German cryptobanking startup Bitwala has opened for business, onboarding 40,000 pre-registered customers for its bitcoin and Euro deposit accounts.
Bitwala, which began life as a hub for worldwide money transfers using blockchain technology, picked up EUR4 million in funding in September to open up the new cryptobank, which incorporates a built-in bitcoin wallet alongside regular FIAT-based banking services.
The Bitwala bank account is operated by fellow startup solarisBank, providing Sepa-compliant debit and credit transactions, management of recurring payments and a debit card.
Trading off the solarisBank banking license, euro funds in the bank accounts will be protected up to EUR100,000 under the German deposit protection guarantee scheme and supervised by BaFin and Bundesbank, Germany’s banking supervisors.
Jörg von Minckwitz, president and co-founder of Bitwala, says Bitwala is the forerunner of a new hybrid future of banking, where blockchain-based and state-backed currencies complement each other.
“Bitwala’s 30-strong team did a stellar job in developing a service within the confines of banking regulation as a bridge between the traditional and crypto economies," he says. "This shows that cryptocurrencies can fit into regulatory frameworks which protect consumers and ultimately inspire trust.”
Separately, solarisBank has scored another local crypto deal, supporting Boerse Stuttgart Group in creating an end-to-end infrastructure for digital assets. The German exchange is currently developing the trading system for its crypto trading venue, which is set to launch in the first half of 2019. SolarisBank is assisting with the build out and will provide the required crypto trading banking services for the Bourse.