant Fidelity Investments, which manages a total of $4.5 trillion in assets, recently filed several crypto-related patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As the applications indicate, Fidelity plans to serve its clients in a crypto-powered metaverse.
Fidelity filed three patent applications on Dec. 21 related to Web3 products and services, including an NFT marketplace and a crypto trading platform in the metaverse.
Further, the patent applications include a recommendation service for investment advice and financial planning in the metaverse. Fidelity aims to provide information in the metaverse about virtual real estate investing, as well as crypto trading and exchange services, charitable fundraising services, life insurance and annuities, as well as retirement and stock purchase plans.
Notably, the applications also target investment services for mutual funds and pension funds in the metaverse. However, as usual, the patents are very general. Accordingly, there is no mention of whether the investment giant is targeting existing metaverses, and if so, which ones.
It is therefore questionable whether Fidelity is following other industry giants such as JP Morgan, which opened a virtual lounge in Decentraland in February to promote its proprietary blockchain network Onyx. In contrast, the Union Bank of India chose The Sandbox to host a Metaverse hangout in July.
Remarkably, Fidelity defied the bear market this year and used the time for its crypto expansion. In addition to its recent patents, Fidelity has been very bullish on the crypto industry throughout the year.
After offering only a Bitcoin investment vehicle for a long time, Fidelity Digital Assets launched its Ethereum Index Fund in October. A month ago, Fidelity announced a crypto platform for its retail clients, where customers can buy and sell Bitcoin and Ether without paying a commission after opening a brokerage account with Fidelity.
While facing regulatory headwinds in the U.S., Fidelity also began offering the option to invest retirement funds in cryptocurrencies in April. About 24,500 401(k) plans managed by Fidelity Investments began offering Bitcoin this fall. Employees can invest up to 20% of their 401(k) savings in Bitcoin, though their employers can set lower caps.
At press time, the Bitcoin price stood at $18,817, trading sideways in a very narrow price span for the last six days.
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