Cryptocurrency banking provider Bitwala has started offering its banking service to cryptocurrency users in Germany, starting with 40,000 pre-registered customers. A spokesperson for the company has shared details with news.Bitcoin.com about this new service which will soon add support for additional countries and cryptocurrencies.
New Banking Service for Crypto Users
Bitwala announced on Wednesday, Dec. 12, that it has started offering banking service to cryptocurrency users. “New users along with the 40,000 pre-registered customers will be onboarded one after the other based on their waitlist place,” the announcement read.
The bank accounts are hosted by Berlin-based Solarisbank. This Bitwala partner has a banking license, so it is supervised by Bafin and Bundesbank, Germany’s banking authorities.
Roman Kessler, a spokesperson for Bitwala, told news.Bitcoin.com:
For now, only German residents can go through the KYC [know-your-customer] process. Very soon, hopefully already in January, this will be extended to other jurisdictions inside of the EU.
Account opening takes a few minutes, the company noted, adding that customers need an ID to open an account. They must also complete the KYC process which includes video verification. The company also explained that “As with any bank account in Germany, all euro deposits up to €100,000 [~$113,274] are protected by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS).”
Bank Account With Crypto Support
With the new Bitwala bank accounts, users will receive an Iban and a contactless debit card which will allow them to buy and sell BTC and manage expenses. The Bitwala account comes with a bitcoin wallet. Users can manage both their BTC and euro deposits in one place, the announcement describes.
“The new bank account offers users SEPA transactions, easy management of recurring payments, and comes with a debit card for on-the-go payments and ATM cash withdrawals,” Christoph Iwaniez, the company’s chief financial officer, commented. “For instance, customers will be able to use their Bitwala account to receive salary payments and pay their rent. And if you want to trade bitcoin, you can draw liquidity from the same current account.”
Kessler further shared with news.Bitcoin.com:
Only bitcoin [is supported] at the moment. You can access them through a multi-sig wallet to which only you have the private key. Other cryptocurrencies to follow shortly.
He also emphasized that “The online bank account and the [debit] card are free,” but trading between BTC and EUR costs 1 percent. “According to our market research that is 5 percentage points below market average.”
Solarisbank Working With Boerse Stuttgart Group
On Wednesday, Solarisbank also announced that it will be providing “crypto trading banking services” to Boerse Stuttgart Group. Boerse Stuttgart is the second largest stock exchange in Germany. The announcement reads:
Together with Solarisbank, Boerse Stuttgart Group is developing the trading system for its crypto trading venue, which is set to launch in the first half of 2019.
The new crypto trading platform will be open to both private and institutional investors. In addition, Boerse Stuttgart Group is also developing a platform for initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Editor’s Note (Dec.13): This article has been updated to include information about the collaboration between Solarisbank and Boerse Stuttgart Group.
What do you think of Bitwala’s new service? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Boerse Stuttgart Group, and Bitwala.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.