Citi’s co-head of digital assets quit with intentions to create a crypto firm
This move follows a number of other banking veterans who have transitioned from Wall Street to cryptocurrency startups.
Alex Kriete, Co-Head of Digital Assets at Citi, resigned from the financial behemoth on March 10 through LinkedIn. He indicated in his statement that he intended to dedicate himself entirely to building a new cryptocurrency firm, but gave no other specifics.
Since the unit’s debut in June 2021, Kriete has co-led the Digital Assets Group with Greg Girasole for less than a year. Girasole also announced his resignation through LinkedIn, and he and Kriete want to launch a blockchain-related enterprise together. The two have said that they would release further information in the following weeks.
Kriete’s enthusiasm for his new venture stems from his conviction that digital assets would “continue to increase in relevance to global capital markets and the development of new business models.” He noted that his own interest in blockchain-enabled digital assets began over five years ago and has evolved into a desire to “help in the growth of this market” on his own terms.
Whereas Kriete and Girasole managed Citi’s wealth management division’s digital assets business, the bank now has a separate digital assets section under its Institutional Clients Group overseen by newly appointed Puneet Singhvi.
Recently, another Citi employee, Matt Zhang, left to form Hivemind Capital Partners, a $1.5 billion crypto fund using Algorand as its first technology partner. And in a similar corporate leadership move, Roger Bartlett, a long-serving Goldman Sachs employee, departed the firm to manage Coinbase’s Global Financial Operations.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase is another bank making pioneering strides into the metaverse, having created a virtual lounge in the Decentraland metaverse in order to capitalise on a $1 trillion market potential, the bank claims.