We advised Commonwealth Bank of Australia on the arrangement

Davis Polk advised Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in connection with its entering into an arrangement with Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) to allow CBA to offer its customers cryptocurrency trading functionality, via CBA’s mobile banking application. CBA is the first major Australian bank to offer cryptocurrency trading functionality to its customers. In a related transaction, CBA also made a small minority investment in Gemini.

Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s leading provider of integrated financial services, including retail, premium, business and institutional banking, insurance and sharebroking products and services. CBA operates predominantly in Australia and New Zealand, with an additional presence in Europe, North America and Asia. The Davis Polk team worked closely with CBA’s legal and strategy teams led by Mark Alexander (EGM General Counsel, Corporate and Governance), Rachel Webber (Senior Legal Counsel, Banking Legal), Regis Petit (EGM Group Strategy) and Sophie Gilder (Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets).

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin and zcash. Gemini is a New York trust company that is subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements and banking compliance standards set forth by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New York Banking Law.

The Davis Polk financial institutions team included partner Zachary J. Zweihorn and associate Adam M. Greene. Partner Pritesh P. Shah and associate Jesse L. Hallock provided intellectual property advice. Partner Byron B. Rooney advised on CBA’s investment in Gemini. Members of the Davis Polk team are based in the Washington DC and New York offices.