Multinational bank Citi is on a hiring spree to expand its blockchain and digital assets division. The company first launched its digital assets division in June this year. Now, it plans to grow the division by hiring 100 new people.
Related Reading | Why Citi Is “Slowly” Building A Crypto Infrastructure, CEO Says
As part of its efforts, Citi has also appointed Puneet Singhvi as head of the division. Singhvi previously headed blockchain for its Global Markets team.
The global bank has taken an interest in crypto for some months now.
Citi Hires New Head Of Crypto Division
As the new head of digital assets, Singhvi will report to Emily Turner, who oversees business development for the group. The company revealed its intent to assess the needs of its clients in the digital asset space.
In a statement to Bloomberg, it said, “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 new division, headed by Singhvi, will strategize on how Citigroup’s different businesses will use blockchain and digital assets.
“We believe in the potential of blockchain and digital assets including the benefits of efficiency, instant processing, fractionalization, programmability, and transparency,” Turner said. “Puneet and team will focus on engaging with key internal and external stakeholders including clients, startups and regulators.”
Former Director of digital assets Shobhit Maini will also co-head the team for the global-markets business together with Vasant Viswanathan. They will be reporting to Biswarup Chatterjee, head of innovation for that business.
According to Turner, these recent digital asset efforts are a continuation of the company’s work with blockchain. They are also part of its strategy to ”research emerging technologies, collaborate with partners to develop solutions, and implement new capabilities enabled by robust governance and controls.”
U.S. Banks On The Crypto Wave
Citi’s latest crypto expansion comes as many big U.S. banks are also looking to expand into the crypto world.
In July, the second-largest bank in the U.S., Bank of America, put together a team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies and related technologies. Other banks have begun to allow clients to trade crypto like bitcoin.
Total crypto market at $2.519 Trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap from TradingView.com
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs became the first major U.S. bank to offer crypto trading. It partnered with Galaxy Digital to offer bitcoin futures trading. Citi currently does not offer any dedicated crypto services for its clients. Although, there have been rumors that it was considering offering Bitcoin futures trading for institutional investors.
Furthermore, there has been a general increase in crypto hires among financial services firms. According to LinkedIn data, hires for crypto talent increased by 40% in the first half of 2021, compared to the same period last year. U.S. job postings for “crypto” and “blockchain” positions also increased by 615% in August, compared to the same period last year.
Featured image by Financial Times, Chart from TradingView.com