Australia's banking regulator looks into CBA's jump into crypto

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Representations of the virtual currency Bitcoin basal connected a motherboard successful this representation illustration taken May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

SYDNEY, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Australia's banking watchdog said it was examining the regulatory implications of Commonwealth Bank's (CBA.AX)'s planned instauration of bitcoin trading to unsophisticated retail investors - the archetypal slope successful Australia to bash so.

CBA says it would invited a wide regulatory model for crytpocurrencies, which are not formally regulated successful Australia.

On Wednesday CBA broke banking manufacture ranks to lucifer offerings from fintech firms by announcing it volition go the archetypal main-street slope successful the developed satellite to connection a level for retail customers to commercialized cryptocurrencies. work much

The determination is forcing fiscal watchdogs successful Australia to instantly absorption connected the volatile $2 trillion crypto trading manufacture that galore reason has nary intrinsic worth and relies connected users' implicit spot successful antithetic types of software.

A spokesperson for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) told Reuters the country's largest lender had made the regulator alert of its plans and the authorization was "examining regulatory issues that this raises".

After a staged aviator for 2,000 people, CBA volition springiness casual entree to crypto trading successful 10 assets to astir a 3rd of Australian adults already utilizing its industry-leading mobile banking app, which besides offers vigor retailers discounts and c emanation trackers.

CBA's crypto trading work volition beryllium provided successful concern with Gemini Trust Company, 1 of the world's largest crypto exchanges that was created successful 2014 by the Winklevoss brothers, celebrated for accusing Facebook's laminitis of stealing their idea.

The anti-money laundering watchdog the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre said that it was "engaging ... successful narration to this caller merchandise offering" with some CBA and Gemini.

CBA says it would invited regulatory clarity successful the space, and that its merchandise was designed with risk-mitigation and regulatory concerns beforehand of caput for some the slope and to guarantee radical consciousness harmless erstwhile utilizing the product.

"We would truly invited regulatory clarity for crypto assets. We deliberation it would amended the market, heighten spot and it would rise the barroom successful presumption of lawsuit protection," said Sophie Gilder, Commonwealth Bank's caput of Blockchain and the bank's task leader.

CBA's offering volition beryllium a "a closed loop" connected to a CBA slope account, that would beryllium monitored with cryptocurrency anti-money laundering services from Chainalysis for immoderate imaginable suspicious activity.

"We've got implicit transparency arsenic to lawsuit enactment and tin study connected that to regulators erstwhile necessary," Gilder said, which includes customary reporting to the taxation authority.

"We volition not, arsenic soon arsenic the aviator ends, unfastened it to everyone. It volition beryllium a much gradual process than that, which I deliberation is due considering the volatility of crypto."

Reporting by Paulina Duran successful Sydney; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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