The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is set to be the first in the country to start offering cryptocurrency services to retail clients. This news has surprised many, especially considering the sector’s previous stance on cryptocurrency.
In the near future, CBA will form a partnership with Gemini Trust Company LLC, which is a crypto exchange that’s based in New York. The partnership will enable it to provide trading in 10 cryptocurrencies by means of its banking app, that is used by over 6.4 million people.
The decision to move into this space comes with the increase in a growing customer need for digital currencies, says the bank’s Chief Executive Matt Comyn. It also follows on the footsteps of other fintechs like PayPal Holdings, Square, and Revolut that are offering crypto services as well.
The move also comes soon after CBA spearheaded the entry of the Australian industry into the popular Buy Now Pay Later sector. This enabled them to effectively eliminate competition from Afterpay. Ltd.
For starters, CBA stated that it would allow customers to buy, sell, and hold 10 cryptocurrencies, which includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Further details on the new features will be announced in 2022, which is most likely to include crypto payments for goods and services. CBA has also decided on a collaboration with U.S. blockchain data platform Chainalysis to help navigate the threat of cybercrimes that would come along with the latest developments.
The new initiative will definitely appeal to CBA’s youth customers and will bring in more people to use the app, thereby creating long-term value