Blockstream Unveils Mining Facilities and A Collocation Service

Blockstream, a leading blockchain technology platform based in Canada, has just launched Blockstream Mining, a mining collocation service, along with the mining pool. The company made an official announcement through a blog post published on August 8.

Through the blog post the company revealed two massive data centers for enterprise class collocation services, along with Blockstream Pool, using the BetterHash protocol. This solves a key issue with many mining pools, in which the pool operators determine which transactions to include. Hence decentralization is increased, and potential attacks on the network become much more difficult.

Blockstream’s mining data center will host its clients’ mining activities in addition to Blockstream’s own mining operations.

In addition to that, this collocation service will allow businesses complete mining operations monitoring and control as well as the option to manage them remotely. The blog further denotes that there is a qualified team on deck to handle all the requirements: from the safe shipment of the mining equipment and reliable installation to real-time control and analytics to on-site tech support.

Currently, the service is available only to institutional and enterprise customers. However, the company has stated that operations support, along with more services, geared towards individuals as well as small businesses, will be soon added. The mining facility counts Fidelity Center for Applied Technology and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman as one the first clients of their new mining service.

According to the blog post, Blockstream Mining will provide mining equipment collocation service in the firm’s data centers – Quebec and most recent one, Georgia – as well as all over North America. The data centers account respectively for a combined 300 megawatts of energy capacity. At full capacity, populated with the latest mining rigs, this could account for around 7.5% of the entire network hashrate.

Blockstream CSO Samson Mow has disclosed that the platform’s mining efforts were mostly based on concerns about the network’s future:

“We began self-mining back in 2017 after being motivated by widespread concern that mining decentralization was declining. At the time it appeared that parties involved in ASIC manufacture, hosting, and pool operations were becoming a centralizing force and holding back Bitcoin from reaching its full potential. We figured we could use our Bitcoin expertise to improve the situation.”

Meanwhile, Blockstream has previously raised $90 million from investors including Khosla Ventures, AXA Venture Partners, and Reid Hoffman. The firm has launched a line of varied products and services. For instance, Blockstream has been busy lately, developing its Liquid sidechain project, bringing speed and cost benefits to the Bitcoin network.

Other products made available for customers include Blockstream Green – a mobile Bitcoin wallet, as well as the Blockstream Satellite, which is a 24/7 service enabling users to broadcast and receive Bitcoin transactions and blocks from satellites.

Fidelity Digital Assets Set to Offer Bitcoin Trading in the Coming Weeks

Fidelity – $7 trillion Wall Street brokerage firm – is gearing up to trade crypto for its institutional clients, as reported by Bloomberg.

Citing an anonymous source, it has been revealed that Fidelity’s cryptocurrency-focused subsidiary, Fidelity Digital Assets, will be adding crypto trading to their list of services in the coming weeks, with no time frame yet confirmed.

The investment bank will focus their trade offering only on Bitcoin (BTC) on a preliminary basis, stated Arlene Roberts, a Fidelity spokesperson. She further added:

 “We will continue to roll out our services over the coming weeks and months based on our clients’ needs, jurisdictions, and other factors. Currently, our service offering is focused on Bitcoin.”

Fidelity follows in the footsteps of Robinhood as well as ETrade Financial Corp as they both have recently introduced crypto trading to their institutional investors. Custody services for Bitcoin by the digital assets wing of the investment banking giant have already been functioning for the past few months.

Fidelity’s custody business for BTC has been up-and-running for the past couple of months and with the recent development the firm will now help those same clients trade in the nascent digital currency market — a service the firm has planned to offer since it announced the launch of its subsidiary Fidelity Digital Assets back in October 2018.

Tom Jessop, head of the subsidiary, stated that the firm’s trading business will not be open to retail clientele, and will primarily target large-volume traders like other over-the-counter (OTC) offerings.

Fidelity has decided on its target audience following a survey the firm had conducted last week, which found consistent appetite for bitcoin amongst its target market. Notably, 22% of the over 400 institutional investors who took part in the survey, said they already owned the cryptocurrency as part of their portfolio and almost half were sympathetic to including it.

In a press release, Jessop has claimed that “more institutional investors are engaging with digital assets, either directly or through service providers, as the potential impact of blockchain technology on financial markets — new and old — becomes more readily apparent.”

Fidelity has been stepping up its game, especially in the institutional charge towards cryptos with their digital assets subsidiary launching. CEO Abigail Johnson, a vocal proponent of cryptocurrencies stated during the launch that the investment bank had been mining Bitcoin and Ethereum since 2017.

Fidelity Investments with Over $7 Trillion Under Management Enters the Cryptocurrency Industry

In most recent news, Fidelity Investments announced on Monday that it is launching a cryptocurrency exchange platform called Fidelity Digital Asset Services. The launch of the new exchange platform was introduced by Tom Jessup, who will be the head of the division, at Bloomberg’s Institutional Crypto event.

The company itself is one of the largest financial services providers and operates more than $7.2 trillion in client assets, has 27 million customers, and spends $2.5 billion per year on technology, partially through incubators that house its artificial intelligence and blockchain projects.

Respectively, the new exchange platform will handle cryptocurrency custody and trading services for institutional clients. Tom Jessup disclosed that the platform will for now provide its services to various institutions such as hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries, however they will not be available for retail investors yet.

The platform will offer custody for Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies at launch. According to the press release, Fidelity will hold the cryptocurrencies in cold storage as a security measure, along with “multi-level physical and cyber controls.”

As chairman of Fidelity Investments Abigail Johnson has stated “our goal is to make digitally native assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible to investors. […]We expect to continue investing and experimenting, over the long-term, with ways to make this emerging asset class easier for our clients to understand and use.”[…]

Tom Jessup goes to add to his statement:

“Those efforts have been successful in helping us understand and advance our thinking around cryptocurrencies … The creation of Fidelity Digital Assets is the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets.”

Fidelity aims to build and offer a safe and trusted space for institutional investors to trade in cryptocurrencies as institutions overall need a complex level of service and security, similar to their experience with trading stocks or bonds.

Therefore, Fidelity plans to build a “scalable infrastructure” that takes advantage of Fidelity’s existing experience in building such platforms. This has become a huge headline for the cryptocurrency scene and is seen as a catalyst for further adoption of cryptos.