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CBA jumps into crypto

CBA will be the first big four bank to offer its customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets through its banking app.

The big four bank has partnered with crypto exchange and custodian Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, to design a crypto exchange and custody service to be offered to customers through the CommBank app.

CBA will provide access to up to10 selected crypto assets, including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin.

The pilot will start in the coming weeks, with CBA planning to roll out more features to more customers next year.

The major bank is launching the feature after finding demand from its customers, with a number already buying, selling and holding assets through a variety of crypto exchanges.

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CBA chief executive Matt Comyn stated the growing demand for digital currencies has created both challenges and opportunities for the financial services sector.

“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,” Mr Comyn said.

“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. This is why we see this as an opportunity to bring a trusted and secure experience for our customers.”

Dave Abner, global head of business development at Gemini asserted the growth of digital assets and a proactive regulatory approach will position the partnership to set a “new standard for banks and financial platforms in Australia”.

Michael Gronager, CEO and co-founder of Chainalysis also reflected on the benchmark CBA could help set.

“Financial institutions like CBA play an integral role in growing cryptocurrency adoption safely,” Mr Gronager said.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this important alliance with CBA and our partner Gemini to play a pioneering role in building trust in cryptocurrencies in the Australian market.”

Other Australian banks and fintechs have somewhat leaned into crypto.

Neobank Volt recently teamed with digital currency exchange BTC Markets, to offer bank accounts to its 325,000 customers.

The partnership has seen BTC Markets invite its customers to use Volt accounts, integrated into the exchange’s interface.

UK fintech Revolut, which is in the process of securing a local banking licence and operates as a bank overseas, also offers customers the ability to exchange cryptocurrencies.

[Related: Volt and AFG launch ‘Australia first’ BaaS-powered consumer products]

CBA jumps into crypto
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