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Citi pilots Bitcoin custody service platform

Citibank has announced that it's launching will launch a Bitcoin custody services platform for institutional investors.

The bank will partner with orchestration platform METACO to help develop and trial its digital asset custody capabilities.

"This collaboration brings together METACO's technology and digital solutions with Citi's expansive custody network to develop a platform to enable clients to store and settle digital assets seamlessly and securely," a METACO statement said.

"Citi intends to fully integrate METACO's bank-grade digital asset custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, into its existing infrastructure, to develop and pilot digital asset custody capabilities."

Citi global head of securities services Okan Pekin said: "We are witnessing the increasing digitisation 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."

It's hoped that the strategic partnership will enable Citi to extend its existing capabilities to digital assets while leveraging its current technological, operating and serving model.

A METACO statement continued: "Citi's extensive global network, coupled with the power of the Harmonize platform, will allow Citi to expand securely and effectively into new markets, while utilising its existing global operations, technology, and risk frameworks."

"The technology capabilities developed under this partnership will be an integral part of Citi's Institutional Client Group digital asset strategy."

Koinly Australia regional head Adam Saville Brown agreed that digital asset custodians are vital to the wider adoption of future digital assets.

"It is reassuring to see traditional financial institutions embracing the role of custodians within this asset class.  Buy in from both traditional, institutional investors and financial institutions will provide a level of assurance to a market that others may perceive to be of a higher risk than traditional investments," Saville Brown said.

"Citi and METACO's partnership is the perfect opportunity to finally marry older practices with modern technology, paving the way for digital assets to become a more mainstream investment option. We look forward to seeing more projects like this come to fruition as the market and industry matures."

Likewise, Labrys founder and executive director Lachlan Feeney said: "This partnership between Citi and METACO is a progressive move on their part and a boon for the industry."

He praised Citi and METACO for recognising the need to cater to growth of native digital assets and traditional investment assets despite current industry headwinds.

Read more: CitiMETACOBitcoinHarmonizeAdrien TreccaniOkan PekinKoinlyAdam Saville BrownLabrysLachlan Feeney