The CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country’s largest bank, sees big risks in not participating in cryptocurrency. “We see risks in participating, but we see bigger risks in not participating,” he explained.
The CEO of Commonwealth Bank says that Crypto FOMO means banks must get involved
In an interview on Thursday with Bloomberg Television, Matt Comyn from Commonwealth Bank of Australia spoke about FOMO (fear of missing out) in relation to cryptocurrency and bitcoin. Commbank is an Australian multinational bank that has branches in New Zealand, Asia and the U.S.
Comyn explained that although cryptocurrencies are “very volatile and speculative,” banks need to be involved in crypto and blockchain technology, citing the insatiable demand from customers to trade crypto. Comyn said that:
Participation is fraught with risks, while not taking part in the process presents greater risks.
While emphasizing, “It’s important to say we don’t have a view on the asset class itself,” he noted, “We see it as a very volatile and speculative asset.”
The bank also believes crypto will be around for the long-term. Commbank’s CEO stated:
We also don’t think that the sector and the technology is going away anytime soon. Therefore, in order to better understand this sector and technology we will provide competitive offerings to our customers. We also want to disclose risks.
The Commonwealth Bank chief also spoke out on the central bank digital currencies. “Many central banks are looking at the applicability of a central-bank digital currency, what would that look like, what would the benefits be of that,” he stated. “That’s something we’d like to participate in. We think it’s important that Australia is building capability and piloting different versions of the future. We are hopeful we can play a role in that.”
Early this month, the bank announced that it will be providing some customers with the ability to buy, sell, and hold crypto assets directly through its app in partnership with crypto exchange Gemini “CBA will provide customers with access to up to ten selected crypto assets including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and litecoin,” the bank said, adding that “The pilot will start in the coming weeks and CBA intends to progressively roll out more features to more customers in 2022.”
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