Citi ‘considers launching crypto services’

Citigroup is weighing up whether to establish cryptocurrency services following a surge in interest from its customers.

Citi’s global head of foreign exchange, Itay Tuchman, told The Financial Times that although the bank had not decided whether to offer crypto-based services, trading, custody, and financing are all under consideration.

Many large financial institutions have been forced to consider incorporating cryptocurrency into their offering because of a growing interest from clients, despite the many risks associated with the digital asset.

“There are different options from our perspective and we are considering where we can best service clients,” Tuchman told the newspaper. “This is not going to be a prop-trading effort.”
In a report published in March, the currency trading bank said that despite risks and obstacles that stand in the way of bicoin progress, the cryptocurrency may be “optimally positioned to become the preferred currency for global trade.”

Citi is not the only banking group to consider moving into the cryptocurrency space. Goldman Sachs and the Bank of New York Mellon have recently announced plans to explore the market.

Tuchman told the FT that since August 2020, the bank had seen a rapid increase in interest in bitcoin from a wide range of clients, including large asset managers.

While some customers were interested in research on cryptocurrencies the bank, other clients wanted to trade coins via Citi and finance deals with crypto holdings.

“We shouldn’t do anything that’s not safe and sound. We will jump in when we are confident that we can build something that benefits clients and that regulators can support,” he said to the newspaper.

A spokesperson from Citi told FStech that the bank had no comment to make on the report.

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