U.S. banking giant Citigroup (NYSE: C) is awaiting regulatory approval to begin trading bitcoin (BTC, -3.36%) futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), according to a source within the bank who asked to remain nameless.
The bank is said to be fielding a surge in client demand for cryptocurrency exposure as bitcoin again mounts a climb toward $50,000. Citi, which is still working through the necessary regulatory approvals, would join fellow megabank Goldman Sachs in offering bitcoin futures trading.
A second person familiar with cryptocurrency derivatives markets said Citi is actively recruiting people to join a crypto-focused team in London, adding: “The team is likely to win approval to begin trading CME bitcoin futures first and then bitcoin exchange-traded notes (ETNs).” “Given the many questions around regulatory frameworks, supervisory expectations and other factors, we are being very thoughtful about our approach,” a Citigroup spokesperson told CoinDesk via email. “We are presently considering products such as futures for some of our institutional clients, as these operate under strong regulatory frameworks.”