American institution Citibank is building a crypto trading and custody service


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American multinational investment bank Citigroup is reportedly developing crypto-related services such as trading, custody, and financing due to rapidly growing interest from clients.

According to a Financial Times report published today, the bank hasn’t yet decided when—if ever—it will actually offer its clients crypto services but is preparing for such eventuality nevertheless.

Clients’ interest in crypto grows

“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,” Itay Tuchman, Citi’s global head of foreign exchange, told the outlet.

This means that whatever the final decision will be, the bank is not planning to get involved in proprietary trading—in which financial institutions trade assets on their own accounts. However, trading and custody services are already in the works, Tuchman noted.

He explained that since August 2020, the bank has been witnessing a “very rapid” growth of interest in cryptocurrencies among its clients, including large investment companies. They have reportedly been asking Citi for all manners of crypto-related services, from research to trading of certain coins.

No FOMO

At the same time, the bank has decided to take a very careful and deliberate approach to the emerging market to avoid any unnecessary risks and regulatory hurdles, Tuchman pointed out.

“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 explained.

Thus, Citi is not in any rush to jump on the crypto hype train as soon as possible, Tuchman stressed, but would rather prepare for the right moment to enter the market.

“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,” he concluded.

As CryptoSlate reported, Citi is just the latest traditional finance institution to turn its sights to cryptocurrencies. For example, America’s oldest bank BNY Mellon announced in February that it would hold, transfer, and issue cryptocurrencies for its clients. More recently, Goldman Sachs has formed a cryptocurrency trading team.

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