As Mainstream Discovers Bitcoin, Bitwala Reports Unprecedented Growth
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In 2020, Bitwala has grown rapidly to become Germany's second largest neobank, adding a total of 140,000 customers.
The startup reports operational profitability just 2 years after launching its banking service.
Many crypto investors switched to Bitwala to invest in the Bitcoin Interest Account and earn +4% annualized interest on average.
More than 40 jobs opened to accommodate growth (Hiring adapted to circumstances now fully remote possible).
Peter Lindgren (ex-Klarna) joins as interim CTO.
Berlin, 19. February 2021 – Berlin-based FinTech Bitwala has grown from strength-to-strength in 2020: more than 200,000 customers in 32 European countries now use the Berlin-based company's secure and consumer-friendly Bitcoin banking service. Lead by a strong increase in the Bitcoin price, the total assets of Bitwala customers rose to more than 100 million euros at the end of 2020.
The decision to switch to Bitwala's free mobile banking service is particularly easy for crypto-curious investors, as it offers the full convenience and government protection of deposits up to 100,000 euros. While Bitwala's mobile banking customers are conducting their day-to-day business and saving, they are also trading strong: meanwhile, Bitwala can make a good living from its competitive trading fee of just 1%: in January 2021, the Scaleup reported operational profitability - just 2 years after launching its banking service.
Customer Recommendations Perpetuate Growth
"Our customers frequently recommended our mobile app, which makes investments in Bitcoin suitable for everyday use. We recently welcomed our 200,000th customer. Our team has grown significantly over the past year - to over 100 employees - and we continue to expand. Currently, we have 40 open positions, and this number is growing. As a result, we have fully adapted to the ongoing Corona crisis and are hiring employees completely remotely," said Ben Jones, CEO and founder of Bitwala. Jones hands over his tech responsibilities to Peter Lindgren (ex-Klarna), who is taking the position of interim CTO and is already strengthening the team with many new hires.
"Throughout 2020, Bitwala has been able to steadily expand profitability: for example, the coverage ratio in 2020 increased to over 50% so that, driven by strong customer growth, operational breakeven was reached in January 2021. This means that our overall result, net of expenses for marketing and onboarding new customers, was positive," said Christoph Iwaniez, CFO of Bitwala. "For this year, we have set our sights on further expanding our presence and brand."
Earning Interest in Bitcoin: Switchers are Flocking to Bitwala
For many long term investors, selling their Bitcoin is out of the question, as they pursue a long-term investment horizon. Bitwala is the only service in Germany where customers can let their Bitcoin work for them. The Bitcoin Interest Account launched in the summer of 2020, was in high demand also attracting many switchers from other exchanges to Bitwala.
On average, users have earned around 4% returns since the launch in summer 2020 (rate annualized due to weekly payouts) which now adds up to over 20 Bitcoin (approx. 850,000 euros today) in returns paid out to customers. The investment can be withdrawn at any time by the push of a button and customers receive payouts every Monday via push message.
The free debit card, which has been used for mobile payments throughout Europe since the beginning of the pandemic and with which Bitwala customers have already spent around 28 million euros, is also popular among many customers.
Bitwala offers the world's first banking service combining fully protected German bank accounts with access to cryptocurrencies, digital assets and blockchain-based finance. Based in Berlin, Germany's second-largest challenger bank, now serves over 200.000 customers across 32 European countries. With Bitwala, customers can invest in cryptocurrency directly from a bank account of our partner bank and earn up to 4% annual return on Bitcoin. Bitwala empowers customers to benefit from new financial technology by being the bridge between the old and new financial system.