• Citigroup is looking to staff up a unit of the bank looking at risks associated with money laundering.
  • The positions, which were posted in April, list a “Certified Bitcoin Professional Certification” as “a plus.”

Citigroup is seeking talent with a background in bitcoin to staff up its anti-money laundering group.

The New York-based financial-services giant is seeking a vice president and senior vice president to explore risks associated with money laundering in bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and other nascent payment technologies, according to LinkedIn job ads. Qualifications for the senior vice president include “knowledge of cryptocurrency and bitcoin monitoring.”

Also, a so-called Bitcoin Professional Certification is described as “a plus” for both positions.

The senior vice president “will support the Global Head of AML Monitoring Risk Management-Emerging Risk by identifying, analyzing, and implementing AML transaction monitoring risk programs related to developments in cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and emerging payment technologies, products and methods,” the job ad said.

The mention of a BPC is unusual, as it is not typically a qualification employers are seeking in job candidates. A quick LinkedIn search of "certified bitcoin professional" will only pull up the two Citi ads.

A BPC is not unlike other financial professional certification such as a CPA, certified public accountant, or CFA, certified financial analyst inasmuch as it aims to indicate a superior level of knowledge in a subject matter. A number of organizations provide such bitcoin certification, including the Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium, which offers a BPC to those who complete a two year course and a 20-minute test.

To be sure, the position will likely look at other emerging risks, besides crypto. But Ryan Taylor, the chief executive officer of Dash Core, the company behind the crypto of the same name, said it likely indicates Citi is very seriously looking at risks surrounding the nascent market for digital currencies.

"The job ads are intentionally vague," Taylor said.

"They are either identifying risk to eliminate certain profiles" or this could be a prerequisite to identifying new opportunities in the space at a later point, Taylor added.

Unlike firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, Citi did not immediately clear bitcoin futures trades for its clients. It also banned clients from making crypto currency related purchases with its credit cards.

Bitcoin has often been associated with activities such as money laundering.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said bitcoin's growth "identifies how much money laundering there is being done in the world."

For example, authorities on April 9 broke up a Spanish crime ring that laundered $9.8 million using credit cards and digital currencies, Europol said.

"As the cash was already circulating in the financial system, the ring just needed to transfer the criminal money back to the drug dealers in Colombia," a statement from European law enforcement said.

A spokesman for Citi declined to comment on the job ads.