The Commonwealth Bank (CBA), Australia’s first bank to announce crypto services, halted its decision to launch the app amid the ongoing market crash, The Guardian reported.
The decision came amid market volatility and the simultaneous debut of Australia’s first crypto ETFs, but the reaction was lukewarm. However, the report did not provide any indication on the new timeline.
CBA has faced regulatory hurdles since its announcement
Back in November 2021, CBA announced a pilot launch of cryptocurrency trading in 2022 through its banking app. The lender has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis to expand cryptocurrency offerings this year.
However, the report highlighted that in a recent technical briefing, CBA chief executive Matt Comyn noted that lenders were waiting for customer feedback and regulatory clarity before proceeding with the rollout.
“As events have intensified last week, it’s obviously a very volatile industry that’s still generating a lot of interest. But beyond this volatility and awareness, I guess the scale, of course globally, you can look at To regulators and people are interested in the best way to regulate,” he commented.
In an earlier report, Be[In]Crypto reports that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is facing delays in offering new cryptocurrency products to its retail investors.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has also reportedly blocked CBA’s pilot of a banking app, including crypto assets, over “product disclosure statements, target markets for products and consumer protections.”
“At this stage, our intention remains to restart the pilot, but we still want to do some work on the regulatory side to make sure this is the best fit,” Comyn added.
Election and Regulatory Reform
Australia recently proposed regulations covering cryptocurrency taxes, ways to protect investors from criminals and regulate digital banks, cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers.
The Treasury Department also recently released a consultation paper for public comment until May 27 outlining licensing and custody requirements for the domestic crypto industry.
Given that 18.4% of Australia’s population currently owns virtual assets, another major regulatory overhaul the country will witness will come in the upcoming elections on May 21.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Conservative coalition will take on opposition Labour leader Anthony Albanese on issues including the crypto agenda.
The Liberals’ Jane Hume and Andrew Bragg backed the growth of the Australian crypto industry with a large number of potential votes. At the same time, the former even went on to say that Australia could lose its cryptocurrency-led economic growth if the opposition Labour Party comes to power.
Comyn wants the new government to focus on regulating the crypto industry.
“We want to continue to play a leading role in providing input for this and shaping the most appropriate regulatory outcome,” he said.
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