A digital asset grandee at Citi Group has revealed fresh details about the bank’s “active” involvement in the crypto sector.
Citi Group is forging ahead with plans to serve the banking needs of emerging category leaders in the crypto space whilst also making strategic investments across the industry according to Shobhit Maini, the co-head of digital assets for Citi Global Markets.
The bank pivoted decisively towards digital assets last year with the launch of a dedicated division which created 100 new crypto roles at Citi.
“We pride ourselves on being the world’s most global bank,” said Maini, claiming that Citi Bank is a natural partner for key players in the crypto sector.
“We are looking at making some strategic infrastructure investments, for sure,” he confirmed, speaking at the CryptoCompare digital asset summit in London today. He added that the bank approaches investments in the market “from a strategic perspective rather than venture capital.”
“In general we have been active investors. We have been one of the more active bank investors in blockchain companies and blockchain start ups since 2014, I think we have made 20 odd investments,” he added, referencing Citi’s participation in a funding round for TRM labs last year.
Maini confirmed that in addition to crypto investments Citi Bank is “separately providing advisory services to emerging category leaders in the space.”
“As these category leaders emerge the banking needs get more complex,” Maini commented. “But we are thoughtful about who we want to partner with.”
Maini noted that Citi has assisted on a number of high profile deals in the space including Coinbase’s record breaking IPO last year.
Citi’s crypto ambition suffered a blow earlier this month when Alex Kriete, the co-head of digital assets for the bank, walked out to launch his own crypto start up.