Matt Komen, chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), said the bank is more concerned about the risks of losing cryptocurrency than the risks associated with its use.
CBA will be the first of Australia’s big four banks to offer crypto-based services after the company announced on November 3 that it will support trading 10 digital assets directly through its banking app.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV on Friday, November 19, Komen was asked about the central bank’s views on the crypto sector, and the CEO noted the following:
“We see risk in getting involved, but we see more risk in not getting involved. It’s important to say that we have no idea what the price of the asset itself is, we see it as a highly volatile and speculative asset, but we also don’t. I think this sector and technology will disappear immediately.” ”
Komen also suggested that the CBA cryptocurrency adoption game would go a long way, as he emphasized that the bank sees many useful examples of blockchain technology, along with strong consumer demand.
And so we want to understand this, we want to give customers a competitive offer with proper disclosure of risk information. We want to build capabilities in and around DLT and blockchain technologies.”
ASIC has no FOMO and cannot regulate the sector
While the CBA appears bullish about crypto technology and distributed ledgers, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has urged investors to exercise caution, noting that it cannot control the sector.
Speaking at the Australian Financial Review Super & Wealth Summit on November 22, ASIC Chairman Joe Longo suggested that the financial authority cannot regulate cryptocurrency because the asset class is not currently eligible for “financial products” in Australia:
“Demand-driven demand for cryptocurrencies has created a number of unique challenges. Currently, many cryptocurrencies may not be “financial products,” which makes it difficult to advise financial advisors.”
“ASIC has already provided some guidance on exchange-traded funds related to cryptocurrencies – at least they are financial products and traded on a licensed exchange, so there will be some protection – but for the most part, at least for the time being. Investors are in their hands,” he added.
On this topic: The Reserve Bank warns Australians not to invest in the crypto-giant
In Longo’s personal opinion, he urged domestic investors to be more careful when using cryptocurrency, stating that the “principle” of not putting all your eggs in one basket “comes to mind.” However, he also stressed that the cryptocurrency proposals presented by the Australian Senate last month were the right move for the local climate.
“Wherever we get politically, Senator Bragg’s committee was right to highlight the fact that cryptocurrency is on our doorstep, here and now, driven by intense consumer and investor demand,” he said.