Business 1 March 2018

Erik Gibbs

Bitwala to offer cryptocurrency-friendly banking, debit cards

A popular crypto payment service provider is about to make the lives of cryptocurrency enthusiasts a little easier. Bitwala announced early in the week plans to introduce an online bank account platform in the near future. The service will allow for direct and smooth interaction between fiat and digital currencies. Bitwala said that it would be rolling out the platform in the next couple of months.

Bitwala already has 57,000 customers in more than 200 countries and those that are interested in signing up for the new banking platform can pre-register on Bitwala’s website. The accounts will be fully regulated by Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (FFSA), and deposits are guaranteed, up to €100,000 (about $122,000). Bitwala is currently waiting on approval by the FFSA in order to launch the bank.

According to Bitwala, the accounts will be “the perfect solution for those seeking secure and crypto-friendly banking services.” Customers will have the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as manage expenses and establish direct debits. Contactless debit cards, the most-widely used type of card, will be issued to customers, and can be used at a variety of locations, as well as for online shopping and ATM withdrawals.

This is the second time Bitwala has stepped into the debit card market. It previously offered cards carrying the Visa logo through Wavecrest Holdings Limited. Wavecrest was shut down at the beginning of the year after Visa Europe forced the company to suspend its program. Visa made the decision after determining that Wavecrest had violated the credit card giant’s operating policies.

Bitwala is a blockchain-based payment service provider with a global reach. The Berlin, Germany-based company opened for business in 2015 and offers digital currency solutions to compete with Western Union and MoneyGram. The company conducts bank transfers using both SEPA and SWIFT by exchanging cryptocurrencies to fiat to enable the transactions. It also offers a BTC debit card and BTC wallet.

Bitwala has been the recipient of several awards in the cryptocurrency community. It was a runner-up for the Best Fintech Startup at the 2016 Pioneers Festival, and in 2017, won the Best Blockchain Startup award at the Paris Fintech Forum, as well as the Future FinTech Star Award at Information and Communications Technology Spring 2017 in Luxembourg. It was also recognized as the Best Finance Startup at Fintech.Pioneers the same year.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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