Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) today announced that it is set to become the first banking institution in the country to offer crypto services.
Following the announcement, CBA noted that it will allow its customers the opportunity to buy, sell and hold crypto assets, directly via the CommBank app.
To make this possible, CBA has entered a strategic partnership with crypto exchange platform Gemini and the popular crypto analytics company, Chainalysis.
The collaboration has allowed the bank to create a crypto exchange and custody service that will be offered to customers via a new feature in the app.
“In looking at ways that we can support our customers, 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 CEO Matt Comyn said.
The bank noted that it will provide customers with the ability to access up to ten selected cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
CBA intends to roll out more features next year following the pilot program, which is set to begin soon.
The move comes due to the growing demand for crypto assets from CBA customers.
“The emergence and growing demand for digital currencies from customers create 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,” Comyn said.
As the cryptocurrency industry edges towards widespread adoption, it has drawn attention to the Australian government, thereby pushing the government to set up regulatory guidelines to accommodate crypto trade and also protect investors.
Just last week, the country’s financial watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), noted that it could permit bitcoin and ether exchange-traded products (ETPs).
The commission released a set of regulatory guidelines for providers who intend to offer crypto ETPs.
Just a day ago, liberal Senator for New South Wales Andrew Bragg said that he has never seen an industry “so keen on regulation [than crypto],” despite the criticism it faces from crypto critics.
He noted that the crypto industry has done well in presenting its case to the authorities and that he is confident the Australian government will set up regulatory guidelines for the crypto industry within a year.