Banco Generali wants to be a Bitcoin bank

Italy’s Banca Generali wants to offer Bitcoin custody services next year, having led a $14 million investment round in local crypto wallet Conio.

Is that a bank? Yup, Banca Generali caters to wealthy individuals. Most balances reportedly range from $500,000 to $10 million, and it boasts nearly $84 billion in customer assets in total.

A subsidiary of Italy’s largest insurer Generali Group, Banca Generali trades publicly in Milan, where it’s regarded as a blue chip stock.

What’s the deal? Banca Generali’s clients will be able to buy, store, and sell Bitcoin via their banking app once the bank integrates Conio’s tech.

Conio co-founder Christian Miccoli told CoinDesk the deal echoes its recent work with challenger bank Hype, but on a much bigger scale.

A bank for Bitcoin? Conio uses a ‘two-out-of-three’ multi-signature system that makes recovering lost crypto much easier. Private keys are split: the customer’s phone stores one, while Conio and the bank looks after the second and third keys. 

That way, funds can still be accessed if a customer misplaces their private key. Neat, as it removes the user as a single point of failure.

Where’s the hype? When US-based insurer MassMutual bought a stake in a Bitcoin custody operation much like how Banca Group invested big in Conio, the firm spent $100 million on BTC for its general fund.

Generali Group has $750 billion in assets under management, and some hope it could be next to diversify with BTC. There’s however no sign of that just yet.