Australian bank’s crypto play being slammed by red tape
CBA has been one of Australia’s most innovative banks. It was one of the first to undertake a digital transformation strategy, and now it wants to least the charge with crypto. Unfortunately, the regulators, and confusion regarding their respective roles, is making it difficult.
One regulator, ASIC, has acknowledged that crypto assets are an unusual thing for it to regulate. ASIC commissioner, Cathie Armour, said that the body does have a moral duty to provide guidance, even without its role in crypto being formalised, as consumers need to know that they’re investing in an environment that isn’t as well protected as other investment opportunities.
To this end, ASIC has implemented rules that prohibit financial influencers from being able to advocate for crypto, and it is the main reason that CBA has been held up in launching its own digital aspirations.
CBA has said that it is working with ASIC and the other regulatory bodies to sort through these problems before launching its products. However, one of the big problems currently facing Australian organisations is uncertainty as to what regulators should be regulating what parts of crypto. Armour said that ASIC’s ability to comprehensively regulate crypto assets is still a matter for parliament, and with an election on the horizon, that kind of certainty among watchdogs is going to remain in the air for now.
CBA is looking to partner with offshore crypto exchange, Gemini, to launch a service that will allow its customers to invest in digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.