American banking giant Citigroup is all set to expand its cryptocurrency services. Earlier today, sources disclosed that the firm will now offer ‘Bitcoin Futures trading’ to some of its biggest clients after receiving regulatory approval from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
Citigroup is the latest of the large investment banks to make a dive into the crypto ecosystem through its potential Bitcoin futures product. Previously, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Galaxy Digital have all enabled the trading of bitcoin futures for clients who wanted exposure to the cryptocurrency.
Product Driven by Customer Demands
In its initial years after inception, bitcoin was dismissed by institutions. It was claimed to be a showy and worthless digital asset that is utilized by criminals for illicit purposes. However, the belief has gradually shifted. Bitcoin, which was seen as an ideological wreck, is now treated as digital gold. BTC’s institutional acceptance breached all records. This year alone $17 billion worth of institutional money engulfed the space and yet the institutional participation is speculated to be rising extensively.
Citigroup emerged as another institution that decided to adopt bitcoin. As per the source, the institution was experiencing an increased customer demand for cryptocurrency exposure as they are seeing BTC rally towards its all-time high. At present, the bank has not got regulatory approval. However, once the process is cleared up, the institution would join fellow megabanks and commence the trading in bitcoin futures.
Citigroup is optimistic about the approach, given many questions regarding regulatory landscape, and other factors. It is worth noting, Citigroup is looking for potential executives to join its crypto-focused team in the London region. An insider also indicated that “first the team will receive approval from CME to trade bitcoin futures and then bitcoin exchange-traded notes (ETNs).”
As previously reported by CoinGape, Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the US, enabled its clients to invest in the Bitcoin Futures market in July this year. In response to soaring pressure from customers, Goldman Sachs, Galaxy Digital and JP Morgan also had to commence Bitcoin Futures Trading.