Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) (CBA), the biggest bank in Australia and in the top 50 worldwide, will allow some customers to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies via its banking app this month.
After finding that many of its customers were already investing in crypto assets, CBA has added crypto exchange and custody service functionality to its app via partnerships with regulated crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
A pilot scheme for some customers will start in the coming weeks, the Sydney-based lender said, with plans to roll out more features to more customers next year.
Bitcoin and Ethereum will feature among the 10 assets that will be available, along with Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
CBA chief executive 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.”
He said some customers had expressed concern regarding some of the crypto services in the 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,” Comyn added.