Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is breaking new virtual ground.
This morning, CBA announced it will offer crypto services to its customers.
In an Australian first, the bank’s customers will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies via CommBank’s app. This will include trading and holding Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH).
CBA reported that it is partnering with global crypto exchange Gemini and leading blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. Gemini was founded by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The bank intends to commence the pilot program within weeks and will then introduce additional features next year. Atop Bitcoin and Ethereum, CommBank said customers will have access to up to 10 selected cryptos. This will include Bitcoin Cash (CRYPTO: BCH) and Litecoin (CRYPTO: LTC).
What did CBA management say?
Commenting on the crypto services rollout, CBA CEO Matt Comyn said:
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.
A word from Gemini and Chainalysis
Gemini’s global head of business development, Dave Abner, added:
We are proud to be providing exchange and custody services to CBA as they begin to unlock access to cryptocurrency investments for many Australians.
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.
Furthermore, Chainalysis CEO Michael Gronager noted that “Financial institutions like CBA play an integral role in growing cryptocurrency adoption safely”.
Meanwhile, on the topic of safety, CBA’s Matt 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.