The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country’s largest bank, has announced a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. The partnership takes the financial institution to a strategic and historical position, effectively becoming the first bank in Australia to offer direct crypto retail services through CommBank, its duly licensed mobile app.
We’re becoming the first Australian bank to offer the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets directly in the CommBank app. pic.twitter.com/OzX1qtvu9B— CommBank (@CommBank) November 3, 2021
According to the bank’s official press release, the partnership with Chainalysis and Gemini has enabled it to provide crypto exchange and custodial services for its customers, introduced as a new feature through its CommBank app. Customers of the CBA will be able to trade up to ten select crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
“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. 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.” shares CBA’s CEO, Matt Comyn.
The bank’s partnership with key crypto industry players such as Gemini and Chainalysis comes at a contentious period, with the Australian Senate engaging in discussions on how to best implement crypto regulation in the country.
“The exponential growth of digital assets internationally, coupled with Gemini’s institutional-grade security and proactive regulatory approach, positions this partnership to set a new standard for banks and financial platforms in Australia and across the globe.” said Dave Abner, Global Head of Business Development at Gemini.
According to the CBA, it is seeking to reduce the friction of using third-party exchanges, which open customers and everyday crypto users at risk of fraud. This is why the bank has partnered with Chainalysis, which will help the CBA to monitor, secure, and maintain a trusted and secure digital banking and retail crypto experience to its customers.
“Financial institutions like CBA play an integral role in growing cryptocurrency adoption safely. 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.” says Chainalysis CEO Michael Gronager.
The CBA says that it remains “committed to reimagining banking” and that it would, in forthcoming updates, introduce investing and shopping functionalities to the app alongside retail crypto services. The pilot testing phase for the CommBank apps retail crypto features will begin in the coming weeks, with a progressive rollout of features and accessibility by 2022.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.