Citi considering bitcoin futures trading for some institutional clients

A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this picture illustration taken June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Illustration

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) is considering offering bitcoin futures trading for some institutional clients, a spokesperson for the bank said on Tuesday, citing increased demand in the cryptocurrency space.

Bitcoin prices rose past $50,000 on Monday, after having weathered a crackdown by Chinese authorities on domestic cryptocurrency mining companies earlier this year, as mainstream adoption by corporations and the wider public gathers pace.

Media outlet Coindesk reported earlier on Tuesday that Citi is awaiting regulatory approval to begin trading bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, citing a source within the bank.

"Given the many questions around regulatory frameworks, supervisory expectations, and other factors, we are being very thoughtful about our approach," a Citi spokeswoman said in an email.

"We are presently considering products such as futures for some of our institutional clients, as these operate under strong regulatory frameworks," she added.

The bank was weighing the option of providing cryptocurrency related services in May, according to a Financial Times report.

Business Insider reported in late July that JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) will allow all of its wealth management clients access to cryptocurrency funds.

Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru and Dhara Ranasinghe in London; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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