Bitwala, Europe’s first Blockchain Banking Service, is growing faster than expected: only weeks after the official launch of Bitwala’s new product, customers have already traded a total of EUR 1 Mln worth of Bitcoin. Customers are naming Bitwala’s great user experience, the competitive pricing, tight spreads, top-of-class legal safeguards as well as the Bitwala Debit Card as the key reasons to open a new current account under German jurisdiction.
At the same time, the price level of Bitcoin has had no bearing on Bitwala’s launch. As it is part of Bitwala’s vision to be the bridge to a global web 3.0 economy, Bitwala, in fact, welcomes the end of the crypto hype cycle as an opportunity for solid Blockchain use cases to come to the fore.
Bitwala is the only banking service presently active in the European Economic Area (EEA = E.U., EFTA, Switzerland) offering a free current account with a built-in Bitcoin wallet. As many as 30 EEA countries are already represented in Bitwala’s growing user base. Only about half of the growing customer base resides in Germany. The Top-5 countries outside of Germany are Austria, the U.K., Switzerland, Italy, and France.
“We are proud that many of our customers are already using the service as their salary account. This is a strong signal that they trust us. We are presently building our mobile app inhouse, which will be released shortly. It will help our customers to further integrate the use of crypto currencies into their day-to-day finances,” said Ben Jones, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Bitwala. With the elegantly designed Bitwala Debit Card, which presently comes with no extra fee when opening the account, customers can withdraw money or pay free of charge at 40 Million ATMs and shops worldwide.
Easy and safe access to Bitcoin
Bitwala is superior to most, if not all, other gateways to Blockchain-borne assets as its general setup requires no special technological knowledge. It works just like conventional online banking and is therefore different from an account at a crypto exchange as customers can also use it to manage their daily finances as well as benefit from higher legal safeguards. What is more, Bitwala only charges a competitive 1 percent fee for Bitcoin trading.
Customers are onboarded during a short video identification process, which only takes a couple of minutes and a mobile device such as smartphone. After that, they can immediately access all benefits of a German bank account, including legal guarantees for Euro funds of up to 100,000 EUR.
“Bitwala combines the best of both the traditional banking and the new blockchain world. That is exactly what our customers love about it,” comments Christoph Iwaniez, Chief Financial Officer at Bitwala. “We are presently considering to further expand our offering by introducing accounts for businesses – this request is one of the top three frequently asked questions reaching our support team.”
Bitwala’s framework falls squarely within the legal requirements of German and European banking supervision, given that the current accounts are hosted by solarisBank, the Berlin-based tech platform with a German banking license. Therefore, Bitwala can guarantee to be fully compliant with Anti-Money Laundering or other protective restrictions that are standard procedure for any German bank.
To comply with all legal requirements in full, Bitwala even scrutinizes, whether individual bitcoins offered to be traded on the platform originate from blockchain wallets known to be legally problematic or blacklisted. As transparency of fund transfers is a technical virtue of the Bitcoin blockchain, this automated process takes only seconds.