U.S. banking giant Citigroup is looking to create 100 roles focused on digital assets including blockchain and digital currencies at its institutional division, the U.S. bank said on Tuesday. Calcalist has learned that this push will include the recruitment of R&D staff for its development center based in Tel Aviv.
The initiative is the latest by traditional banks looking to find ways to tap the growing cryptocurrency sector, which has been gaining mainstream appeal as well as regulatory scrutiny.
Puneet Singhvi, Citi's head of blockchain and digital assets at its global markets operation, will lead the new team, Citi said in a memo to staff. The note was sent to the media.
The new team will comprise a mix of internal and external hires and be housed in Singapore, New York, London and Tel Aviv, a Citi spokesperson said in an emailed response, adding that the hiring is expected to finish by the end of 2022.
"Prior to offering any products and services, we are studying these markets, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape and associated risks, in order to meet our own regulatory frameworks and supervisory expectations," the spokesperson said.
This year Bank of America started cryptocurrency research coverage, Goldman Sachs launched a crypto-trading team and JPMorgan Chase & Co allowed wealth management clients access to cryptocurrency funds, even though Jamie Dimon, its head, has been a vocal critic of the sector.
In Asia, DBS Group is expanding its cryptocurrency trading platform.
Citi's new team will be involved in product development and project management while outlining strategy to pursue digital asset opportunities including new products, new clients and new investments.