Italian Bank Hype to Offer Bitcoin Buy Option to 1 Million Customers Thanks to Milan Bitcoin Startup Conio

Popular mobile banking platform Hype has introduced the ability to buy bitcoin (BTC) in-app after inking a partnership with fintech firm Conio. The Italian Challenger Bank, which services 1.2 million customers (2% of the country’s population), will give customers the chance to buy, sell, spend and store the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, saving them the time and trouble of using an exchange.

Banca Sella Gets into the Bitcoin Business

Hype is a subsidiary of banking giant Banca Sella, which was the first financial institution in Italy to offer e-commerce payments and an exclusively online account. Introduced in 2015, Hype allows the legacy bank to reach a younger crowd, and its new bitcoin trading service is an attempt to build on its popularity with a largely millennial audience.

Hype tabbed Milan-based crypto service Conio to develop its fully-integrated bitcoin wallet, which lets users retain full access and control of their funds (“Not your keys, not your coins” is a popular proclamation against crypto exchanges and custodial wallets). Bitcoin can be purchased at the touch of a button using customers’ credit balance, and funds easily dispatched to other accounts.

Image: team Conio

Conio’s advanced storage solution uses three private keys for the wallet, with one kept on the user’s smartphone, another on Conio’s servers and a third retained offline by Hype. Two keys are required to authorize any transaction, meaning hackers are unable to steal funds and customers who lose their handset can regain access to accounts.

Bitcoin Buying on Lockdown

With Italy enduring a nationwide lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and distrust of contaminated coins and banknotes swirling, Hype’s introduction of a comprehensive bitcoin trading-and-custody service seems timely. According to company CEO Antonio Valitutti “Over 13% of our customers demanded bitcoin. We heard them, and we did our best to bring them the best…

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