Commonwealth Bank pushes into crypto with Bitcoin, Ethereum trading
Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has announced it will become the nation’s first bank to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets, directly through its CommBank app.
CBA has partnered with one of the world’s largest regulated crypto exchanges and custodians, Gemini, and leading blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis.
Both partnerships have allowed the bank to design a crypto exchange and custody service that will be offered to customers through a new feature in the app.
The bank said it intends to progressively roll additional features to customers in 2022. CBA will provide customers with access to up to ten selected crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
Research from CBA found a large number of its customers want to access crypto assets as an investment class and are already buying, selling and holding crypto assets through a variety of crypto exchanges.
The bank’s chief executive Matt Comyn said the emergence and growing demand for digital currencies creates both challenges and opportunities for the financial services sector, which has seen a significant number of new players and business models innovating in this area.
“We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need and provide capability, security and confidence in a crypto trading platform,” he said.
“We have made the strategic decision to form an exclusive partnership in Australia with Gemini, a global leader with strong security and a track-record of serving large institutions. CBA will leverage Gemini’s crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the CommBank app through APIs.”
As part of its approach CBA has also partnered with Chainalysis, a global leader in blockchain data and analytics to help compliance teams monitor and mitigate the threat of crime through crypto asset exchanges.