Fidelity announced Wednesday that it started allowing clients to view bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its website, a rare move for an established institution.
Hadley Stern, senior vice president at Fidelity Labs, said "the big story is you can transfer value through software and software alone. This is a huge societal breakthrough."
And regardless of whether bitcoin will survive, it could be like the Napster of blockchain technology, Stern said, where it is the first of its kind but the next products, in this case Spotify and Apple Music, get better and better.
"I do think [cryptocurrencies] will make things, whether it's bitcoin or something else, faster and cheaper and create new products and services that we can't even imagine," Stern said.
While some critics are skeptical of how bitcoin is used, Stern said that banning the cryptocurrency would be like banning the web or open internet protocols.
"Whether governments like it or not, it's here to stay," he said.