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Australia’s Commonwealth Bank first to leap into Cryptocurrency Trading

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Australia’s largest bank is pushing the boundaries of the traditional finance industry by offering its 6.5 million customers the ability to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum directly through its app.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced on Wednesday the game changing move that will reshape how Australian’s bank in the future.

The big four bank has partnered with crypto exchange platform Gemini and blockchain analytics company Chainalysis to provide the crypto services.

The ground-breaking move is an attempt to entice ‘younger’ Australians to the bank, and to keep up with its Fintech competitors like Square and PayPal, which already let users trade and spend bitcoin.

Research conducted by the CBA highlighted a growing demand for cryptocurrency related investments within its customer base, suggesting a coming of age for digital currencies and assets alike.

CEO Matt Comyn said the evolving landscape of digital currencies presents both challenges and opportunities for the financial services sector, which has witnessed a substantial number of new players and business models innovating in the area over the past decade.

“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,” he said.

“In looking at ways that we can support our customers, we have made the strategic decision to form an exclusive partnership in Australia with Gemini, a global leader with strong security and a track-record of serving large institutions. CBA will leverage Gemini’s crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the CommBank app.”

A pilot of the crypto exchange functionality will become available in the coming weeks, with the CBA planning to release more features to customers in 2022.

The partnership with Chainalysis on the other hand will assist the company’s compliance team to ‘monitor and mitigate the threat of crime through crypto asset exchanges,’ Australia’s largest bank explained.

The surge in popularity of cryptocurrencies has created a real threat for traditional banking institutions as they try their best to protect clients and their business interests.

CEO of BTC Markets, Caroline Bowler said that the announcement was further evidence that the legitimacy of cryptocurrency is on the way.

“CBA’s move is exciting and inevitable. It’s yet another ‘red letter day’ for crypto and it is as though Australia has suddenly put the lead foot down,” Ms Bowler said.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have welcomed the move that will see the CBA help ‘authenticate’ the $2.6 trillion crypto trading industry.

Australia’s top bank has not revealed specific details around fees, which is a key factor traders use to differentiate between exchange platforms online.

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