Commonwealth Bank will be the first major Australian bank to allow its customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency assets through its CommBank app.
The bank announced that it would start a pilot project with additional functions in the coming weeks, which will be released in the course of 2022.
CBA will initially offer customers up to ten cryptocurrency assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The bank will leverage the Gemini platform for cryptocurrency exchange and custody, as well as Chainalysis services to support compliance and monitoring.
The offer will enable CBA to participate in the growing market interest in digital assets.
According to the CBA, own studies have shown that customers already own crypto currencies or use them via other trading platforms.
CEO Matt Comyn said consumer interest in the cryptocurrency space “creates both challenges and opportunities” for the Australian financial market, “which has spawned a significant number of new players and business models in the space”.
“We believe we can play an important role in cryptocurrency to meet the clearly growing customer need and provide capabilities, security and confidence in a cryptocurrency trading platform,” said Comyn.
The news comes after Comyn told a parliamentary committee in September that the bank was “studying” the cryptocurrency space.
During the hearing, Comyn said the CBA understood that digital assets were a “higher risk sector” but saw potential “in some cases that we can adequately manage risk using some of the tools, techniques and vendors available “.
NAB, Westpac and ANZ have all raised similar concerns but have yet to get into the cryptocurrency market.
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