A Surge of Interest from Clients has Citigroup Considering Launching Crypto Services

A “very rapid” accumulation of interest in Bitcoin has been seen since August across a broad spectrum of clients, including large asset managers. Still, the banking giant is in no rush because “crypto is here to stay,” and it is “the very beginning of the market.”

Citigroup Inc is now weighing the option of offering cryptocurrency-related services after a surge in interest from clients.

While the bank has yet to decide whether it will offer crypto-related services, trading, custody, and financing are all under consideration, reported the Finance Times on Friday, citing Itay Tuchman, the bank’s global head of foreign exchange. Where banks trade on their own accounts, Tuchman said,

“There are different options from our perspective, and we are considering where we can best service clients. This is not going to be a prop-trading effort.”

Tuchman said the bank had seen a “very rapid” accumulation of interest in Bitcoin since August last year across a broad spectrum of its clients, including large asset managers. They have been asking the bank for research, shared their interest in trading a range of coins through the bank, and to finance deals with crypto holdings. However, the bank wasn't in a rush to move into the crypto market, he added.

“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.”

This is because of the growing realization that crypto is here to stay and that this is just the early stages of adoption still.

“I don’t have any FOMO because I believe that crypto is here to stay and that we are just at the very beginning of the market.”

“This isn’t a space race. There is room for more than just one flag.”

A couple of months back in March, Citi had issued a 108-page long report noting “a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress,” but said despite that, the cryptocurrency “may be optimally positioned to become the preferred currency for global trade.”

One of the world’s largest currency trading banks, Citi is just the latest banking giant to weigh pushing into the crypto market with BNY Mellon, State Street, and JP Morgan already started to offer their crypto-related services this year.

This week, Goldman Sachs also announced that it is now allowing Wall Street investors to trade with a derivative tied to bitcoin prices.

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