German blockchain startup Bitwala has launched crypto banking in Germany.
After securing €4 million (roughly $4.5 million) from VC firms Earlybird and Coparion in September of 2018 to develop a crypto banking solution, the company has allegedly amassed a waiting list of 30,000 potential users.
Bitwala's new banking solution, which it claims was built to "close the gap between crypto and traditional banking,” was developed in partnership with local fintech startup SolarisBank, which has a banking license and is fully regulated by the German financial regulatory authority Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the European Central Bank (ECB).
With the launch of this new banking solution, users would be able to manage "both Bitcoin and Euro deposits in one place with the safety and convenience of a German bank account."
The accounts would also come with the usual perks that accompany bank accounts like a debit card, as well as a bitcoin wallet with added functionality to swap between bitcoin and the euro freely.
“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,” Bitwala’s chief technical officer and co-founder, Ben Jones, said in a statement.
The announcement didn't give details on the cost for running the bank account, but a 1 percent fee will be applied for every bitcoin trade. It also remains to be seen if other crypto assets will be included in the future, and the announcement didn’t specify where the service would source its pricing data for trading.
All fiat deposits of up to €100,000 are insured by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS). But while the fiat is protected to a certain degree, there were no indications on the insurance of the bitcoin.
Bitwala has begun on-boarding proceedings for the thousands of users who had pre-registered to use the service and will be accepting new users over the coming days.