Showing posts with label Citigroup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Citigroup. Show all posts

November 09, 2017

Citigroup CEO on Cryptos: 'clunky' to use, but have room to run

By Tedra DeSue - November 09, 2017 (

Bank CEOs continue to be asked to give their thoughts on cryptocurrencies. For his part, Citi’s chief seems to see them as a reckoning force.

Another day, another Big Bank CEO weighs in on cryptos.

This time it was Citi’s chief Michael Corbat. In an interview with Bloomberg, he voiced optimism about cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain technology that underpins them.

Let’s review some of his comments.

Client demand

So far, Corbat said he hadn’t seen a significant uptick in the number of clients looking to invest in cryptocurrencies. He said demand for Blockchain technology, or access cryptos as an investible asset, has been fairly limited and concentrated.

“When you want to go to the corner store and get a loaf of bread, try to use it, try the experience and you would find it today, in my word, you’ll find it to be a bit clunky. But again we can’t be dismissive of the underlying technology, and ultimately what it represents in terms of the next things that are coming down the pike.”

The regulators

Corbat seems to appreciate regulators not moving in yet to shut down the use of cryptocurrencies.

“In some ways there’s the challenge that regulation actually stalls or impedes innovation. As an observer, I would guess, or likely say, [that regulators] are intrigued by innovation, and they’re intrigued by the underlying technology. 

I think there is a future to digital currencies. And rather than cut it off at this point, let it run a bit. But I do believe that at the point that it truly does become meaningful and difficult to manage around tax collection, criminal activity, tax evasion, money laundering, etcetera, that governments will have something meaningful to say on that.”

Falling in line

The banking industry has the most to lose as cryptos continue march into wallets of consumers. While they still are widely used for purchases, as noted by Corbat, cryptos are steadily becoming more acceptable by the mainstream.

As they do, bankers are weighing in more. We just told you how Goldman Sach’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently said he wasn’t going to “pooh pooh” on Bitcoin.

The only head of a Big Bank left on the crypto-hater bandwagon is JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon.