Berlin, 14. August 2019 – For the first time, mobile users can open a German bank account with an integrated bitcoin wallet and trading on their smartphone within minutes. Bitwala, Germany’s cryptocurrency flagship, makes this possible with the launch of its new Bitcoin banking app for iOS and Android. What is more, the account opening process is reduced to just a few minutes. It was never safer, easier, and faster to manage Bitcoin.

Berlin-based Bitwala enables customers in more than 30 European countries to buy, sell, and store bitcoin. Bitwala is the only banking service presently active in the European Economic Area offering a free current account with a built-in bitcoin wallet and trading. The current accounts are hosted by solarisBank, the Berlin-based tech platform with a German banking license, and are supervised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

New app reduces time to open an account to a few minutes for new customers

“Our developers have been working hard for months to provide our users with the best app experience possible. We are particularly proud, to have reduced the onboarding time for new customers. Onboarding is now directly integrated into the app. Once you have an account, you can seamlessly integrate your daily banking activities - whether in bitcoin or Euro - into your everyday life,” said Benjamin Jones, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Bitwala. 

The video identification process is fully integrated into the mobile app. In order to verify residents in the European Economic Area, a valid national ID card or passport and proof of address are required. In all, the verification only takes a few minutes, afterwards the account is instantly ready to receive and send Euros or bitcoin. 

Buy and sell bitcoin directly from the bank account 

Bitwala is superior to most, if not all, other gateways to Blockchain-borne assets as its general setup requires no special technological knowledge. It works just like conventional online banking and is therefore different from an account at a crypto exchange as customers can also use it to manage their daily finances as well as benefit from higher legal safeguards. What is more, Bitwala only charges a competitive 1 percent fee for bitcoin trading - the account and the Bitwala Debit Card are free of charge.

With the integrated Bitcoin wallet users can buy and sell bitcoin directly from their bank account. 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. Transactions in the wallet can be authorised by using biometrics. 

“With Bitwala your bitcoin are booked directly on the Blockchain via a multi-signature wallet. 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. Therefore, we are the safest way to buy, sell, and store bitcoin - now even on your smartphone,” said Christoph Iwaniez, Chief Financial Officer at Bitwala. 

Manage the free debit card securely via app 

Bitwala provides its account holders with a free debit Mastercard that can be used for contactless payments and money withdrawals at over 40 million locations worldwide without any fees. If the card is lost or stolen, it can be blocked directly in the new app. Ordering a replacement is as easy as the click of a button. Optional push-notifications, account holders can remain abreast on all activities on their bank account, such as card transactions or incoming EUR and BTC transfers.  

About Bitwala

Bitwala is Germany’s cryptocurrency flagship with the mission of building the bank to bridge traditional and Blockchain-based finance. Based in Berlin, Bitwala offers the world’s first all-in-one platform combining a regular bank account, a Bitcoin wallet, and seamless bitcoin trading options. Our customers can easily buy and sell bitcoin - whether online or mobile - with fast liquidity directly from their bank account, hosted by a German partner bank. Bitwala only charges a competitive 1 per cent fee for every bitcoin trade. 

Customers in all 31 countries of the European Economic Area can access the benefits of a German bank account. Euro deposits up to €100,000 are protected by the German deposit guarantee scheme. Moreover, the account comes with a free debit Mastercard that can be used for contactless payments and free withdrawals at 40 million ATMs and POS’ worldwide. To protect the bitcoin in the Bitwala wallet, the private keys remain in the hands of the customer. The high legal and technical standards render Bitwala one the safest and quickest ways to trade and manage Bitcoin holdings. 

Bitwala was founded in 2015 by Jan Goslicki, Benjamin Jones and Jörg von Minckwitz. Christoph Iwaniez and Philipp Beer joined the management team since then. The total team presently consists of more than 40 employees. Bitwala’s investors include Earlybird Venture Capital, coparion, Global Brain and Sony Financial Ventures, NKB Group, High Tech Gründerfonds, ALSTIN, and Digital Currency Group.