The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced that it will become the first bank in the country to offer customers the opportunity to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency through its own CommBank application.
Thus, CBA has established partnerships with the Gemini exchange custodian, as well as the analytical company Chainalysis. They helped the bank develop a digital asset exchange and storage service for CommBank.
In addition, the pilot launch of the new feature will take place in the coming weeks. Also, it will gradually become available to a wide range of customers in 2022. According to the press release, the bank will support ten cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC); Ethereum (ETH); Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).
Emergence and growing demand
The decision to add digital asset-related services to CBA based on the results of the research. In its progress, it turned out that a large number of clients already trade and store cryptocurrencies on third-party platforms.
“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”. CBA Chief Executive Officer Matt Comyn said.
According to him, in order to meet the demand, the bank made a “strategic decision” to partner with Gemini in order to integrate the exchange’s services into CommBank via the Application Programming Interface (API).
The popularity of cryptocurrencies
Cooperation with Chainalysis is designed to help CBA comply with regulatory requirements in a new area and reduce criminal risks.
“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”. Comyn added.
Recall that earlier in February Bitcoin became more popular than gold in Australia. Crypto exchange BTC Markets surveyed 2,000 investors in Australia and found that 12.6% own cryptocurrency, and only 12.1% own precious metals. They explain their investments by the fact that cryptocurrency has many advantages over traditional assets. Moreover, they believe that it is more reliable and more convenient than precious metal.