The Truth About Citi and RippleDecember 5, 2021 10:30 am
We started ProCoinNews with two simple, guiding principles:
One: Always tell the truth.
Two: Always keep it fresh.
Those principles guide our writing, researching, posting and editing on a daily basis.
And it means sometimes we have to bring the truth to something that’s not entirely accurate.
That’s where we start with this story.
If you’ve been on Twitter the past few days, you’ve likely seen something like this Tweet making the rounds:
CITI BANK Is Working With #Ripple Since 2013/14.
— XRP CAPTAIN ✪ (@UniverseTwenty) December 4, 2021
A nearly identical version of the Tweet was posted (not just Retweeted) by many different users:
CITI BANK Is Working With #Ripple Since 2013/14.
— cryptoenthusiast (@cryptothefutur3) December 5, 2021
The Tweet claims that Citi’s own website is now declaring they work with Ripple.
That’s very exciting for the XRP Army…but is it true?
That’s where we come in.
Credit to WrathofKahneman for being one of the first to point out the news was suspect:
Apologies, but don't think Flywire is a Ripple user, at least not confirmed. The consensus about the article seemed to be the Ripple mention is an aside, not a description of Flywire/Citi Ripple use. They talk about their future crypto use here, though:https://t.co/rQKFmyurC5
— WrathofKahneman (@WKahneman) December 4, 2021
Thanks. As far as I know, neither Citi nor Flywire are confirmed Ripple users. Both have connections to BofA, but this is expected, as banks have to connect to each other, even competitors.
— WrathofKahneman (@WKahneman) December 5, 2021
So, what’s the truth?
After doing some research, ProCoinNews has confirmed the Tweet is partially true.
The news was posted on Citi’s website, which you can find here: https://www.citibank.com/commercialbank/insights/assets/docs/2020/American-Banker-Article.pdf
The image from the Tweets is page two of a May 4, 2020 article from American Banker which was posted to Citi’s website with permission from American Banker.
Here is page 1:
And page 2:
So, what does it all mean?
ProCoinNews does not see anywhere in the article that says Citi is conclusively working with Ripple or that they are using or plan to use XRP.
That said, the fact that Citi chose to post this article to their website speaks volumes.
It’s also not the first time major banks have been conclusively tied to Ripple and XRP.
In February of 2021, Business Insider ran an article titled “JPMorgan and Citi are using blockchain technology, and other banks are considering allowing clients to hold crypto in bank accounts, Bank of America research finds”.
Here is a snippet:
BofA analysts led by Erika Najarian compiled responses from banks they cover regarding use of blockchain technology and willingness to facilitate crypto transactions.
They found that 21% of banks they cover have incorporated blockchain technology into their businesses in some form. Blockchain is a digital ledger and the technology used to transact with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, PNC, Fifth Third Bank, and Signature Bank are among some of the banks that said they use blockchain.
While JPMorgan and Citi did not specify in what capacity they use blockchain technology, Wells Fargo highlighted its WFC Digital Cash platform, which allows investors to transfer accounts between Wells subsidiaries. Meanwhile Fifth Third said blockchain technology is in use “in very limited cases for sensitive information.” PNC was the first US bank to join the Ripple network.
Meanwhile, no banks under BofA coverage are facilitating crypto transactions or allowing customers to hold crypto in accounts at this time. However, Citizens Financial Group said they are open to allowing clients to hold crypto in theory at some point, but would need to develop a robust anti-money laundering infrastructure. US Bancorp told BofA they’re “currently looking at applications of blockchain technology and crypto opportunities at the commercial bank.”
That’s not all.
Leonidas has previously reported on his website XRParcade that Citi has been working on a Ripple/XRP integration for quite some time.
In an article posted January 2020, XRParcade posted this image which appears to show a Resume from Rakesh Yadav who has experience “Leading innovation in Digital Payment strategy…using…stack like Ripple Labs…”.
Take a look:
And from Cointelegraph, more hiring in the digital payments space was reported for Citi just a few weeks ago:
American multinational investment bank Citi announced it had appointed Puneet Singhvi to lead the digital assets division of its Institutional Clients Group (ICG) starting on Dec. 1.
In addition to appointing Singhvi on Monday, Citi is hiring 100 additional personnel tfor its digital assets division. The move indicates a concerted effort to beef up the financial group’s understanding of digital assets. Singhvi was previously the head of blockchain and digital assets in Citi’s trading business
Citi Group is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards, and its ICG serves corporations, financial institutions and governments around the world.
An emailed statement from Emily Turner, head of business development at the ICG, hinted that the bank is exploring its options in providing digital assets services to its clients.
“Prior to offering any products and services, we are studying these markets, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape and associated risks in order to meet our own regulatory frameworks and supervisory expectations.”
Turner continued by saying, “We believe in the potential of blockchain and digital assets including the benefits of efficiency, instant processing, fractionalization, programmability and transparency.”
Citi is not the only major U.S. bank hiring crypto talent. The Bank of America sought a specialist on Ripple (XRP) in October. Additionally, Yahoo News reported on Nov. 6 that financial institutions have increased crypto hires by 40% in the first half of 2021, and they are attracting this new tech talent by increasing pay packages by as much as 50%.
Jumping back to Citi’s own website, ProCoinNews has discovered yet another document on the bank’s site with multiple references to both Ripple and XRP.
And from Yahoo Finance, here is Citi CEO Jane Fraser:
"It’s clear that digital assets will be a part of the financial services and financial markets, the future of them," @Citi CEO Jane Fraser says, later adding: "Real-time payments will be here in the near term, and digital currencies may be part of that future." pic.twitter.com/jKUi01vLxu
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) October 25, 2021
And Blockworks had an interesting article recently where I couldn’t help but think this sounds EXACTLY like XRP:
Today Citi is working to connect clients to wallets, and enabling businesses and corporate clients to accept consumer payments — but proceeding with caution, according to Fraser.
“We’re building the infrastructure for retail, real-time payments, we’re doing so cautiously because space is moving so quickly, and not all the guardrails that you would like to see are yet in place,” she said. “As a banking CEO, I do believe guardrails are important and necessary with a safe, safety and soundness of the financial system.”
So where does this leave us?
It appears premature and not supported by the evidence to say Citi is working with Ripple and XRP conclusively, but you can definitely file this under “where there’s smoke, there’s likely fire.”
We’ll continue to monitor the story and report on future developments.
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