American financial services company Citi is considering offering bitcoin services after a flood of interest from its customers. The company is one of many banks that have warmed to cryptocurrency lately.
Though Citi has only expressed interest at this point, a new Fidelity-backed custody initiative could soon see hundreds of US banks offering bitcoin services. And quite significant from an adoption standpoint, not just for institutional actors or wealthy individuals.
Citi ready for a bitcoin explosion
Itay Tuchman, global head of foreign exchange at Citi, said the company is considering entering the bitcoin market. Despite Crypto’s poor reputation, the growing interest of asset managers and hedge funds in Bitcoin has forced Citi to consider this move.
“We shouldn’t do anything that isn’t safe and sound. We’ll step in when we’re confident that we can build something that will benefit customers and that regulators can support.”
Tuchman said no decision had been made whether to offer crypto services. However, trading, custody and financing options for customers were considered.
“From our point of view, there are different options and we are considering where we can best serve customers. This will not be a prop trading effort. “
Prop trading or proprietary trading refers to a financial company that trades its own funds for direct profit rather than earning a commission by acting on behalf of its clients.
During the fourth quarter of 2020, a leaked Citi report showed that a senior analyst had given a Bitcoin price prediction of $ 318,000 by December 2021. CitiFX Technicals Global Head Tom Fitzpatrick wrote:
“Bitcoin’s entire existence has been marked by unthinkable rallies followed by painful corrections, a pattern that sustains a long-term trend.” He asked: “Are we about to have another such structural development?”
Banks are changing their mood
Recently, several large US banking groups have announced that they will be working on rolling out crypto services in response to customer demand. This includes BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
However, thanks to the NYDIG crypto custodian, customers of some US banks will soon be able to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin using their existing accounts.
Patrick Sells, Head of Bank Solutions at NYDIG, said the discussion with the big players on board is still ongoing. But hundreds of smaller banks have already signed up for the program.
“We’re making it easy for everyday Americans and businesses to buy Bitcoin through their existing banking relationships. If I use my mobile application for all of my banking, I can now buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin.”
NYDIG is a subsidiary of Stone Ridge Asset Managers who have partnered with Fidelity National Information Services to provide the service.
Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com