• The Commonwealth Bank of Australia recognizes the risks of missing out on cryptocurrency

  • “We see risks in participating, but we see greater risks in not participating,” CBA CEO Matt Comyn said of the bank’s recent cryptocurrency adoption play.

    The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) CEO, Matt Comyn, stated that the bank is more concerned about the risks of missing out on cryptocurrency than the risks of adopting it.

    The CBA is set to become the first of Australia’s “big four” banks to offer crypto-based services after announcing on November 3 that it would support the trading of 10 digital assets directly through its banking app.

    On Friday, Comyn was asked about the CBA’s position on the crypto sector, and the CEO stated:

    “There are risks to participating, but there are greater risks to not participating.” It’s important to note that we don’t have an opinion on the asset price; we see it as a highly volatile and speculative asset, but we also don’t believe the sector or technology will go away anytime soon.”

    Comyn also hinted that there will be much more to come from the CBA’s crypto adoption play, pointing out that the bank sees many use cases for blockchain technology, as well as strong consumer demand.

    “As a result, we want to understand it, and we want to provide a competitive offering to customers with the appropriate risk disclosure.” “We want to develop capabilities in and around DLT and blockchain technology,” he added.

    ASIC has no FOMO and is unable to regulate the sector.

    While the CBA appears to be bullish on crypto and distributed ledger technology, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has advised investors to exercise caution while also noting that it is unable to oversee the sector.

    Speaking at the Australian Financial Review Super & Wealth Summit on Mo, ASIC chairman Joe Longo stated that the financial regulator cannot regulate cryptocurrency because the asset class does not currently fall under the scope of “financial products” in Australia:

    “The demand-driven nature of the crypto rush has created some unique challenges.” At the moment, many crypto-assets are most likely not ‘financial products,’ making it difficult for financial advisers to provide advice.”

    “ASIC has already provided some guidance on exchange-traded funds linked to crypto-assets — they are at least financial products and traded on a licensed exchange, so there will be some protections there — but for the most part, investors are on their own for the time being,” he added.

    Longo, for one, advised local investors to proceed with caution, noting that “the maxim ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ comes to mind.” He did, however, emphasize that the crypto proposals advanced by the Australian Senate last month were the right move for the local climate.

    “Wherever we land in terms of policy, Senator Bragg’s committee was correct to highlight the fact that crypto is on our doorstep, right now, and being driven by extraordinary consumer and investor demand,” he said.

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