The Commonwealth Bank has announced the introduction of cryptocurrency into its banking services, allowing users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency assets in the Commbank app.
This will make it the first Australian bank to enter the cryptocurrency market.
The details of the bank's cryptocurrency pilot program remain a mystery, including any fees and charges that might be associated with the new platform.
Cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon that traditional institutions have been hesitant to touch. As the power of cryptocurrency continues to grow, customer choice has driven banks around the world to expand their services into the digital market.
This particular initiative is being rolled out in partnership with Gemini and Chainalysis – high profile global cryptocurrency leaders.
A statement released by the Commonwealth Bank reveals that users will have access to ten crypto assets.
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 pilot will start in the coming weeks and CBA intends to progressively rollout more features to more customers in 2022. CBA will provide customers with access to up to ten selected crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
According to the Commonwealth Bank, the decision to branch into the cryptocurrency world has been made after research discovered that a large portion of their customers were already making use of the service through other means.
“The emergence and growing demand for digital currencies from customers 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,” said Matt Comyn, CEO of the Commonwealth Bank.
“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. 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 will leverage Gemini’s crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the CommBank app through APIs.”
Commonwealth Bank’s partnership with blockchain giant Chainalysis is expected to help the bank mitigate the threat of cybercrime conducted through cryptocurrency channels.
The partnership is aiming to make the Commonwealth Bank a more secure and trusted player in the cryptocurrency market.
“Customers have expressed concern regarding some of the crypto services in market today, including the friction of using third party exchanges, the risk of fraud, and the lack of trust in some new providers. This is why we see this as an opportunity to bring a trusted and secure experience for our customers,” said Michael Gronager, CEO and Co-Founder of Chainalysis.