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Australia’s largest bank to offer crypto services to its 6.5m customers

Commonwealth Bank has revealed it will become the first bank in Australia to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold an array of cryptocurrencies through the CommBank app.

The bank will implement a pilot scheme in the coming months and provide customers with access to up to ten selected crypto assets, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Chainlink, Aave and Litecoin.

Currently, the pilot is only available “for CommBank staff members”, with plans to “expand to a small number of pre-selected customers in the coming months” outlined by the bank.

Further features will then be progressively introduced to more customers throughout 2022.

To facilitate the array of crypto services for customers, Commonwealth Bank partnered with crypto exchange and custodial partner Gemini alongside blockchain firm Chainalysis.

The partnership with Gemini has enabled the bank to design a native crypto exchange and custodial service that will be offered to customers through an in-app feature.

Its collaboration with Chainalysis will help internal regulatory and compliance teams “monitor and mitigate the threat of crime through crypto-asset exchanges”.

When questioned further on the assets available, CBA noted that it “will leverage Gemini’s crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the CommBank app through APIs” – which suggests that only assets available on Gemini will be introduced in the future.

Matt Comyn, CBA CEO, commented on the feature and the growing demand for cryptocurrencies in traditional financial services.

“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,” he said.

“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.”