Italian Bank to Provide 300k+ Clients with BTC Wallet via Banking App
Reports have emerged that Italian bank Banca Generali will partner with fintech company Conio to add Bitcoin services to its platform. This integration will see over 300,000 private customers of the bank have access to a BTC wallet alongside their bank accounts.
Banca Generali, with $87B in AUM, to Offer Bitcoin
The agreement will see Banca Generali, with over $87 billion in assets, integrate Conio services on its banking app. Once completed, customers will trade Bitcoin using the same environment already utilized for other banking operations.
Further, the need for payment cards and transferring data to third parties to purchase the crypto asset is eliminated. The move shows that traditional banks are starting to challenge crypto native banks and exchanges. It also highlights a further institutional interest in digital assets.
Bitcoin may have had its best year yet in 2021—but 2022 is also off to a quick start. So far, there is an increasing blend of both institutional and national adoption within the sector.
Crypto Industry Off to a Great Start in 2022
Institutional investment, which has been a significant highlight of 2021, has continued with several corporations announcing adoption plans. Reports suggest a Las-Vegas based asset manager and a Japanese gaming giant will build a casino with a cryptocurrency trading floor. The project, estimated to cost $3 billion, will have a landing pad for flying cars, an esports stadium, and other proposed facilities.
UE Resorts International, a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment Corporation, will partner with Jason Ader on the project. They are expected to submit a pitch for the casino to the local gambling regulators by Friday, January 7.
Interest at a national level also appears set to increase following El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender. Several other countries are also at various stages of adoption of Central Bank Digital Currencies, with Nigeria launching its e-Naira in 2021.
The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, shared this sentiment on Twitter by predicting two more countries will adopt Bitcoin in 2022. This was one of six predictions he made relating to the digital asset for 2022.
With the year just starting, the blend of national and institutional interests paints a bullish narrative for the digital assets sector.
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Bitcoin: The New Gold for Millennials
Growing retail interest in Bitcoin has replaced gold as the new hedge for inflation among young investors. Wharton’s finance professor, Jeremy Siegel, made this assertion in a recent interview. He said,
“Let’s face the fact; I think Bitcoin as an inflation hedge in the minds of many of the younger investors has replaced gold. Digital coins are the new gold for the Millennials. I think that the story of gold is the fact that the young generation is regarding Bitcoin as the substitute.”
According to Siegel, gold’s performance in 2021 was disappointing, and BTC’s performance has made it more attractive to the younger generation. Gold recorded its worst performance since 2015, dropping 5% to close at $1,800 in 2021. However, Bitcoin grew by over 70% in the same period, giving further credence to the narrative.
Several notable global investors backed Bitcoin over gold in 2021. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has claimed Bitcoin would be better than gold. Barry Sternlicht, the co-founder of Starwood Capital Group, also stated that gold is “worthless” and that he is holding Bitcoin instead. Despite these sentiments, many financial and crypto experts say Bitcoin still has some way to go before it solidifies its inflation hedge status.
Do you think this kind of attention means 2022 will be optimal for the crypto market? Let us know in the comments below.