US multinational investment banking giant Citigroup is reportedly considering trading bitcoin futures, stating that it has witnessed an increased interest in BTC from its institutional clients.
CME Looking to Trade CME Bitcoin Futures
According to a report by CoinDesk on Tuesday (August 24th, 2021), an anonymous source within the bank revealed that Citi is working on receiving the regulatory green light to begin trading bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
A statement via an email from a Citi spokesperson to the media outlet reads:
“Given the many questions around regulatory frameworks, supervisory expectations, and other factors, we are being very thoughtful about our approach. We are presently considering products such as futures for some of our institutional clients, as these operate under strong regulatory frameworks.”
Apart from wanting to trade BTC futures, the investment bank is currently hiring people to be part of a cryptocurrency team based in London, according to another person familiar with the matter. Also, the unnamed source is optimistic that regulators would grant the approval to trade bitcoin futures and would later get a regulatory nod for bitcoin exchange-traded notes (ETNs).
The Wall Street banking giant, meanwhile, noted that it is witnessing rapid interest in bitcoin from institutional clients who seek exposure to the largest cryptocurrency. The latest development follows an earlier report in May, stating that Citi was mulling launching a cryptocurrency trading and custody service.
Later in June, the investment bank unveiled a new business unit called the Digital Assets Group, focused on crypto and blockchain. Back in March, Citi published a report which acknowledged the growing institutional adoption but stated that bitcoin had an uncertain future.
Wall Street Banks and Bitcoin
Interestingly, more Wall Street financial institutions are warming up to bitcoin, gradually shifting away from their former skeptical attitude towards the cryptocurrency. These organizations have noted that the crypto-related services they offer are in response to clients’ demands.
One of such institutions is banking giant JPMorgan, which became among the first major bank in the US to offer its wealthy clients access to crypto funds. Another banking behemoth Goldman Sachs allowed its institutional clients to buy and sell bitcoin derivatives. The company also started trading BTC futures in block trades on CME Group.
The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), America’s oldest bank, revealed that it would offer crypto custody services later in 2021.