Commonwealth bank of Australia made an annoncement today of it blocking all CommBank credit cards from buying virtual currencies, like Bitcoin. Given the unpredictability and lack of regulation of the cryptocurrency market, customers of CBA as of today, February 14, will no longer be able to acquire this type of currency with CBA or Bankwest cards. The bank compared the standards of the traditional currencies and of the virtual ones and concluded that the virtual currencies do not satisfy even the minimum standards.
However, clients of CBA can still purchase the virtual currency via transaction accounts and debit cards. Besides, the situation with cryptocurrencies is highly dynamic and the bank’s position is constantly reviewed.
Thus, CBA has become the first Australian bank to officially forbid the purchase of the virtual currency to its clients. And in doing so joined a notorious list of UK (Lloyds) and US (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citi) banks with similar restrictions. Despite the regretable decision, other Austalia banks like ANZ or Westpac have not and will not place any similar restrictions. So the CBA’s decision is highly unlikely to become a trend.