The Commonwealth (CBA), Australia’s largest retail bank, has announced that it will no longer allow customers to use its credit cards to buy virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
“Due to the unregulated and highly volatile nature of virtual currencies, customers will no longer be able to use their Commbank credit cards to buy virtual currencies,” the CBA announced on its website today.
“Our customers can continue to buy and sell virtual currencies using other CommBank transaction accounts, and their debit cards.
“We have made this decision because we believe virtual currencies do not meet minimum standard of regulation, reliability, and reputation when compared to currencies that we offer to our customers.
“Given the dynamic, volatile nature of virtual currency markets, this position is regularly reviewed.”
The ban will also apply to Bankwest customers, and begins from today, Wednesday, February 14.
The decision follows similar moves from the likes of JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Lloyds Banking Group who all announced bans on purchases of cryptocurrencies using credit cards last week.
The move from the Commonwealth Bank breaks ranks with Australia’s remaining Big 4 banks — Westpac, ANZ and the NAB — who told the ABC last week that they had no plans to block cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards.
Now that the Commonwealth Bank has moved, there’s a chance they too may follow suit.
The news has had little impact on the Bitcoin price today which currently sits up 2.92% at $US8,784.99.
Like other major cryptocurrencies, it’s had a torrid time this year, falling from just below $US20,000 in mid-December to below $US6,000 in early February.