Business

Erik Gibbs

Bitwala crypto bank goes live in Germany

Patience is a virtue, especially in the quirky world known as cryptocurrency. However, sometimes, having patience pays off. After announcing ten months ago that it would introduce a crypto-friendly banking platform in Germany, Bitwala has finally made it happen. 

Bitwala announced the launch of the platform yesterday, adding that it was the first time a crypto banking solution had been offered in Europe. The financial institution was made possible through a partnership with SolarisBank, a FinTech firm in the country that holds a banking license with Germany’s financial regulators. 

The bank’s crypto accounts can be used for virtually anything, just like regular bank accounts. Users can give their account details to receive direct deposits, pay for rent directly from the account, trade in crypto – anything a crypto enthusiast would expect to be able to do with a bank account.

In its announcement, the company stated, “Today we’re excited to announce that we have hit the biggest milestone in our journey. We now offer crypto-friendly bank accounts together with our partner SolarisBank that are authorised and regulated by the BaFin and the European Central Bank (ECB).”

Users are now able to manage deposits in both euros and Bitcoin Core (BTC) in a single location that provides the “safety and convenience” of a German bank account. Anyone in the country can open an account and receive a debit card for free, with the only charges being assessed on crypto trading – for that, they’ll have to pay a 1% transaction fee.

The company’s co-founder and chief compliance officer, Jan Goslicki, asserts, “We were able to bring cryptocurrencies into a fully compliant banking setup regulated in Germany. This shows that cryptocurrencies can fit into regulatory frameworks which protect consumers and ultimately inspire trust.”

Deposits up to €100,000 (US$113,257) are protected by law, just like they would be with any other financial institution. Bitwala has already begun accepting clients and, so far, has on-boarded 40,000. It is starting to create the accounts in chronological order based on when users signed up and is now accepting new users, as well.

Bitwala co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Ben Jones adds, “We built the new account putting our customers first. No longer do you have to wire your liquidity to separate exchange accounts with frail fund protection measures outside of Germany. No longer do you have to accept excessive fees for trading. Trading with Bitwala is fast and reliable and our pricing highly competitive.”

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