Westpac Makes its Tentative First Steps Towards Crypto

July 21, 2022, 10:11 AM AEST - 3 weeks ago

After remaining silent on the topic for most of this year, major Australian bank Westpac has indicated its intent to enter the blockchain and crypto space.

This comes as it shared a job post this week advertising the need for a “principal architect” for digital assets and crypto. The successful candidate would aid Westpac in transforming emerging cryptocurrency and digital asset trends into opportunities for the bank and its customers.

Westpac’s Roadmap for Digital Assets

More specifically, the principal duty of the position will involve the development and maintenance of a strategic technology roadmap for digital assets. David Walker, chief technology officer at Westpac, has spoken regarding speculation about its future in crypto:

https://www.itnews.com.au/news/westpacs-new-cto-looks-beyond-mobile-banking-531811

We have been exploring blockchain technologies for some time, recognising the benefits it could have not only for customers, but for streamlining parts of the wider financial system as well … Ensuring the safety and security of our customers remains a critical consideration with the use of this technology.

David Walker, chief technology officer, Westpac

If Westpac continues down this path, it will fall into line with other ‘Big Four’ Aussie banks that have already started catering to crypto.

Other Aussie Banks Banking on Crypto

Australia’s most productive bank when it comes to delving into the crypto industry has so far been the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). However, CBA was forced to halt its crypto trading pilot in May amid market turmoil. Those who were trialling CBA’s upcoming in-app crypto trading facility were left with no word on when the app was likely to resume trading.

The goals of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) are set to extend the usage of its cash-backed stablecoin, A$DC, over increased demand for access to it from its institutional customers. At the time (June 2022), ANZ was also looking to target additional use cases through a pilot program, thanks to aid from the federal government and regulators.

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