Leading Australian bank, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), is going to add cryptocurrency support to its CommBank banking app by the next year.
In a blog post on Wednesday, November 3rd, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) said that it had made its decision to enter the crypto space by allowing 6.5 million retail clients of its CommBank banking app to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets.
To make this happen, CBA has partnered cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and Chainalysis. The announcement reads:
“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.”
CBA will start a pilot program in coming weeks and progressively rollout more features to more customers in 2022. The bank’s CommBank app will provide its retails clients access to up to “ten selected crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.”
With crypto services enabled, CBA will become the first Australian bank to offer the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets. Commonwealth Bank’s customer base of 6.5 million people represents over 25% of Australia’s total population. This means CBA’s crypto services will help cryptocurrency to reach mainstream adoption quickly in Australia.
We’re becoming the first Australian bank to offer the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets directly in the CommBank app. pic.twitter.com/OzX1qtvu9B
— CommBank (@CommBank) November 3, 2021
The bank said that its research found that a large number of its customers wanted access to crypto assets as an investment class. Matt Comyn, CEO of CBA, commented:
“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.
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.”
Cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini will serve as a custodian and its services will be integrated into the CommBank app through APIs.
To be compliant with the AML and Terrorist Financing (TF) laws, CBA has also partnered with blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis, so that its compliance teams can monitor and mitigate the threat of crime.
Michael Gronager, CEO and Co-Founder of Chainalysis, said:
“Financial institutions like CBA play an integral role in growing cryptocurrency adoption safely. We are thrilled to be a part of this important alliance with CBA and our partner Gemini to play a pioneering role in building trust in cryptocurrencies in the Australian market.”