Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is collaborating with exchange Gemini to offer cryptocurrency-related services, a first in the country that could bode well for a coming revolution.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Gemini: cryptos for the bank’s 6.5 million app users
On November 3, 2021, Australia’s first bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, announced in a release its partnership with Gemini and Chainalysis to launch its crypto services. It will launch a pilot project for a limited number of customers in the next few services, before a full service rollout in 2022.
The bank plans to integrate ten cryptocurrencies into its CommBank app, including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin Cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC). This will make it the first Australian bank to allow its customers to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies via its app.
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The CBA’s collaboration with Chainalysis is aimed at helping its compliance teams “monitor and mitigate the threat of crime through crypto exchanges.”
Australian banks and cryptocurrencies: an inevitable evolution
For Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Vallas, it’s “inevitable” that other major Australian banks will also launch their own crypto services, and that it’s only a matter of time:
“It is inevitable that other banks will follow suit. On the clarity of the local regulatory landscape will depend issues such as licensing that are being tackled head on by the industry and governments. Barriers to action and participation are being removed.”
The collaboration between the CBA and Gemini isn’t all good news, however. The CEO of Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve, Adrian Przelozny, laments the CBA’s decision to partner with a foreign company at the expense of local players:
“It is disappointing that the CBA went with a foreign player and did not engage with local players at all. We will now contact the other Australian banks.
This move by the CBA comes amidst a desire by Australian lawmakers to put in place a regulatory framework on blockchain and cryptocurrencies that takes into account current realities.