An increase in the adoption of cryptocurrency in light of the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to Banco Stella of Italy to set up a Bitcoin trading service. The trading is available through the bank's Hype platform. The bank acts as the intermediary in order to mitigate against any possible security risks associated with typical cryptocurrency exchanges. With the nation on lock down and residents stuck in their homes, the bank is taking advantage of an increasing interest in Bitcoin as a safe way to send money to an international destination without anybody having to go anywhere in the middle of the ongoing crisis.
About 1.2 million Italians use Hype as of March 2020. Banca Stella hopes to conduct more transactions. It plans to buy and sell Bitcoin. It also plans to set up a way for people to pay for goods and services with Bitcoin. Antonio Valitutti, who holds the title of General Manager at Hype, commented that the Bitcoin market and cryptocurrencies in general are arousing more consumer interest.
The new interest is from the public, and the demographics are trending younger and more educated. Valitutti stated that he expects those people to continue to demand advanced tools for managing their daily money and long-term finances, especially in light of a pandemic.
The public's interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency has gone up in the past few weeks and months across multiple institutions in Italy. The blockchain technology was used in electronic voting in Naples. Last week, two high schools in Italy announced that they planned to record student diplomas with the technology. The Italian Red Cross set up a Bitcoin fundraiser in order to get money for the pandemic response.
A startup in Milan, called Conio, also announced that it is going to offer a Bitcoin wallet on the Hype platform. It will allow the buying and selling as well as storage of digital assets. The Conio service says that it will not need any extra documents or institute any additional requirements for consumers who want to conduct any Bitcoin activities on their platform, increasing its potential patronage.