Fidelity to Offer Bitcoin Exposure to 401(k) Investors

Photo: Getty Images [via The New York Times]

The Facts

  • Fidelity Investments, the largest provider of tax-advantaged 401(k) retirement savings plans in the US, announced that it will offer some investors a chance to invest in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

  • The investment giant's new digital assets account would only be available to investors whose employers have opted to add Bitcoin as a new investment asset.

The Spin

Narrative A

This will give Fidelity investors a means of accessing a new monetary technology with the potential to revolutionize banking and finance.

Narrative B

This is dangerous. Bitcoin remains inherently speculative and volatile. Employers and fund managers alike have a fiduciary duty to protect investors from an asset category that is insufficiently understood and regulated.

Cynical narrative

"Not your keys, not your coin." Bitcoin purists know that if you don't hold the coin yourself on a hard wallet protected by your own 12 (or 24) word seed phrase, then you don't actually hold any Bitcoin. Your assets could be subject to forfeiture or seizure.

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