American multinational investment bank Citigroup is looking to offer Bitcoin futures trading to some of its institutional clients.
According to a report published by Reuters on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the bank claimed that it had seen an increase in demand from the cryptocurrency space.
The anonymous source further disclosed that the banking giant is waiting for approval from regulators so it can begin trading BTC futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The source stated in an email that:
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
The news does not come as a surprise. Recall that in May, Citi’s global head of foreign exchange Itay Tuchman revealed that the bank might roll out crypto services in the future following a “very rapid” demand for Bitcoin from its wealthy clients.
Citi had also previously launched a business unit to offer cryptocurrency services under its wealth management umbrella. Furthermore, it is actively seeking experienced personnel to join a crypto and derivatives-focused team in London according to its recruitment portal.
Earlier this year, Citigroup released a report titled “Bitcoin at the Tipping Point.” In its report, the bank cited a number of observations on the potential of digital currencies.
Although Citi is yet to file an official application for crypto derivatives products, several other high-profile banks and financial institutions have done so.
Interestingly, despite the growing demand for Bitcoin products from US investors, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission is yet to approve any Bitcoin ETF. However, it appears the ship might sail in favor of the crypto industry as SEC Chair Gary Gensler recently said that he would be more open to accepting ETFs based on crypto futures.
Speaking of Bitcoin futures ETFs, Bloomberg analysts predict that the financial watchdog might approve a crypto product “as soon as October.”