Residents of Europe can now use their smartphones to open a German bank account with an integrated Bitcoin wallet, thanks to a new app from the German blockchain company Bitwala.
Bitwala announced the roll-out on Thursday, saying “customers in all 31 countries of the European Economic Area can access the benefits of a German bank account” with the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin. Bitwala charges a 1% fee on trading but offers their accounts and debit cards for free. Lost cards can be directly canceled on the app, according to the company.
Says Benjamin Jones, co-founder and chief technical officer of Bitwala,
“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.”
Bitwala’s accounts are hosted by Berlin-based fintech company solarisBank which has a German banking license and is supervised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
The app is emphasizing security, according to Christoph Iwaniez, chief financial officer at Bitwala.
“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.”
EEA countries where Bitwala customers can launch Bitcoin banking are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.