U.S. investment bank Citigroup is considering the idea of launching cryptocurrency services in response to rising client interest in the space, the Financial Times reported on 7 May.
According to the publication, Citigroup is already exploring the possibility of providing crypto services to its clients, with trading, custody, and financing all being discussed. The bank’s global head of foreign exchange, Itay Tuchman, further told the Financial Times that the firm was not going to rush with anything — especially the crypto market — and would launch the new service once its ready. He said:
“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. 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.”
Citigroup put crypto under consideration after it saw an increase in its clients interest for Bitcoin, especially after August 2020 when the price of the currency had just jumped by 30%. Since August, the price of the number one digital asset has continued to climb — and even reached $63,000 this April — further boosting the interest of asset managers and hedge funds.
Once its crypto service is launched, Citigroup will join the ranks of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, which are also considering similar services. Goldman Sachs is already exploring ways to offer “thoughtful and appropriate” access to cryptocurrencies. Reportedly, clients of its private wealth management unit could soon get access to a “full spectrum” of investments in Bitcoin and other digital assets.
This week, NYDIG and Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) partnered up to enable U.S. banks to offer Bitcoin trading services to their customers, directly from their existing accounts. FIS will offer banks its Digital One Mobile tool, while NYDIG will provide the secure custodial and trading platform for managing Bitcoin transactions.