Notes and Trends: Fidelity forges ahead on crypto
- January 1, 2023: Vol. 10, Number 1

Notes and Trends: Fidelity forges ahead on crypto

by Mike Consol

Even as the value of cryptocurrencies has plummeted and the very survival of the digital currencies is being called into question, the space still got a vote of confidence from Fidelity, which launched its new crypto trading accounts for retail investors. The only cryptocurrencies available to trade on the Fidelity Crypto platform as of now are bitcoin and Ethereum, but Fidelity says “additional cryptocurrencies are being evaluated to expand trading opportunities over time.” Fidelity Crypto is available in 35 U.S. states at present. (Kitco)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says the next generation for markets and securities will be tokenization, the process of creating digital representations of assets on the blockchain, authenticating its transaction and ownership history. In November, J.P. Morgan turned to Polygon to trade tokenized cash deposits via Onyx Digital Assets, a private blockchain created by the bank. (Dcrypt)

The U.S. Space Force, in an effort to ensure national security, is preparing to launch satellites faster than any organization has ever attempted. The prospect of losing critically important satellites during war has led to organize a rapid response experiment that involves partner organizations launching satellites within 24 hours of receiving the “go” order. The concept is known as “tactically responsive space.” Millennium Space, a subsidiary of Boeing, won the contract for the program on Aug. 15. (Gizmodo)

Household debt soared at its fastest pace in 15 years as credit card use and mortgage balances surged, according to the New York Fed. Total debt jumped by $351 billion for the July-to-September period, the largest nominal quarterly increase since 2007, bringing the collective U.S. household debt to a record $16.5 trillion. Consumer credit card balance collectively rose more than 15 percent from the same period in 2021, the largest annual jump in more than 20 years. The increase stems from a combination of robust consumer demand and higher prices. (CNBC)

GM said it will sell 1 million EVs annually starting in 2025. The company projects its EV program will be “solidly profitable” by then. In its most recent earnings report, GM said it was on track to sell 44,000 Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs — at a loss — in the United States by the end of 2022. (The Verge)

Battery-powered cars now make up the fastest-growing segment of the auto market, with sales jumping 70 percent in the first nine months of 2022 from the same period in 2021. Sales of conventional cars and trucks fell 15 percent in the same period. Additionally, electric vehicles’ share of new vehicle sales almost doubled year-over-year in the first nine months of 2022, jumping to 5.6 percent. (Cox Automotive, New York Times)

Italian energy giant Enel SpA is readying a massive solar-manufacturing push in the United States, including plans for a factory that will make solar cells, a key part of the supply chain that currently doesn’t exist in the United States. Enel said it is planning a factory that can initially produce 3 gigawatts — and ultimately as much as 6 gigawatts — of solar panels. (WSJ)

Amazon has set up its second AWS cloud computing region in India and says the division will invest more than $4.4 billion in the South Asian market by 2030. In the past three months, Amazon Web Services has announced plans to invest $2.5 billion in Spain, $5.9 billion in Switzerland, $5 billion in Thailand, and more than $5 billion in the UAE. (TechCrunch)

Data center developers in Northern Virginia are running into growing opposition from local residents, and insiders warn that developers need to prepare for worsening conditions. Heated debates over proposals such as Prince William County’s Digital Gateway — which opens up more than 2,000 acres to data center development — now receive regular coverage in newspapers and TV news broadcasts. (Bisnow)

Shell has entered the biogas business in a big way, paying nearly $2 billion to acquire Denmark’s Nature Energy Biogas A/S, which produces a renewable fuel called biomethane. Biogas can be captured from decomposing landfill and farm waste and made into alternative fuel for heavy trucks and power plants. The decomposition process releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. The goal is to cut emissions by processing the biogas into usable, transportable fuel. Nature Energy is Europe’s biggest producer of biogas from organic waste, and the deal comes on the heels of Shell’s acquisition of U.S. biogas producer Archaea Energy. (WSJ)

Tesla released a timelapse video of one of its all-electric semi-trucks driving a 500-mile journey while carrying 82,000 pounds, the equivalent of a full load, on a single charge. (The Byte)

In August, Los Angeles lost its title as busiest port in the nation to the Port of New York and New Jersey, as measured by the number of imported containers. It trailed its East Coast rival again in that measure during September and October, according to the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and ports data. (WSJ)

Mike Consol ( is senior editor of Real Assets Adviser. Follow him on Twitter (@mikeconsol) and LinkedIn ( to read his latest postings.

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