Citigroup mulling crypto service for clients

US bank Citigroup is considering the introduction of cryptocurrency services as institutional interest in digital currencies increases.

Itay Tuchman, the bank’s global head of foreign exchange, said trading, custody and financing were under consideration, although added that the bank had not yet decided if it would offer cryptocurrency-related services for its clients.

“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 [proprietary trading] effort,” Tuchman told the Financial Times.

“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 added.

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Cryptocurrencies have boomed over the last year as prices hit fresh highs and several Wall Street banks have ventured into the fray as institutional investors show more interest in the volatile assets.

Last month, JPMorgan was said to be preparing to offer an actively managed bitcoin-linked fund to select clients this summer. Rival Morgan Stanley announced in March that it would be launching access to three bitcoin-linked funds and Goldman Sachs relaunched its cryptocurrency trading desk that same month.

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Traders will also soon be able to track the performance of the world’s two biggest cryptocurrencies – bitcoin and ether – on Wall Street with S&P Dow Jones Indices announcing several new crypto indices.

Citigroup was contacted for comment. 

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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