April 22, 2024

Citigroup alumni to offer BTC securities without SEC’s approval

Former executives of Citigroup Inc. will offer Bitcoin (BTC)-backed securities.

According to a Bloomberg report published on Jan. 4 former Citigroup executives will offer BTC-backed securities that they say do not need approval from US regulators. The brazen move will see the issuer startup what is known as a “Receipts Depositary Corporation, or RDC.

The securities will be Bitcoin Depositary Receipts that function similar to American Depositary Receipts representing foreign stocks. According to the company, the BTC DR offering will provide institutions with access to securities through the US regulated market infrastructure and will be cleared through Depository Trust Co.

The key difference from a Bitcoin ETF will be that depositary receipts offer direct ownership of BTC to qualified institutions, which RDC says will be the first of its kind to do so.

According to the issuers, purchasing Bitcoin is not preferred for some regulated institutions as cryptocurrency markets face challenges, including security risks and regulatory uncertainty. The RDC proposal will provide a product that will “complement” the Bitcoin ETF.

According to Ankit Mehta, co-founder and CEO of RDC and a former Citigroup executive:

“We are a conversion tool for asset owners today, whether they are hedge funds, family offices, corporations, large institutional investors, that want to take their Bitcoin and convert it into a DTC-eligible security.”

Ankit Mehta, RDC co-founder and CEO

The new product may become popular among investors amid the hype around investing in BTC. The most significant difference with BTC DR is that it does not require approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the issuers say.

Given the challenges and numerous considerations currently being debated by the SEC in regards to the spot Bitcoin ETF, regulatory uncertainty and risk aversion to traditional financial markets, the latest issuance by the group may give some institutional investors opportunity to onboard capital into crypto markets.

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