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Australia's Commonwealth Bank To Offer In-app Crypto Services To Customers

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia is set to become the first Australian bank to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets such as Bitcoin, directly through its app. The service will be provided in partnership with U.S.-based crypto exchange and custodian Gemini and New York-based blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.

Under the partnership, the big four Australian bank said it will "design a crypto exchange and custody service that will be offered to customers through a new feature in the app." The bank will begin the pilot in the coming weeks, with the roll out expected in early 2022.

Commonwealth Bank will initially provide customers access to up to ten selected crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

The bank went on to initiate the service after a huge number of its customers wanted access to crypto assets as an investment class. The large number of customers are already buying, selling and holding crypto assets through several crypto exchanges.

However, the bank added that customers expressed concern regarding some of the crypto services in market, including the friction of using third party exchanges, the risk of fraud, and the lack of trust in some new providers.

Commonwealth Bank then made a 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. The bank will leverage Gemini's crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the CommBank app through APIs.

As part of the decision, the bank also also partnered with Chainalysis, a global leader in blockchain data and analytics to help compliance teams monitor and mitigate the threat of crime through crypto asset exchanges.

Gemini noted that its institutional-grade security and proactive regulatory approach positions this partnership to set a new standard for banks and financial platforms in Australia and across the globe.

While Commonwealth Bank wades into providing crypto support, it is expected that the other three of the "big four banks" - National Australia Bank, Westpac and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group - will also follow suit to offer crypto services to their customers very soon.

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