Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has become the first mainstream bank in Australia to offer crypto services after joining forces with American crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
Thanks to the partnership, CBA is now free to design a crypto exchange and custody service that will enable clients to buy, sell, and hold up to ten selected crypto assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, through its CommBank app.
The bank is looking to roll out the offerings in a few weeks, with the intention of integrating more features in 2022.
Matt Comyn, CEO at CBA, stated that the decision was inspired by a demand for the service from its customers. Research conducted by the bank revealed that many of its customers were already making transactions with crypto assets via other available platforms.
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 […] CBA will leverage Gemini’s crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the CommBank app through APIs.
So far, only a few financial institutions in Australia have embraced the idea of providing crypto services. According to a Reuters report in September, two of Australia's largest lenders defended their decision against having business relationships with cryptocurrency providers. One Australian crypto trader even claimed to have been rejected by over 90 banks.