Italian bank Banco Sella has rolled out Bitcoin trading to its 1.2 million customers on Friday.
According to an official announcement, the bank will offer trading services on the Hype platform while acting as an intermediary to safeguard against risks associated with cryptocurrency exchanges.
The launch was appropriately timed during a nationwide lockdown where the majority of Italian citizens are being forced to self-isolate due to the spread of coronavirus.
The virus has also caused global stock markets to plunge, which may turn people to alternative investments like Bitcoin or gold.
The Hype platform already operates as a trading venue with derivatives markets and contract-for-difference (CFD).
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Antonio Valitutti, General Manager at Hype said: “The cryptocurrency and Bitcoin market in particular continues to arouse interest, especially among the public that constitutes our customer base — by definition young and smart and who, increasingly, expect to be able to access this world through the tool that they use to manage money on a daily basis.”
The free service is aimed at retail investors with initial limits of €500 daily and €2,500 annually being put in place.
However, there is a premium service that allows users to purchase Bitcoin worth up to €4,990 per day and €50,000 annually.
Similar projects have been rolled out by financial institutions over the past year, with the Stuttgart Stock Exchange launching a crypto trading app last June.