Projects & Observations
We are focused on the social trends that could shape the future and the tech tools that may drive it. Our projects are informed and influenced by our engagement with experts across the research, tech and design spectrums. In this space, we share what we’re learning, what’s inspiring, and what’s next.
By: Sam Abbassi | May 5, 2021
The following is excerpted from an interview with Nik Bhatia, Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at USC Marshall. Nik recently authored Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Central Bank Digital Currencies. In this interview, Nik discusses trends that affect Bitcoin’s role globally, the role of incumbents as it relates to Bitcoin, and the impact of the Lightning Network.
Digital assets continue to display tremendous growth, as investment banks, private equity groups, financial advisors and commercial banks grow more comfortable considering crypto as a potential investment opportunity and eventually a more widely accepted medium of exchange.
Lightning is not a silver bullet, but it will significantly aid in the utility of Bitcoin and the expansion of its monetary regime.

Money invention is something that necessitates first principles. Much like our founding fathers -who found it more suitable to create a new system of government from scratch rather than monkey-patch the existing agreement called the Articles of Confederation - Bitcoiners find it more suitable to create money from scratch rather than mangle our minds and hands through the legacy infrastructure that stilts today’s existing financial system. Or even worst yet, somehow reengineer the dollar back to a hard money standard.
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BY: BRIAN WRIGHT | February 11, 2021
The following is excerpted from an interview with Apolline Blandin, Research Affiliate of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). The findings from Apolline’s research on the Bitcoin mining industry were published in the 3rd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study in 2020. In this interview Apolline discusses some of the most important trends in Bitcoin mining including cost structure and hashrate dispersion across geographies, use of renewable energy sources, and treasury management strategies. The interviewer is FCAT’s Brian Wright, senior manager of Bitcoin mining.
BY: RACHEL J RYBARCZYK | December 9, 2020
The composition of the block header is an intricate and highly consequential process. If Bitcoin is a living, breathing organism, then the block header is the heart of the entire machine. The “block” in the Bitcoin blockchain is what moves and settles millions of dollars of value every 10 minutes and in the block. The block header is what notarizes the funds in a block, votes on consensus decisions and ultimately directs and defines the movement and legitimacy of Bitcoin transactions.
Blockchain Incubator
As the world inches closer towards realizing the true importance of privacy, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in ways data is collected. In our pursuit of reimagining financial systems with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, an open forum for discussion of upcoming ideas and trends around Privacy and Crypto was hosted by Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT).
BY: SAM ABBASSI | September 29, 2020
In this article, we describe Bitcoin transactions, restricted transactions called Covenants, and our own research into secure Bitcoin custody using a type of Covenant called Vaults.
Blockchain Incubator
FCAT launched its blockchain incubator in 2015. Since then it has been our mission to fully understand Bitcoin and blockchain technologies and their impact on money and the modern financial system.
If you asked a room of 50 people their perception of mining, you’d get 50 different responses. And quite a few are misconceptions. Over the past year, the Blockchain Incubator at Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT) expanded its mining operation to dig in and start to shine some light on this world. We learned quite a bit about this ecosystem and created a forum to share our findings and invite others to do the same – in August of 2019 at Fidelity’s first ever Mining Summit.
Blockchain & Digital Assets
July 9, 2020
For philanthropic institutions, the emergence of Bitcoin has presented a unique set of issues. Donors enjoy the efficiency and tax savings of being able to donate non-cash assets directly to organizations such as Fidelity Charitable®, a public charity.

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