Bitwala, a blockchain technology company, has teamed up with SolarisBank to create a cryptobank. The two companies, both based in Berlin, would make history, as this would be the first German cryptocurrency bank accounts ever created. The bank also incorporates a built-in bitcoin wallet, and the venture has already received $4 million in funding.
A New Frontier
The company has already made impressive strides, in that it already has over 30,000 customers signed on for the service. The Bitwala bank account would be operated by SolarisBank. The Deposit Protection Fund of the Association of German Banks would protect these accounts, up to 100,000 euros, as well. The venture would utilize the Solarisbank banking license.
SolarisBank has been open about exploring blockchain technology as a way to maintain a competitive edge in the financial world, as it announced the Blockchain Factory in July of this year. Specifically, the bank has been focused on bridging the fiat and crypto world. SolarisBank is interesting because it is not an actual bank, but a fintech company that offers banking as a platform.
The partnership makes a lot of sense, and could be a lucrative synergistic relationship, considering that Bitwala has a lot of experience in the banking sector. Bitwala has been a worldwide money transfer service until 2017 and had boasted over 50,000 users in 200 countries.
However, the company ran into various issues, as it began issuing prepaid cards in the EUR denomination. Obviously, this was a huge step for the company, but Visa Europe apparently directed the card issuer, WaveCrest Holdings, to suspend the Bitwala cards. There were other companies that were affected by this, as Wavecrest also had previously issued cards for Cryptopay, Wirex, and Tenx.
Bitwala was gaining market share, as it had processed over 100 million in euros, until the sudden license removal. This partnership is also a strong way for the company to recover from this debacle, while also offering valuable experience from their time in the sector.
Overall, this is great news for cryptocurrency in Germany in general. The country has taken a much friendlier stance towards cryptocurrency than many other European countries, as it actually treats bitcoin as legal tender already. It also doesn’t even tax small purchases made with bitcoin, either.
There is also recent news that the German government might make more moves towards becoming more cryptocurrency-friendly than ever. Germany as a country also seems to be extremely interested in cryptocurrency investing in general, according to a survey conducted by German bank Postbank earlier this year.
This certainly is historic, and has immense potential, considering the immense amount of interest that the German population has in terms of cryptocurrency, and the fact that the German government and regulators seem to be encouraging the integration of blockchain technology with its financial institutions.