Australian bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has offered crypto trading services to institutional investors. They will become the country’s first main-street bank to offer a platform for retail customers to trade cryptocurrencies, breaking industry ranks as it looks to match offerings from rival fintech firms.
Australia’s biggest lender said it will partner with New York-based exchange Gemini Trust Company LLC to offer a “crypto exchange and custody service” through a new feature in its mobile banking app that is used by about 6.4 million customers.
“We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need,” Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Matt Comyn said in a statement.
Cryptocurrency executives and supporters said the move would help validate the $2.6 trillion crypto trading industry.
“Nothing that I know, particularly from a bank of this size, enables retail clients to directly buy crypto through their platform, to the best of my knowledge. So it’s really exciting,” said Caroline Bowler, chief executive of BTC Markets, which is one of the largest crypto exchanges in Australia.