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Citi builds blockchains

02 July 2015  |  11332 views  |  2 citi bank

Citi has been exploring distributed ledger technology for years, building three blockchains and creating its own crypto-currency, dubbed Citicoin, the banking giant has told International Business Times.

Citi Innovation Labs boss Ken Moore says that the systems are at the "pre-production" level and designed to help the bank make sure it is at the "leading edge of this technology and that we can exploit the opportunities within it".

The focus of the work is on using the blockchain for payments, particularly cross-border transactions. "Because we are a global network, a global bank, we can look for opportunities to use this technology to move money from country to country - country A to country B, across our network," Moore tells IBTimes.

Away from the blockchain, Citi is also working with Kenya's Safaricom to enable companies and NGOs to make mobile payments to people without bank accounts.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, MD, payments and receivables, Emea, told IBTimes: "We were able to partner with Safaricom to enable us with our banking platform to make an electronic funds transfer - which is normal for a banking platform - but to also enable payment into a mobile phone.

"So it meant that a customer could send us a file and one part would go off to the local clearing house and the other bit of the file would end up being credited to a mobile phone through partnership with Safaricom."

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 03 July, 2015, 07:40

First of all I think it's a good thing that banks use blockchain technology.

But do we really want Citicoin, XYZcoin (XYZ is a placeholder for other banks) against bitcoin? 

And probably the coins of bank A won't work in the network of bank B.

But maybe bank A and bank B could use bitcoin as a bridging exchange cryptocurrency...

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 06 July, 2015, 12:41

Don't know why they have to go through the hassle of a cryptocoin and blockchain - surely a simple internal Citi message format would be quicker and just as efficient.

Assume they are proposing: Citi Country A Currency A, convert to citicoin, reconvert to Citi Country B Currency B to pay beneficiary.

More efficient: Citi in Country A instructs Citi in Country B to pay Currency B to beneficiary.

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