Private Bank Launching Bitcoin (BTC) Trading for Huge Customer Base in Italy Amid Ongoing Lockdown

As Italy’s national lockdown continues, a private Italian bank is planning to launch Bitcoin trading for more than one million customers.

Banca Stella’s e-money platform, Hype, is currently beta-testing Bitcoin trading with a small number of users. The bank plans to roll out the new app feature for its entire customer base by the end of the month. While Hype users will be able to create a Bitcoin wallet for free, the platform will charge 1% commission on BTC sales and purchases.

The Hype team collaborated with the Italian crypto financial services firm Conio to create the wallet, which will utilize a three-key security system, according to a Conio press release.

“The custody system has 3 keys, 2 of which are always necessary for transactions, and is structured as follows:

1. a key is on the customer’s smartphone;
2. a key is on the Conio servers;
3. a key is kept by Hype offline and is divided between different operators.

To operate, the customer just needs to use his key: Conio automatically uses his own. If the customer loses the phone, Conio blocks any transaction. The key in Hype is used by the customer only in emergencies, to recover his funds.

Thanks to these characteristics, Conio is positioned as the first Bitcoin startup in the world to have established a banking partnership.”

Customers will be able to buy and sell Bitcoin without the need to upload any additional personal documents to Hype’s platform.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday that Italy’s coronavirus lockdown will extend past its original April 3rd time frame as the death toll from the pandemic continues to rise, surpassing 4,000 with over 47,000 confirmed cases. The outbreak has shuttered nonessential businesses and physical outlets, forcing people to work at home and to conduct more transactions and processes on the internet.

Prior to the outbreak, Italy’s banking system was already strained due to a deep recession that has triggered a number of small bank closures.

Across Europe the pandemic has also prompted merchants to refuse cash for fear of contracting the virus.

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