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1.2 million Italians can now trade bitcoin from their mobile bank

One of the oldest Italian banks, Banca Sella has responded to customers’ growing interest in cryptocurrencies during the COVID-19-driven turmoil by launching a crypto trading service as a secure way to transfer money internationally.

The bank has rolled out a bitcoin trading service managed on its digital platform Hype that is now available to at least 1.2 million citizens. The country’s mobile bank has recently announced a partnership with Milan-based fintech Conio, saving customers the trouble of using crypto exchanges to buy Bitcoin. With Conio, users will be able to buy, sell, and securely store BTC from within their banking app, without the need for extra verification.

According to Hype's CEO Antonio Valitutti, the crypto wallet integration comes in response to customer demand for bitcoin:

"The cryptocurrency and bitcoin market, in particular, continues to arouse interest, especially among the public that constitutes our customer base — by definition young and smart and who, increasingly, expect to be able to access this world through the tool that they use to manage money on a daily basis".

The platform's new addition is still in beta testing, however, once the bitcoin trading service is available to all the customers, the bank will use the necessary means to reduce potential security risks with cryptocurrency exchanges. Also, the customers should note that the bank will be claiming a 1% fee for every purchase and sale.

It is worth mentioning that other Italians institutions have shown a growing interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain. Last week, the Italian Red Cross and a blockchain startup Helperbit launched a Bitcoin Fundraiser to help combat the pandemic in the country. Earlier this month, two Italian high schools announced they would start using Ethereum (ETH) blockchain for unalterable and easily shareable digital diplomas. The same technology was applied to electronic voting in Naples in 2019.

Italy has been the worst-hit country throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, with the number of death surpassing even China with over 3,400 cases. And while releasing a crypto trading platform during a national lockdown may seem rather odd to some, offering another means of payment and trading might be a convenient move. Alongside trading bitcoin, Hype customers will be able to make card payments for goods and services anywhere bitcoin is accepted. Bitcoin may also prove to be a valuable alternative for cash payments by preventing the spreading of the virus via contaminated notes.

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