Financial regulators are blocking the expansion of cryptocurrency services on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) mobile app. For the first time in Australia, the bank aims to provide all of its 6.5 million users with access to cryptocurrency services.
CBA Cryptocurrency Products launched a service pilot late last year after which it hoped to open it up to all users of its app, however now it appears to be moving towards a second pilot. The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on April 6 that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) attributed the launch to bureaucracy.
ASIC objects to the launch on the grounds of consumer protection in relation to the target market and product disclosure. The CBA has worked with ASIC and several other regulators in the Australian government to get the services up and running.
Speaking at the Australian Financial Review Cryptocurrency Summit on April 6, ASIC Commissioner Cathy Armor explained her commission’s recent focus on crypto despite arguments that it falls outside ASIC’s purview. She said that while crypto assets are not necessarily financial products that the commission can regulate, she was concerned:
“Consumers may invest in an environment where they are not afforded the same level of protection as financial products and services.”
In response to new ASIC rules that ban most of the work that financial influencers do, Government Senator Andrew Bragg said that the application of ASIC rules for financial products cannot apply to crypto assets because crypto is not a financial product under the law. Australia.
In her speech, Armor commented on ASIC’s ability to truly regulate crypto assets “depends on whether they comply with the legal framework for financial products and services,” which she said is “a matter for parliament.”
Armor added that she sees “real benefits of innovation within our regulatory regime” but warned: “There are a lot of rules to follow.”
“There are a bunch of rules to follow.”
The announcement of the CBA’s intention to launch cryptocurrency services caused a stir last November as it became the first bank in the country’s “big four” to do so. Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Wallas told Cointelegraph the move would be “extremely important.”
Related: Australian convenience store giant to accept crypto at 170 outlets
To bring the product to life, CBA partnered with offshore cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. Upon full launch, the product will include Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).