- Citi intends to hire roughly 100 people to focus on the bank's blockchain and digital asset efforts, according to a report from CoinDesk, which cited an unnamed source for the news.
- The bank also appointed Puneet Singhvi on Monday to lead the digital assets team within Citi's institutional clients group, Business Insider reported the same day, citing an internal memo.
- Singhvi, formerly the head of blockchain and digital assets within the bank's global markets division, will start in the new role Dec. 1 and report to Emily Turner, Citi's institutional clients group's head of business development.
Citi launched its digital assets group in June to help clients invest in cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, nonfungible tokens and central bank digital currencies.
Since taking over as Citi's CEO in March, Jane Fraser has been leading the bank to explore offering more crypto services, after a broad range of clients showed interest.
In his new role, Singhvi will work with other senior colleagues across business lines in the institutional clients group to "pursue digital asset opportunities including new products, new clients, and new investments," Turner wrote in the memo, according to Business Insider.
The bank also plans to buoy its digital strategy by hiring "additional talent over the next several months," Turner wrote.
Singhvi will be succeeded in his former role by Shobhit Maini and Vasant Viswanathan, who will serve as co-heads of blockchain and digital assets on Citi’s global markets team, CoinDesk reported.
Citi will be "posting roles across ICG businesses, functions, and the ICG Business Development team to centralize and provide a consistent framework, required resourcing and expertise in digital assets," the bank said in its memo.
"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 bank told CoinDesk in an emailed statement.
This year’s crypto push among big banks began in earnest in February, when BNY Mellon announced in February that it was forming a digital assets unit to develop digital custody and administration platform this year.
Goldman Sachs followed with an announcement in March that it would relaunch its crypto trading desk.
That same month, Morgan Stanley told its financial advisers it is letting its wealth-management clients access three investment funds that enable ownership of Bitcoin.
Citi's crypto push came two weeks after State Street announced it was forming a 425-employee digital unit to encompass crypto, central bank digital currencies, blockchain technology and tokenization.
Wells Fargo, meanwhile, said in May it planned to launch its cryptocurrency investment platform for qualified investors by mid-June.
And Bank of America in July created a team to research cryptocurrencies and technology related to digital currencies.
The crypto push has trickled over to regional banks, too. U.S. Bank launched a cryptocurrency custody service last month.
The largest banks and firms have added roughly 1,000 crypto-related jobs since 2018, Bloomberg reported this month, based on research by workforce analytics firm Revelio Labs.