Commonwealth Bank has caught the crypto bug. It will become the first bank in Australia to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets, all through its CommBank app.
To make this happen, Commonwealth Bank teamed up with crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
The yellow bank said on Wednesday that both partnerships have allowed it to design a crypto exchange and custody service. The new feature will be offered to customers through its app.
It’s expected Commonwealth Bank customers will have access to 10 crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The bank will kick off a pilot in the coming weeks. CBA said it intends to “progressively rollout more features to more customers” next year.
Just as many jumped to ANZ when it introduced Apple Pay, Commonwealth Bank may get a rush of crypto-happy new customers with its latest offering. Commonwealth Bank said a large number of its customers want to access crypto assets as an investment class and are already buying, selling and holding crypto assets through a variety of crypto exchanges.
“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 CEO Matt Comyn said.
“Customers have expressed concern regarding some of the crypto services in 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.”
This isn’t the first blockchain (or crypto) rodeo for Commonwealth Bank, however. In 2018 it completed the world’s first bond delivered via blockchain, on behalf of its client, the World Bank. It was called the ‘$AUD Kangaroo bond’ (yep, actually). It also traced almonds around the world on a blockchain.
The Commonwealth Bank also has a handful of enterprise-based blockchain initiatives underway, or ones that it has thrown its backing behind, such as smart contracts.