Citigroup announced on Tuesday that it plans to hire 100 people in its institutional division to work on digital assets such as blockchain and digital currency.

The initiative is the latest by traditional banks looking for ways to enter into the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, which has gained public appeal as well as regulatory scrutiny.

Citi's head of blockchain and digital assets at its global markets division, Puneet Singhvi, will manage the new unit, according to a note to employees. The memo was forwarded to the press.Citigroup records falling credit costs in sign of easing Covid strain | Financial Times

A Citi spokesman said in an emailed response that the new team would be made up of internal and external personnel and will be based in Singapore, New York, London, and Tel Aviv. Hiring is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

"We are examining these markets, as well as the growing regulatory landscape and related risks, prior to launching any products or services in order to meet our own regulatory frameworks and supervisory requirements," the spokesperson added.

Even though JPMorgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, has been a vocal critic of the sector, Bank of America began cryptocurrency research coverage this year, Goldman Sachs launched a crypto-trading team, and JPMorgan Chase allowed wealth management clients access to cryptocurrency funds.

DBS Group's bitcoin trading platform is being expanded across Asia.

Citi's new team will work on product development and project management, as well as establish a strategy for pursuing digital asset opportunities such as new products, new clients, and new investments.