Growing crypto adoption and the COVID-19 outbreak has encouraged Italy’s Banco Sella to launch a Bitcoin trading service.

The trading is conducted via the bank’s Hype platform, with the bank acting as an intermediary to mitigate against potential security risks with cryptocurrency exchanges. With the country in lockdown and everyone stuck at home, the bank is capitalizing on a growing interest in Bitcoin as a safe way to transfer money internationally in the midst of the crisis.

1.2 million Italians already use Hype

About 1.2 million Italians already use Banca Stella’s Hype to carry out transactions and not only will they be able to buy and sell Bitcoin, they’ll also be able to pay for goods and services with the cryptocurrency.

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.”

Interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain has received a boost in recent months among Italian institutions. Blockchain technology was applied to electronic voting in Naples and two Italian high schools last week announced they would record diplomas on blockchain.

Other Italian startups joining the national crypto boost

Milan-based startup Conio also announced that they will offer an additional Bitcoin wallet on the Hype platform, along with buying/selling and safe custody of digital assets.

The service clarifies that they do not need additional documents or Know-Your-Customer requirements to be able to carry out any Bitcoin-related activity.



Atari release 2 tokens

Legendary video game company the Atari Group will conduct an initial coin offering aimed at launching a cryptocurrency casino.

Atari was founded in 1972 in Sunnyvale, California, though ownership has changed hands several times since then. The company currently belongs to Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher, Atari, SA. Its stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris with a current market cap of just under $50 million.

And now the company’s entering crypto. According to the company’s March 10th press release:

“In 2018, the Group had granted an Atari brand license to Infinity Networks, Ltd (“INL”), to develop a blockchain project combining, on the one hand, the creation of a crypto-currency (Atari Token) and, on the other hand, the creation of a decentralized platform giving access to all forms of digital entertainment, a very broad offer ranging from video games to films and music.”

But since the “project was not progressing at the speed expected by Atari,” the company and INL ”amicably” terminated the agreement. Since recovering the rights, Atari Group has decided to separate its blockchain initiative into two separate projects.

One Atari company, two official tokens

The Atari Group is partnering with another company for assistance in going crypto:

“In partnership with the ICICB Group in successive steps through private placements starting as early as March 2020 with a public sale by September 30, 2020. Atari is also working on the liquidity of the Atari Token by facilitating the registration of this token on the main exchange platforms. The terms of the Atari Token will be announced at the time of the launch, the Atari Group being entitled to 35% of the proceeds from the sale of the Atari Token.”

The company will also issue Pong Token, with Pong being one of the most popular games developed by Atari back in 1972:

“The Group is currently developing another digital currency (Pong Token) as part of its operator license in Kenya, for local applications.”

Gambling on cryptocurrencies

When it comes to the use cases for the Atari Token, the company favors “use cases that are closest to the domain of video games, with priority being given to online casinos that are playable with cryptocurrencies.” Frédéric Chesnais, CEO of Atari, SA, commented on the issue:

“The area of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is of significant interest to us, especially in the domains of the video game industry and of online payments.”

Atari Group partner ICICB Group will “launch a casino using cryptocurrencies” by September 30, 2020:

“The Atari Group is entitled to 50% of the net gaming revenues (amounts wagered minus winnings), and the ICICB Group has guaranteed Atari the payment of an amount of 7.5 million euros to Atari over a period of 3 years.”

Successful fundraising

On March 17, the Atari Group announced that it raised a €3.26 million equity round. Some of the proceeds will go to “finance the launch of new games” and let it “strengthen the marketing budget allocated to the Atari VCS.”

Though the Atari Group is not the video gaming pioneer it once was, it is intriguing to see a publicly-traded company with such a pedigree aggressively enter the cryptocurrency space.

With the rise of NFTs and smart contracts, gaming has become one of blockchain technology’s main use cases in recent years.


As the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) is highly volatile, once surging from $1,000 to $20,000 in the span of just over a year. The coin has become the subject of infinite price predictions. Both optimistic and negative, some of these predictions have turned out to be extremely inaccurate.

Vitalik Buterin, the well-known co-creator of the Ethereum network and its native cryptocurrency Ether (ETH), highlighted the two worst Bitcoin price predictions ever made since the digital currency was introduced back in 2009.

In an April 6 tweet, Buterin emphasized that price predictions on crypto markets are “notorious for turning out very wrong” — both on the bull and bear side.

Famous 2020 $1 million prediction

According to the Ethereum co-founder, the worst bullish Bitcoin prediction was made by John McAfee, founder of major software firm McAfee and a former 2020 United States presidential candidate. Specifically, Buterin referred to a McAfee’s famous $1 million Bitcoin proclamation delivered in November 2017, at the time when Bitcoin was approaching its all-time high of $20,000.

The cybersecurity veteran predicted back in 2017:

“When I predicted Bitcoin at $500,000 by the end of 2020, it used a model that predicted $5,000 at the end of 2017. BTC has accelerated much faster than my model assumptions. I now predict Bitcoin at $1 mln by the end of 2020. I will still eat my dick if wrong.”

After holding his prediction for years, McAfee eventually retracted the “legendary” $1 million prediction in January 2020, claiming that the prediction was just a “ruse to onboard new users.” Subsequently, McAfee also argued that Bitcoin is not the future of crypto, ultimately calling the cryptocurrency “worthless” last week.

Bearish side

As the most inaccurate bearish Bitcoin prediction, Buterin picked a forecast from prominent American economist and famous cryptocurrency critic, Nouriel Roubini. Back in February 2018, when Bitcoin was hitting new multi-month lows by collapsing to below $7,000 from $20,000, Roubini argued that Bitcoin was on his way to zero. He tweeted:

“As expected Bitcoin now crashes below $6,000. Now the $5K handle is reached. And the US Congressional Hearing on Crypto-Scams is still a day away. HODL nuts will hold their melting Bitcoins all the way down to ZERO while scammers and whales dump and run…”

In October 2018, Roubini also argued that 99% of cryptocurrencies are worth nothing. The famous Bitcoin critic also apparently still believes that cryptocurrency has “absolutely no basis for success” as a technology.

Buterin bets on decentralization and privacy

By outlining these two failed Bitcoin predictions, Buterin highlighted the question of responsibility among those who have a high degree of influence. The Ethereum co-founder urged people not to forget that everyone makes mistakes and called for social incentives for saying “sane” things. Buterin tweeted:

“This is why I think digging up over-confident predictions people made 2-5 years ago that turned out horribly wrong and laughing at them is a great custom to have. We need at least social incentive to say things that are sane, and we need to be reminded of everyone’s fallibility.”

Buterin himself appears to have made no certain crypto price predictions so far. At the same time, the developer is known for his bullish stance toward the future of decentralization. As Cointelegraph reported in March 2020, Buterin is confident that the currency of the future will be decentralized and private, as such money would be more resilient against “centralized chokepoints.”



World-famous car manufacturer BMW Group plans to roll out its blockchain supply chain solution to 10 suppliers this year.

Dubbed “PartChain,” the platform has already been successfully tested by BMW in 2019, an official announcement on March 31 revealed.

In its early version, PartChain is designed to ensure traceability and immediate data transparency for automobile components across complex supply chains that engage multiple international parties.

The 2019 pilot implemented the solution for purchasing and tracking front lights, with the involvement of two of BMW Group’s total 31 plants, as well as three locations of the supplier Automotive Lighting.

Andreas Wendt — a member of BMW AG’s Board of Management, who is responsible for the Group’s purchasing and supplier network — said that BMW now wants to expand the project to “a large number” of other suppliers, with 10 selected for 2020.

Combining blockchain with cloud technology

In the long-term, Wendt said that BMW’s vision is to use blockchain to create “an open platform that will allow data within supply chains to be exchanged and shared safely and anonymized across the industry.”

Whereas the pilot had been limited to component tracking, BMW sees the platform’s future applications extending to tracing critical raw materials for manufacturing “from mine to smelter.”

Together with blockchain — which provides for tamper-proof, verifiable data collection and transaction —  PartChain uses cloud technologies from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Intra-industry development

Wendt revealed that BMW now intends to share the PartChain solution with other members of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), which BMW co-founded back in 2018.

As Cointelegraph reported at the time, MOBI is the result of a collaboration between BMW, GM, Ford and Renault — as well as high-profile blockchain, tech and engineering firms including Bosch, HyperledgerIBM and IOTA.

The project has led to the creation of the MOBI Vehicle Identity Standard, which aims to establish a blockchain-based database for Vehicle Identity Numbers. This supports unique digital certificates for information such as vehicle identity, ownership, warranties and current mileage, which can be securely stored in an electronic wallet.


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