Tag Archives: italy

intesa sanpaolo blockchain

Intesa Sanpaolo Blockchain: a new trial for recordkeeping

The newest Italian Banca Intesa Sanpaolo blockchain – related  project has been tested with the main goal of validating trading data.

Thanks also to a partnership with Deloitte and the Italian startup Eternity Wall, Intesa San Paolo started to test a new proof-of-concept at the end of 2016.

Heart of the project is the open-source OpenTimestamps protocol, developed by Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core contributor, that Eternity Wall moved to implement.

The Intesa Sanpaolo blockchain project uses the bitcoin distributed ledger to notarize transactions and create a publicly available database trail for future referral.

Information security officer for the bank, Carlo Brezigia explained:

“Relevant data has been hashed to produce a short unique identifier – a digest – equivalent to its digital fingerprint. This fingerprint has been associated to a blockchain transaction and hence registered on the blockchain: the blockchain immutability provides robust non-refutable timestamping that will always prove without any doubt the existence of that data in that specific status at that precise moment in time.”

According to a Deloitte statement, Intesa Sanpaolo tested this tool between October and February with tht idea of including support for other blockchains, potentially including also private ledgers.

This Italian blockchain trial shows the will of regulated financial institutions to test public blockchains.

In an official announcement, the bank’s retail innovation accelerator officer, Gianni Cavallina, explained the interest in experimenting these protocols beyond the main use case of digital currenciese:

“In particular, considering public blockchains, we are exploring the applicability of different use cases, abstracting from the value of its native digital currency. Notarization is one of the most interesting applications.”

Intesa Sanpaolo Blockchain projects– also member of the R3 distributed ledger consortium – also include tests on several blockchain use cases made during the previous years, including trade finance and digital identity.

Read more about previous Italian projects related to the Blockchain here.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Major Italian newspaper il Giornale accepting Bitcoin for digital subscriptions

(NEWSBTC) A major Italian newspaper outlet is apparently now accepting bitcoin
for digital subscriptions, we’re learning from a reader email this
morning. The bitcoin logo is boldly visible on il Giornale‘s digital subscriptions page [link], where nearby it says, “The Journal is the first newspaper in Italy and in Europe who accepts payments in Bitcoin.”
The outlet is one of the top 20 daily papers in Italy, with a last reported circulation number of 678,000 readers in 2012.
il Giornale‘s digital subscriptions allow readers to view
all news categories and articles in PDF files optimized for Android
smartphones, iPads, and other tablet devices.
The cost? 0.42 cents per day with an annual subscription.
ilgironale bitcoin subscription
Despite the fact that il Giornale may be the first major newspaper in Italy and Europe to accept bitcoin, they aren’t the first in the world.
Here in the United States, the Chicago Sun-Times announced they would be accepting bitcoin payments for subscriptions at the start of April of this year in a move designed “to keep the Sun-Times current and evolving with changing technology.”
Despite the news, many in the community weren’t exactly surprised,
given the paper’s previous interest in the digital currency. In early
February, the paper put up a bitcoin paywall as a test of how users
would interact with using bitcoin (users had the option of donating to a
non-profit). The results were overwhelmingly positive, with 713 donors.

While we haven’t exactly seen widespread adoption of bitcoin for
digital news subscriptions, it’s nice to see it getting a start in Italy.

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Italy house of parliament hosts bitcoin believers

Bit-Wallet at Bitcoin Meetup in Rome
Photo by G. Baroncini Turricchia
(CoinDesk) Italian bitcoin enthusiasts gathered at the Chamber of Deputies, the
lower house of the Italian parliament, in Rome on Wednesday with the aim
of informing Italian lawmakers about the economic benefits of bitcoin.
The 11th June event, organised by bitcoin consultancy Coin Capital, featured participation from parliament member Stefano Quintarelli and Senate Vice President of the Treasury and Finance Committee Francesco Molinari, as well as representatives from Italy’s academic and banking sectors.
Coin Capital told CoinDesk that the first two hours saw its partners Sebastiano Scròfina and Guido Baroncini Turricchia, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ telecommunications professor Francesco Vatalaro and investment bank Banca IMI’s Ferdinando Ametrano introducing blockchain technology and its monetary applications.
At the event, Bit-Wallet also unveiled the country’s first domestically produced bitcoin ATM.
Baroncini Turricchia characterized the remainder of the day’s events, stating:

Risk and opportunity were clearly disclosed in a neutral way. In the second part, [a representative moderated a] discussion between politicians, institutions and business, and [many questions were asked by these participants].

The events come in the wake of the Central Bank of Italy’s May warning that domestic investors should avoid buying, investing in or using bitcoin as a currency due to price volatility and the lack of consumer protection laws to protect consumers.

Proliferating bitcoin

A second, non-affiliated event, organized by digital payment advocacy group CashlessWay, is set to take place on 26th June. Speakers will include bitcoin banking provider Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelly and parliament member Sergio Boccadutri, who presented a proposal for regulating bitcoin under existing Italian law in January.

Robocoin indicated it is looking forward to the event as a way to help educate an influential government about the nascent technology, stating:

“Italy is full of cultural tastemakers and has a rich history in banking and finance. These all support Robocoin’s goal of helping proliferate bitcoin.”

For more information on the 11th June event, visit Coin Capital’s website.

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First Bitcoin hearings at the Italian Parliament tomorrow

Tomorrow, in the Aldo Moro meeting room of the Italian Parliament there will be a consultation on the open source Bitcoin protocol. The technical aspects will be introduced by:
  • Sebastiano Scrofina – CEO and Co-Founder at Dropis
  • Guido Baroncini Turricchia – CoinCapital’s Partner
  • Francesco Vatalaro – Università Di Tor Vergata
  • Massimo Bernaschi – CNR
  • Ferdinando Ametrano – Banca IMI – Università Bicocca
  • Roberto Tudini – Studio Tudini&Tudini
In the second part there will be a round table that will allow for the comparison of ideas and the points of view of different stakeholder. The event is organized by the On. Quintarelli and CoinCapital, bringing the Bitcoin inside the walls of the Italian Parliament allowing to highlight the risks and the opportunities.
Offering to the parliament a first overview and a neutral basis to start an aware and balanced discussion.

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The difficulty of getting Bitcoin to catch on in Italy

first Bitcoin ATM was a Lamassu machine, installed in Udine,
a northeastern city nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic

(CoinTelegraph) That’s wine country, and you would need plenty of it to wash
down the stuffed gnocchi.
The machine’s owner, Luca Dordolo, is often nearby to assist
anyone who needs help using the machine (it’s located in the hall of his family’s business).
He’s even had the interface translated into the local Friulian language, as
well as Italian.
Dordolo’s vision is to create an Italian hub for Bitcoin, and
his next step at this point is to install more machines around the country.
Obstacles, both legal and cultural, are making this difficult,

Legal Obstacles

First, Dordolo laments the “lack of relevant legislation” in Italy
regarding Bitcoin, forcing him to operate in a grey area with which many
Bitcoin entrepreneurs are familiar.
Before buying that first Lamassu ATM, Dordolo said he had a
pool of attorneys and legal experts advise him on what he could and could not
do. Italy,
they told him, does not regulate Bitcoin itself, nor are there any
know-your-customer regulations, but any transactions above 999.99 EUR need to
be reported.
So, that was the limit he set.
Here is what BitLegal says about Italian legislation:

“The use of electronic
currency is restricted to banks and electronic money institutions — that is,
private legal entities duly authorized and registered by the Central Bank of Italy.
Aside from these developments, Italy
does not regulate Bitcoin use by private individuals, and currently the
implementation of initiatives concerning the use of electronic currencies lies
with the EU.”

Dordolo is not confident Italian law will catch up with the

“Banca d’Italia is
studying the [Bitcoin] phenomenon, and perhaps — if they were fast — in 10-20
years we could have a law on it.”

Cultural Obstacles
Dealing with murky Italian laws is one thing. Dealing with
local perception is something else entirely, Dordolo said.

“In Italy, we are at the beginning of
Bitcoin’s spreading among the population. There is an interesting Bitcoin
community [in Italy],
but it is still very hard to explain to Italian people the real value that
Bitcoin creates in the economy and the job opportunities it creates.
This is because of
misinformation by the national media that actually regard it as a scam or worst
as associated with criminal deeds.
Even the local Bitcoin
Foundation is not as active as it should be, so whatever can move this
situation is welcome.”

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