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Commonwealth Bank puts crypto trading trial on ice as regulators dither

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has put its plans for a second crypto trading pilot programme on hold indefinitely, denying access to individuals who participated in the first round of testing.

The Commonwealth Bank sent a transcript of a Tuesday bank briefing in which CEO Matt Comyn stated that regulatory clarity was still needed. He also stated that he was “working very closely with a lot of regulators on the right treatment of this particular product,” as one might expect.

“At this point, our objective is to restart the pilot, but there are a few things we need to sort out on the regulatory front to make sure that’s the best option.”

According to Comyn, a Treasury filing for the programme is now being reviewed, but he did not provide an estimated completion date.

Even though the second pilot programme had been placed on hold by April after banking regulators objected to allowing regular bank users easy access to crypto, Comyn noted that this week’s high volatility looked to confirm the necessity for the extended delay. Consumer protections were missing from the Commonwealth Bank’s services, according to the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

“It’s obviously a very volatile sector with a lot of interest,” he remarked.

“But, alongside that volatility and awareness, and I guess the magnitude, you can see there is a lot of interest from regulators and individuals thinking about the best way to govern that”

“Significant changes to the crypto regulatory landscape” according to Commonwealth Bank’s CEO

Comyn also suggested that the bank was awaiting the result of Saturday’s Federal election. If a new When a new administration takes office, it may usher in significant changes to the crypto regulatory landscape, according to Comyn.

Dr. Dimitrios Salampasis, a leadership and entrepreneurship lecturer at Swinburne University, told The Guardian that The Commonwealth Bank may be taking things gently to avoid damaging its brand.

Dr. Slampasis stated that “balancing risk, brand equity, and regulatory clarity will be crucial so as to minimise disruption in CBA’s current business model,” referring to the recent price slump across the crypto markets owing to the collapse of Terra (LUNA).

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Last November, the CBA became Australia’s first major bank to offer cryptocurrency services via its mobile app. As the test programme progressed, the app’s 6.5 million users were guaranteed access once it was fully implemented. Those plans have been put on hold for the time being.

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