Bitcoin, the world’s premier digital cryptocurrency has often been seen with suspicion and scepticism by conventional banks, but the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown situation may be changing this biased approach.
A mobile bank named Hype which is operating in Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in Europe is offering Bitcoin selling/purchasing and wallet services to its 1.2 million users since March 19, 2020.
This is when the pandemic was still in its early phases in the country and the global death toll was below 50,000.
Coronavirus Exposing the Current Economic Model
The news is groundbreaking in many aspects but makes complete sense for the mobile bank and the public. It was often envisaged by many in the cryptocurrency community that in the near future when the fiat system would be unable to keep up with its services, Bitcoin could come in and establish a firm footing. It seems like that time could be now!
This was evident way before the European continent got hit by COVID-19. Banks were slowly closing their branches in rural areas leaving millions of people unbanked with no access to basic banking services. This process was slow and was taking a lot of time, but it was happening nonetheless.
However, the events of the deadly virus have accelerated this and the effects can be seen all around the world. The rise of mobile banking as a solution to the problem has accelerated the adoption of a brave new cashless society.
While mobile-based solutions like the ones offered by most banks like Hype have helped millions of people overcome the closure of banks, and brought more and more people into the regularised economy, these solutions are still very much based on a fiat system that is increasingly being referred to as unstable.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why the mobile banking company announced a Bitcoin buying/selling counter on its online service which is used by over 1.2 million people in the country.
The company partnered with a crypto services company called Conio for this added feature. To help increase security, the service is offering a tri-key approach in which each Conio, Hype and the user himself/herself get a key each. Users have sole access to their keys, no transaction can be triggered within the mobile app’s ecosystem which increases the overall security of the system.
A Brave New World
While the move is a welcoming functionality for the better of the cryptocurrency sector, more adoption is expected in the near future as countries grapple with the virus’s far-reaching effects on the economy.
The US government has already passed over $3 Trillion worth of stimulus packages for the economy.
This extra money being injected into the eco-system is expected to cause further concerns for long-term inflation statistics and may result in another recession that will be worse than the 2008 crisis according to leading economists.
It seems that there will be only one beneficiary from the disruption of the conventional system: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.