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Citigroup heads of digital asset division resign to open a crypto startup

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Two executives heading Citigroup’s digital asset division have announced plans to leave the Wall Street firm and venture into the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. The duo, Greg Girasole and Alex Kriete, were heading the digital asset division of Citigroup.

Citigroup executives resign

One of the executives, Kriete, posted on LinkedIn about plans to launch a cryptocurrency startup. The startup would focus on blockchain technology and the digital asset sector. Kriete noted that he was optimistic about the benefits of the crypto sector and how this sector could grow globally into the future.

“Over five years ago, my personal interest and subsequent writing about blockchain-enabled digital assets (yes, “crypto”) led to an amazing network of colleagues across Citi businesses, external companies, and interested clients, and at this time, I will be taking on a new challenge professionally by creating a new company in this space,” the announcement said.

This is not the first group of Citi employees leaving the firm to venture into the cryptocurrency sector. Matt Zhang, the former head of structured products, left the firm to create Hivemind, an investment firm focused on cryptocurrencies.

A veteran of the firm, Christopher Perkins, also said that he was resigning from the company after serving there for over a decade. Perkins became the president and managing partner at CoinFund, a crypto investment fund based in New York.

Citigroup ventures into the crypto sector

In June last year, Citigroup announced its venture into crypto wealth management. It dedicated an entire division to digital assets. The division was headed by Kriete and Girasole, and they were liaising with the firm’s functional partners and the bank’s Capital Markets and Investment division.

After five months of launching this division, Citigroup announced adding 100 new employees. The division is headed by Puneet Singhvi, with the obligation of facilitating internal activities such as trading, investment banking and how these can work with blockchain technology and the entire digital asset sector.

The main goal behind the launch of this digital asset division was to interact with the firm’s internal and external stakeholders, including its clients, startups, and regulators.

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