Italy’s mobile bank Hype has announced a partnership with fintech startup Conio, enabling customers to buy, sell, and securely store bitcoin from within their banking app. With over a million Italians choosing to bank with Hype, and 60,000 new customers being onboarded each week, the challenger bank’s decision to offer bitcoin is significant.
The wallet integration is the result of demand for bitcoin among Hype’s customers, according to CEO Antonio Valitutti: “Over 13% of our customers demanded bitcoin. We heard them, and we did our best to bring them the best solution: that’s why we chose Conio. We are very happy with our partnership, which also demonstrates the pioneering spirit of Hype.”
Last week, the Italian Red Cross and blockchain startup Helperbit announced that they were raising donations in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with the intention of establishing a second-level advanced medical post for pre-triage of covid-19 cases. So far, the appeal has raised over $17,000. While a mere drop in the ocean given the government’s announcement of a €3.6 billion stimulus package, it indicates that the country is marshaling whatever resources it can to counter the virus.