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Citigroup launches digital token service for institutional clients

on Sep 18, 2023
  • Citigroup announced its Citi Token Services solution on Monday.
  • The product integrates rokenized deposits into the company's global network.
  • Citi is among the largest banking institutions and its foray into digital assets is a notable development.

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Citigroup has launched a new token service in what is the bank’s latest venture in the digital assets space.

Citi Token Services is a blockchain and smart contracts powered cash management and trade finance service for institutional clients.

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According to details shared in a press release, the service will deliver a solution that converts customer deposits into digital tokens, allowing for instant funds transfer across the globe. Citi is relying on an in-house private blockchain for the service, and customers will not be required to set up digital wallets. Rather, the solution will be linked to the bank’s existing systems.

Real-time transaction banking for clients

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Integrating tokenized deposits will see the $1.72 trillion asset manager’s clients benefit from an automated trade finance solution offering 24/7 cross-border payments and liquidity. Citi Token Services is a unit of the investment banking giant’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) department.

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Shahmir Khaliq, Citigroup’s global head of services, said in a statement:

“The development of Citi Token Services is part of our journey to deliver real-time, always-on, next generation transaction banking services to our institutional clients. This development goes hand-in-hand with our industry leading work on the Regulated Liability Network to create interoperable digital asset solutions on a multi-bank basis.”

Per the press release, Citi Token Services comes after a collaboration between the company, a canal authority and leading ocean-cargo provider Maersk. The idea is to bring faster blockchain-based transactions to the trade finance ecosystem. With the platform, clients will be able to access instant payments, greatly improving on the settlement delays that characterize legacy cross-border transfers.

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Citigroup’s latest solution follows the company’s participation in a pilot program that involved the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and several global banks. The proof of concept for the “Regulated Liability Network,” saw major banks roll out tokenized deposits that settled through the central bank.

In June 2022, Citi announced a partnership with Metaco as it bid to develop a digital asset custody solution for institutional clients. In June this year, blockchain company Ripple acquired Metaco for $250 million, prompting Citi to reconsider its collaboration with the custody provider.

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