Commonwealth Bank announced today that it will offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency assets, including Bitcoin, through its CommBank app.
Piloting the offering is expected to begin in the “coming weeks” as the bank announced plans to roll out other features to customers in 2022, becoming an Australian bank’s first foray into crypto. It will provide its 6.5 million app users with access to up to 10 crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
CBA CEO Matt Comyn said the emergence of digital currencies created both a challenge and an opportunity for the financial services industry, and led to significant innovation in business models.
He said the bank aims to meet the “growing demand for digital currencies” from customers, while providing a degree of security and confidence in a crypto trading platform.
Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said the CBA’s announcement was “exciting and inevitable,” adding that she could see Australia move from a “catch-up” to a position of world leader now that millions of customers will have easier access. to cryptocurrencies.
“With regulations to come and the largest bank in the country allowing it, the floodgates are now open for more traditional finance and smart money appetite to get into cryptocurrencies,” Bowler said. .
The new offering was made through CBA’s partnership with crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.
It’s not the only new product CBA has announced in recent times, with the big bank having introduced its Buy It Now, later offering StepPay in August.
Keep in mind that as an often volatile and relatively new form of investing, cryptocurrency comes with a number of risks that consumers should be aware of. For example, the regulator ASIC warns on its Moneysmart site that people “could lose a lot of money” if they bought cryptocurrency without doing their research, with rapid fluctuations in value and crypto scams being important factors to consider.
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