The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) made headlines recently after becoming the first banking institution in Australia to start offering crypto services. The bank has now stated that while cryptocurrencies are risky, the larger risk is not investing in the area.
According to the CEO of the CBA, Matt Comyn, the financial institution was concerned about the risks from not participating in crypto.
First big bank in Australia to offer crypto services
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As mentioned earlier, CBA became one of the largest banks in Australia to offer crypto services. In an announcement issued earlier this month, CBA stated that it would support 10 digital assets through its banking app.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Comyn stated that “We see risks in participating, but we see bigger risks in not participating. It’s important to say that we don’t have a view on the asset price itself, we see it as a very volatile and speculative asset, but we also don’t think that the sector and the technology is not going away anytime soon.”
Comyn further noted that the financial institution was seeing increased use cases for blockchain technology. He noted that there was strong demand from customers and that the bank wanted to offer a competitive offering for customers with knowledge about risks. Moreover, the firm also wanted to build capabilities regarding DLT and blockchain technology.
ASIC says crypto investors are on their own
While the CBA is pushing for crypto adoption, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has stated that currently, there is no regulatory framework surrounding crypto assets and that investors were “on their own.”
According to the chair of the ASIC, Joe Longo, the regulatory body could not regulate these assets because they did not fit the definition of “financial products” in Australia. However, the ASIC has stated that it is working with lawmakers to develop a clear regulatory framework, and this could come into effect next year.
The said regulations will protect investors and not stifle innovations in the sector. Longo also urged investors to invest in crypto assets with caution because of their volatile and unregulated nature.
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