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Australia’s Largest Bank Looking to Offer Additional Crypto Services


Sophie Gilder – Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) – revealed that the financial institution could start offering more cryptocurrency services to clients. She further disclosed that the organization seeks to double the size of its blockchain team in the months to come.

‘Crypto is Here to Stay’

Australia has been gradually expanding its presence in the cryptocurrency universe in recent months. At the end of 2021, the nation’s biggest financial institution – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) – announced it will enable its customers to buy, sell, and hold digital assets, including bitcoin and ether. Thus, it became the first Aussie organization to provide such opportunities.

Speaking at Australia’s Blockchain Week conference, Sophie Gilder – a top executive at the CBA – said users have displayed huge enthusiasm towards the initiative:

“We launched CommBank crypto in December, and so far, the response has been extremely positive. The biggest complaint we’ve had is customers who haven’t been let into the pilot yet.”

Moreover, Gilder outlined that the bank intends to provide additional cryptocurrency services to reach the ”full spectrum of consumer needs.” She also added that CBA plans to double the size of its blockchain division throughout 2022, predicting that the asset class will further evolve in the future.

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Anthony Jones – Head of Innovation and Fintech at Visa Australia – opined similarly to Gilder. In his view, the cryptocurrency industry has gone “truly mainstream:”

“This widespread mainstream adoption is very much here, and we believe it’s here to stay.”

Subsequently, Jones claimed that digital assets have a role as a “hedge instrument or a store of value that’s uncorrelated and diversified.” That thesis has been supported by numerous prominent individuals for a while now. Such names include the likes of Barry Sternlicht, Dr. Saifedean Ammous, and Jordan Peterson.

Who Else Thinks ‘Crypto is Here to Stay’

Among the people who believe cryptocurrencies are not a temporary craze that will disappear in the following years is BlackRock’s CIO – Rick Rieder. In 2020, he claimed that bitcoin plays an essential role in digitizing the world, predicting it “is here to stay:”

“I think that digital currencies, and their receptivity, particularly millennials’ receptivity of technology and cryptocurrencies, is real. Digital payment systems are real.”

Bitcoin bull Meltem Demirors described the market crash in the summer of 2021 (when bitcoin dipped to $30,000) as a beneficial event for the digital asset sector. Specifically, she said such dumps could wipe out people with “paper hands,” and the space would clean itself from insecure investors. In her view, price corrections are something normal, concluding that “bitcoin is here to stay” and “is not going anywhere.”

Earlier this year, Umar Farooq – CEO of JPMorgan’s digital asset unit Onyx – said BTC has been in a cognitive mode during its first 13 years of existence. He forecasted that now more people realize its merits and it will develop more rapidly in the years to follow.

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