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 will support the trading of 10 digital assets directly through its banking app.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday, Nov. 19, Comyn asked about the CBA’s position on the crypto sector, and the CEO stated:
“We see risks in participating, but we see bigger risks in not participating. It’s important to say that we don’t have a view on the asset price itself. We see it as a very volatile and speculative asset. But we also don’t think that the sector and the technology is going away anytime soon.”
Comyn also hinted that the CBA’s crypto adoption strategy will be expanded in the future. Stating that the bank sees many applications for blockchain technology as well as strong consumer demand.
“And so we want to understand it, we want to provide a competitive offering to customers with the right disclosure around risks. We want to build capability in and around DLT and blockchain technology,” he added.
ASIC has no FOMO and is unable to regulate the industry
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 and noted. That it is unable to regulate the sector.
ASIC chairman Joe Longo said on Nov. 22 at the Australian Financial Review Super & Wealth Summit that the financial regulator can’t regulate crypto because the asset class isn’t currently classified as “financial products” in Australia:
“The demand-driven nature of the rush into crypto has thrown up some unique challenges. At present many crypto-assets are probably not ‘financial products’, making it difficult for financial advisers to offer counsel.”
“ASIC has already provided some guidance on exchange-traded funds linked to crypto-assets — they at least financial products and traded on a licensed exchange, so there will be some protections there — but for the most part, for now at least, investors are on their own,” he added.
Moreover, Longo advises local investors to proceed with caution when it comes to crypto. Noting that “the maxim ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ comes to mind”. He did, however, emphasize that the Australian Senate’s crypto proposals. Which introduced last month, where the right move for the local climate.
“Wherever we land from a policy perspective, Senator Bragg’s committee was right to highlight the fact. That crypto is on our doorstep, here and now. And being driven by extraordinary consumer and investor demand,” he said.