Every Major Financial Institution Will Think About Trading Cryptocurrencies Within Next 3 Years: Former Citigroup CEO

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
November 9, 2021 Updated: November 9, 2021

Every major financial institution will be thinking about trading cryptocurrencies within the next few years, according to Vikram Pandit, chairman of The Orogen Group and former chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc.

Speaking at the Singapore Fintech Festival event, Pandit told Bloomberg that in “one to three years, every large bank and/or securities firm is going to actively think about ‘shouldn’t I also be trading and selling cryptocurrency assets?'”

Pandit’s comments come after multiple financial institutions have tapped into the cryptocurrency industry. JPMorgan Chase & Co. in August started giving its wealth management clients access to six crypto funds, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, Bank of America lats month announced it has launched digital asset research to “explore the implications across industries including finance, technology, supply chains, social media, and gaming,” while noting that “digital assets are transforming the way in which markets, businesses, and central banks operate.”

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) last week also said it will offer customers the ability to buy, sell, and hold crypto assets.

CBA CEO Matt Comyn said in a statement that, “the emergence and growing demand for digital currencies from customers creates both challenges and opportunities for the financial services sector, which has seen a significant number of new players and business models innovating in this area.”

“We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need and provide capability, security, and confidence in a crypto trading platform,” Comyn added.

Elsewhere, nations such as Ukraine, which legalized cryptocurrency and other digital assets earlier this year, and El Salvador, which has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar, have embraced the virtual currency market, despite concerns over regulations.

“My big hope is that central banks around the world understand the benefit of a central bank digital currency, and move on to accept, adopt them,” Pandit told Bloomberg, adding that it was “cumbersome” and creates a lot of “deadweight” cost, to transfer money around the world while also trying trying to modernize a paper-based banking system.

The price of Bitcoin hit a new all time high on Tuesday, soaring to $68,260, while the second-biggest digital coin, Ethereum, surged to $4,817.40.

Its surge comes following data showing that smart contract blockchain Ethereum burned more tokens than it emitted at the end of October.

The amount of ether burned on a daily basis set new records for two days in a row, data showed. Ethereum produced 15,109.34 ETH and burned 16,710.2 ETH over a 24-hour period, amounting to a net supply reduction of 1,600 ETH, Coindesk reported, citing data from Tokenview.

Ethereum’s boost appeared to have been driven in part by Shiba Inu coin’s massive volume. Shiba Inu is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token, meaning it is created on and hosted by the Ethereum blockchain, as opposed to its own blockchain. The currency reached an all-time high at the end of October and its market cap is now over $37 billion.

However, cryptocurrencies have faced criticism from lawmakers over risks and a lack of regulations, which was evident earlier this month when the popular digital currency known as “SquidGame Cash” or “SQUID” collapsed amid an apparent “rug pull” scam.

The digital token, which appeared in the wake of the success of Netflix’s South Korean survival drama series “Squid Game,” marketed itself as a “play-to-earn cryptocurrency” on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

The token, which is not officially affiliated with Netflix, proved to be an instant hit when it first launched with a price of just $0.01 and saw its market capitalization quickly rise above $174 million.

But within a 24-hour period, the cryptocurrency peaked at a price of $2,861 before plummeting to $0, according to CoinMarketCap, a price-tracking website for crypto assets.

Subsequently, users were left unable to trade or use the currency.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.