Bitwala Launches Crypto-Friendly Bank Accounts, On-boarding 40,000 Customers
Bitwala, a cryptocurrency payments startup based in Germany now offers the much-awaited crypto banking services it promised would be available in November.
The startup has said that its services, initially available in Germany only, are Europe’s first. The banking solution is accessible after the crypto firm partnership with SolarisBank, a licensed and fully regulated fintech firm.
In October, Bitwala had stated that its online bank account would be designed to make it easy for users to complete both fiat-based and crypto-enabled transactions with one account. The service also gave users the chance to “directly buy and sell bitcoin.”
In its statement on the service, the startup said that its users can now make deposits in both the euro and bitcoin into the one account, leveraging the “safety and convenience” of a bank account.
Like with traditional bank accounts, user deposits of up to €100,000 (or $113,257) enjoy the protection enshrined in local banking laws.
Users will also enjoy access to free accounts as well as debit cards, although the firm will charge users fee equivalent to one percent for trading bitcoin.
The service allows Bitwala customers who have crypto accounts also to get access to regular services like receiving their salaries and paying bills. Customers will continue to use the same accounts to trade bitcoin, said Bitwala’s CFO Christoph Iwaniez.
Bitwala’s co-founder and chief compliance officer Jan Goslicki said that the launch of the banking solution means that the company has succeeded in bringing crypto “into a fully compliant banking setup.”
“This shows that cryptocurrencies can fit into regulatory frameworks which protect consumers and ultimately inspire trust.”
Bitwala has embarked on the process of on-boarding thousands of its customers who signed up for the service.
At the time of announcing its partnership with SolarisBank, Bitwala noted that it would, in the future, pursue licensing and regulatory approval as it looks to launch its own bank.
In September, Jörg von Minckwitz, the president of Bitwala said that the launch of their new service would provide the crypto industry with another giant step in the march towards mainstream adoption.
In his comments after the startup raised $4.5 million from VC firms Earlybird and Coparion, Minckwitz said that the new product would help “close the gap between crypto and traditional banking and solve one of the biggest hurdles on the road to mainstream adoption.”
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