Commonwealth Bank (CBA), the largest of the four major banks in Australia, will allow its customers to buy and sell crypto currencies on its platform in a revolutionary move, establishing a precedent in the banking sector of the country.
The service will be available to all CommBank app users, which currently surpass 6,5 million, and which now will be able to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, among 10 other major digital coins on their mobile devices.
Commonwealth Bank, which along with National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd dominates the Australian banking sector, said it will partner with the New York- based exchange Gemini Trust Company LLC to offer crypto exchange and custody service through a new feature in its mobile banking CommBank app.
“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’s chief executive Matt Comyn said in a statement.
A recent research conducted by the bank found that many of its customers are either interested in crypto assets, or are already trading with crypto coins on unregulated crypto exchanges.
“Customers have 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,” CBA’s CEO Matt Comyn added after the announcement.
The growing popularity of crypto trading is considered as a problem for mainstream banks in Australia with increasing competition from companies like Square, PayPal and Revolut, which already offer such services.
Next year CBA plans to expand its crypto service by allowing customers to pay with crypto coins for goods and services, despite the regulatory concerns on the issue.
CBA says it will work with the U.S. block chain data platform Chainalysis to prevent any potential cyber crimes related to its new service.