Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, that it will now offer cryptocurrency trading through its mobile application. The move is the first among Australia’s big four banks which includes Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and National Australia Bank. It also broke industry ranks as CBA matched the offers from other fintech firms.
Additionally, CBA collaborated with US-based crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis to provide service to its 6.5 million users and allow them to buy up to 10 crypto assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
‘We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need,’ Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive said in a statement.
According to Comyn, the challenges and opportunities for the financial services industry occur due to the growing demand for digital currencies. He stated: ‘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’.
Comyn also shared customers’ scepticism about the use of cryptocurrencies which became one of the reasons why the bank decided to offer crypto trading services.
‘Customers have expressed concern regarding some of the crypto services in the market today, including the friction of using third party exchanges, the risk of fraud, and the lack of trust in some new providers. This is why we see this as an opportunity to bring a trusted and secure experience for our customers’, stated Comyn.
He also added that the company ‘[We] remain committed to reimagining banking and will continue to bring more functionality into the CommBank app including investing and shopping’.
Australian crypto exchange BTC Market CEO Caroline Bowler also expressed her thoughts on CBA’s move, stating: ‘It’s yet another ‘red letter day’ for crypto and it is as though Australia has suddenly put the lead foot down. We have been touted as playing catch up all this while, but now we’re moving into a leadership position globally with our largest bank, and one of the most significant mainstream financial institutions in the world offering millions of customers access to cryptocurrencies’.
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