2020 has been quite a remarkable year for Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Bitcoin, and the crypto industry in general. However, it appears 2021 will be an even more interesting year, considering the number of institutional players that are entering the space.
Banca Generali, a major player in the Italian private banking sector, has revealed its plan to debut cryptocurrency services in 2021. This is coming after a corporate and commercial partnership with an Italian custody service provider, Conio.
Conio claims to be the first Bitcoin wallet from Italy. It was founded in 2015 and has developed a custodial wallet targeting financial institutions. The firm has also collaborated with fintech platforms like Nexi Open Banking and Hype in the past.
To put things in perspective, Banca Generali is a subsidiary of Italy’s largest insurer, Generali Group. The bank led a $14 million investment round in Conio. Whilst there were other smaller investors in the Series B round, sources reveal that Banca Generali contributed a significant sum of the raise.
Following the commercial agreement, Banca Generali will start offering Conio’s services to its customers from 2021. Although the details of what the bank will be offering are still sketchy, Michele Seghizzi, head of marketing and external relations at the bank, has said that its custody solution will only offer bitcoin.
Right now it’s just bitcoin. We decided to focus on the main digital currency that makes up most of the market and get all the security correct. They [Conio] are open to enlarging the service to other digital currencies in the future.