Commonwealth Bank to allow customers to trade crypto through its app
Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), teamed up with Chainalysis (a blockchain data platform) and Gemini (a regulated crypto exchange) to allow its 6.5 million customers to buy and sell crypto through its CommBank app.
Through this partnership, millions of the bank’s customers can now trade using ten digital assets including Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.
Experts say this move — one of its kind by a major Australian bank — will bring more legitimacy to cryptocurrency, and help the bank to break industry ranks.
The Aussie bank is expected to kick-off a pilot program in the next coming weeks, ahead of its official launch around next year.
Many CBA customers are already trading crypto
Matt Comyn, CBA’s chief executive, said by venturing into crypto they’re acknowledging a growing customer need for the services, adding “[CBA wants] to provide the capability, security and confidence in a crypto trading platform”.
Research conducted by Commonwealth Bank revealed many of their customers are already buying and selling crypto through crypto exchanges. And many more have expressed interest in trading digital assets.
Comyn said the reason Commonwealth Bank jumped into the crypto bandwagon is after many customers decried poor crypto services offered in the market today.
And key concerns ranged from lack of trust and risk of fraud to friction of using third-party exchanges. “This is why we see this as an opportunity to bring a trusted and secure experience for our customers”.
CBA’s crypto adoption will bring further harmonization
Fintech leadership and entrepreneurship lecturer at Swinburne Business School, Dr. Dimitrios Salampasis, admits he’s not surprised CBA ventured into crypto.
He said the Australian bank is hoping to legitimize cryptocurrency and get a first-mover advantage. “It’s a move that will change a lot”.
Salampasis believes, besides bringing legitimacy, the move will also convey harmony and “push further regulation and also minimize de-banking, which has been a massive pain for all cryptocurrency startups in particular”.
A Senate select committee report on Aussie’s Fintech services listed crypto businesses facing rejection from Aussies financial institutions including the Bitcoin Babe exchange.
Senator Andrew Bragg, chairman of the committee, suggested imposing oversight laws on the cryptocurrency sector before fully operating in Australia.
He’s also recommending the government create a license policy for crypto exchanges — and develop a clear process for Australian businesses to deal with de-banking.
Salampasis predicts the committee’s report, along with CBA’s subtle crypto adoption, is most likely to trigger calls for crypto regulations in Australia. “There has to be regulation … [and] provisions…especially concerning licensing”.