Citigroup, the third-largest banking institution in the US is ramping up hiring as they look to grow their new digital asset division.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Citi will be hiring 100 new recruits for the crypto division overseen by Puneet Singhvi, head of digital assets for its institutional clients group (ICG). Singvhi was previously head of blockchain and digital assets at the banks trading arm.
Singhvi will be reporting to Emily Turner, head of business development at Citi. Turner said that the bank is optimistic on the digital asset space, “including the benefits of efficiency, instant processing, fractionalization, programmability, and transparency.” She also added that the branch will be “engaging with key internal and external stakeholders including clients, startups and regulators.”
Citigroup’s hiring spree and efforts to get a foothold in the crypto industry are not out of the blue. The bank began offering digital asset trading services to family offices and investment managers earlier this year, and both its current and former CEOs have made publicly pro-crypto statements.
Last month, CEO Jane Fraser said in an interview with Yahoo Finance that it was “clear that digital assets will be part of the financial services and financial markets,” adding that the bank was already seeing clients “very active in the space.”
“Real-time payments, both in the sense of they’re frictionless, they’ll become more global, they’ll become ubiquitous. Real-time payments will be here in the near term, and digital currencies may be part of that future.”
Former CEO Vikram Pandit, who headed Citi between 2007 and 2012, also recently predicted that every large bank and securities firm would soon have to contemplate to themselves: “Shouldn’t I also be trading and selling cryptocurrency assets?”
He also emphasized the efficiency that digital currencies could offer central banks.
“My big hope is that central banks around the world understand the benefit of a central bank digital currency, and move on to accept, adopt them.”