Banking giant Citigroup is considering launching crypto trading, custody, and financing services.
Itay Tuchman, Citi’s global head of foreign exchange, told the Financial Times in a report published Friday that the bank had seen a “very rapid” accumulation of interest in bitcoin from large clients since last August.
“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,” said Tuchman, referring to proprietary trading in which banks trade with their own money to make a profit.
Citi, however, is in no rush to launch crypto services. Tuchman said the bank would jump in when it is confident it can build something that benefits clients and that regulators can support.
“I don’t have any FOMO [fear of missing out] because I believe that crypto is here to stay and that we are just at the very beginning of the market,” he said. “This isn’t a space race. There is room for more than just one flag.”
In March, Citi published a report saying that bitcoin could become “an international trade currency” as it evolves. “Perceptions about what makes bitcoin important continue to evolve and create new opportunities while increasing its perception towards becoming mainstream,” the bank said at the time.
Citi is the latest Wall Street financial institution to consider moving into the crypto market. In recent weeks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon, and others have moved to provide crypto services to their clients.