Citi is considering a transfer into crypto markets after surging curiosity within the asset class from its shoppers, the Monetary Occasions reported Friday, making it the most recent monetary establishment to think about methods to present its shoppers entry to the sought-after market after years of mainstream resistance.
Itay Tuchman, Citi’s international head of overseas change, informed the FT the financial institution had not but determined whether or not to supply shoppers cryptocurrency companies however mentioned a increase in curiosity throughout its shopper base prompted the financial institution to think about its choices.
Buying and selling, custody and financing are all companies the financial institution is contemplating providing, Tuchman informed the FT.
Tuchman mentioned the financial institution “will bounce in” when it’s assured in its capability to construct one thing regulators can get behind and can profit its shoppers.
Elaborating on Citi’s determination to not rush into the crypto house regardless of clear shopper demand and strikes from opponents, Tuchman mentioned the ecosystem is new sufficient to accommodate a number of gamers. “This isn’t an area race,” he mentioned, including: “There’s room for greater than only one flag.”
There was a serious shift in sentiment in direction of digital property over the previous yr, with many major institutions jumping on board after years of resisting. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, a longtime crypto critic, said earlier this month he’s no supporter of digital currencies however acknowledges that most of the financial institution’s shoppers wish to become involved. Many main currencies have soared this yr, with bitcoin, ethereum and meme-based dogecoin all reaching new highs in 2021.
What To Watch For
In a report printed in March, Citi said bitcoin might be about to go mainstream and is perhaps on the trail to turn out to be “the forex of alternative for worldwide commerce.” Bitcoin is the “North Star” of the crypto ecosystem, it mentioned, making it the forex to look at for whether or not crypto as an entire goes mainstream. Earlier this yr, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it’s on the “verge of getting broad acceptance” by typical finance folks. Musk himself drives lots of curiosity in cryptocurrencies, notably dogecoin.
Citi weighs launching crypto services after surge in client interest (Monetary Occasions)