According to the bank’s official release, the bank has teamed with the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to facilitate crypto trading for its 6.5 million customers. The deal sponsored by two of the first crypto billionaires, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, is one of the smaller exchanges in terms of the trading volume. Still, it promotes itself aggressively as a custodial solution for institutions. CBA has also worked with Chainalysis to provide compliance services.
According to the release, a substantial number of CBA customers are interested in crypto trading, with a large portion of them already doing so actively on other exchanges. As a result, CBA intends to launch a pilot test in which CommBank app users will be able to trade ten different crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. The pilot will begin in the next weeks and will gradually roll out more features throughout 2022.
According to Business Insider Australia, Dave Abner, Gemini’s global head of business development, believes that this action will set a precedent for other banks to follow:
“We are happy to be providing CBA with exchange and custody services as they begin to open up bitcoin investing to many Australians.”
Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets, an Australian crypto exchange, believes today is another “red-letter day” for crypto, calling CBA’s move “exciting and expected.” She adds that, while Australia has lagged behind in terms of crypto acceptance, the country appears to have “put the lead foot down”:
“We’ve been described as playing catch-up for a long time, but now we’re moving into a worldwide leadership position with our largest bank, one of the world’s most prominent mainstream financial institutions, providing millions of consumers with access to cryptocurrencies.”