Citi Selects Swiss Tech Firm METACO For Digital Asset Custody

  • Citi partners with swiss crypto firm METACO to create digital asset custody capabilities.
  • Citi joins an array of banks that have already partnered with METACO.
  • Through this, Citi aims to enable clients to store and settle digital assets seamlessly.

American Financial powerhouse Citi has partnered with Swiss startup METACO to develop and pilot custody tools for digital assets that will enable CitiBank’s clients to store and settle digital assets securely.

Citi, which holds nearly $27 trillion assets under its custody, joins a multitude of banks that have already collaborated with the cryptocurrency custody firm, METACO. This includes the Philippines’ UnionBank, Spain’s BBVA (BME), Switzerland’s GazpromBank, DBS Financial institution, along with the Customary Chartered and Northern Belief’s custody platform Zodia.

METACO is also working with the digital asset division of IBM, the most preferred infrastructure provider for banks globally.

The announcement on June 22 states that Citi’s securities services team will initially be focusing on issues like tokenized securities, representation of bonds, and stocks moved around and settled in using blockchain technology. Citi further mentioned that with this partnership, they intend to integrate METACO’s ‘Harmonize’ crypto platform.

METACO, in comparison to other digital assets custody firms, has been fairly efficient in using its capital and raising a relatively modest amount of $20 million with its latest funding round in July 2020. In contrast, State Street’s custody technology partner Copper raised nearly $85 million, and BNY Mellon’s partner Fireblocks has about $1 billion in backing.

The Global Head of Securities Services at Citi, Okan Pekin, expressed the need to integrate such blockchain technologies into business by saying,

We are witnessing the increasing digitization of traditional investment assets along with new native digital assets. We are innovating and developing new capabilities to support digital asset classes that are becoming increasingly relevant to our clients.

Like its competitors Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, Citi also provides bitcoin trading futures, apart from planning to construct a digital assets division for institutional clients, for which they intend to hire more than 100 employees.

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