Australia’s CBA leads industry to offer in-app crypto trading



Australia’s Commonwealth Bank logo is pictured at a branch in Sydney, August 2, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray/File PhotoSYDNEY, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Commonwealth Bank of Australia will become the country’s first to offer retail clients crypto services, Australia’s largest bank said on Wednesday, signalling a change from the sector that had refused to do business with cryptocurrency providers.Starting with a pilot this year, Commonwealth Bank will partner with Gemini Trust Company LLC, a New York-based crypto exchange, to offer trading in about ten cryptocurrencies, through its banking app, which is used by about 6.4 million customers.The move stands in contrast with CBA’s three smaller peers, National Australia Bank (NAB) (NAB.AX), Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ.AX) which in September faced criticism for refusing to do business with cryptocurrency providers. read more At the time, Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Matt Comyn had said it was studying the space.”The emergence and growing demand for digital currencies from customers creates both challenges and opportunities for the financial services sector, which has seen a significant number of new players and business models innovating in this area,” Comyn said in a statement on Wednesday.”We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need.”The bank will offer about 10 cryptocurrencies by 2022 including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, and will work with U.S. blockchain data platform Chainalysis, to help its compliance team monitor and mitigate the threat of cybercrimes. read more “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,” Comyn said in the statement.Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing byOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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