Bitwala, a blockchain banking service based in Germany, has launched a mobile application that lets users open a German bank account with an integrated bitcoin wallet on their smartphones.
“Berlin-based Bitwala enables customers in more than 30 European countries to buy, sell, and store bitcoin,” according to a press release shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “The current accounts are hosted by solarisBank, a Berlin-based tech platform with a German banking license, and are supervised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).”
The app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
Bitwala’s Growing Services
Bitwala has undoubtedly come a long way since its founding in 2015. The cryptocurrency banking service provider has grown into an industry leader, cornering the market for European banking services integrated directly with bitcoin. At the time the company launched, it reportedly had over 30,000 users on its waiting list.
Now, fresh off a roughly $14.5 million funding round in July 2019, the firm is introducing its mobile option as a bid to retain this position.
“With the integrated Bitcoin wallet users can buy and sell bitcoin directly from their bank account,” per the release. “The balance in EUR or BTC is available on the account within the hour. On top, the Bitwala wallet features innovative peer-to-peer functionalities such as transferring bitcoin between friends and family: users can easily send and receive bitcoin, or request a specific amount of bitcoin via QR code.”
Privacy and Security
In regards to security, Bitwala emphasizes the ability to authorize transactions through biometrics, presumably the fingerprint- or face-scanning built into smartphones.
“With Bitwala your bitcoin are booked directly on the Blockchain via a multi-signature wallet,” Christoph Iwaniez, the Bitwala chief financial officer, said in the release. “This is another way of saying that hacking Bitwala is as useless as breaking the Blockchain itself and that our customers are fully in control of their Bitcoin wallets at all times.”
The mobile app also integrates a video identification process designed to verify user identity. They will have to provide a valid national ID card or passport as well as proof of address.
All Bitwala account holders also get a free debit card, which enables free, contactless payments and cash withdrawals using crypto funds at millions of locations.