Bitwala Blockchain Banking Plans to Launch in November with €4 Million Funding
Bitwala has announced that an undisclosed German partner bank would now take over regulatory responsibilities of its cryptocurrency debit card offering after Visa cut ties with issuer Wavecrest.
The company in a press release said the cryptocurrency community is eagerly awaiting the launch of its new service it described as Germany’s first Blockchain banking service and will offer convertible fiat and cryptocurrency balances linked to a debit card.
Bitwala president Jörg von Minckwitz commented in the release that he is very proud that with their new product the company will close the gap between crypto and traditional banking and solve one of the biggest hurdles on the road to mainstream adoption.
Minckwitz also told Bitcoinist that it is Europe’s first fully regulated blockchain banking account.
Crypto users usually need a dedicated exchange to convert their fiat money into cryptocurrencies. A lot of times, these exchanges are based offshore. He added,
“That’s like taking a detour when compared to what we at Bitwala are offering now: On the basis of blockchain technology, our customers are able to convert Euro into Bitcoin and back from their current account. That is unprecedented in Germany and probably the first real blockchain banking experience worldwide.”
Bitwala originally announced the move in March this year, the funding round was led by Earlybird Venture Capital and also saw participation from Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group among others. The rollout of Bitwala’s cards, which will be available to residents beyond Germany, will begin with the reported 30,000 who signed up for early onboarding, the company says.
The banking partner will facilitate standard functionality of a German bank account for cardholders, such as SEPA payment compatibility and direct debits. A further benefit comes in the form of €100,000 deposit protection under German legislation, with the product supervised by the country’s central bank and regulatory authority BaFin.