Commonwealth Bank of Australia (also known as CommBank) announced that it will enable its customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies. The crypto assets that this new plan will support are Bitcoin (BTC/USD) and Ethereum (ETH/USD). With this development, CommBank will be the first bank in Australia to offer cryptocurrency services.
CommBank Cooperates With Gemini and Chainalysis
According to an official announcement on November 5, CommBank will launch this new service in partnership with Gemini, one of the leading cryptocurrency trading platforms. Gemini is one of the most flexible exchanges in the world.
Chainalysis also recently opened a new office in Canberra, Australia, which will become part of CommBank’s plan. Through these partnerships, the bank has created a cryptocurrency exchange and custody service for users who take advantage of the new features in the bank’s app.
In the announcement, the pilot project will begin in the next few weeks and CBA intends to gradually roll out more features to more customers in 2022. CBA will make up to ten selected crypto assets available to customers, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The bank’s chief executive, Matt Comyn stated that the new service was introduced due to the increased demand for digital currencies. He noted that this growing demand creates challenges and opportunities for companies in the financial services industry. However, this has not prevented the emergence of new players and innovations in the industry.
Australian Crypto Regulations
Comyn pointed out that despite the increased demand for digital assets, the industry still worries Australians. Investor concerns about the crypto industry are the challenges posed by the use of third-party exchanges, the increased risk of fraud, and a lack of trust.
However, following the official announcement by Senator Andrew James Bragg, the regulatory environment in Australia is expected to change. The Senator stated that lawmakers and regulators will bring regulatory clarity to the industry over the next 12 months.
Bragg is the chairman of the Australian Technology and Financial Center Council. The committee previously issued 12 recommendations on the crypto industry regarding taxes and licenses.