Bitwala: What’s going on at the German Bitcoin Bank?


Bitwala has been a member of the European Fintech Alliance since 18 July. With this membership, the German start-up wants to improve the dialogue with Fintechs as well as with authorities. It has also been announced that Bitwala will be able to offer regulated bank accounts in a few weeks.

The interface between crypto currencies and the real world is one of the biggest hurdles for the adaptation of Bitcoin. Even if the inclined techie has no problem with mobile wallets, seeds and private keys, this is a big hurdle for cryptosiders. No wonder that projects like Monaco, TenX, Revolut or Bitwala want to enable card payments with Bitcoin and other crypto currencies.

At the beginning of the year there was a dramatic caesura: VISA terminated the cooperation with WaveCrest. WaveCrest was an issuing bank that enabled many of the crypto companies mentioned to use the VISA network. The end of the collaboration between VISA and WaveCrest was a stumbling block.

However, the scene did not sleep: a few weeks ago BTC-ECHO reported on further developments at TenX. Bitwala also worked on finding a replacement for WaveCrest. Together with a partner bank they would like to become a Bitcoin bank.

Bitcoin news about a Fintech company using blockchain

This Bitcoin news show that Bitwala no longer wants to be perceived as a pure blockchain company, as the worlds become blurred. When asked whether the line between blockchain start-ups and classic Fintech companies blurs, Jörg von Minckwitz, co-founder and CEO of Bitwala said:

“Yes, I think that blockchain start-ups have now arrived in the mainstream and the boundaries between blockchain and Fintech are becoming more and more blurred. For us it’s a consistently positive development, because it’s moving away from ‘We are doing this but on the blockchain’ to start-ups motivated by use cases. It will become increasingly important that certain parts of the blockchain technology are simply assumed and that the start-ups are no longer emphasized per se. Start-ups must then, like everything else, present what makes them better than their competitors. Just because the start-up uses blockchain in the back office is not enough. It is therefore a logical step for us to feel more and more a part of the Fintech world […] [I think] that blockchain companies increasingly have to learn from normal Fintechs to think from the user’s perspective”.

The entry into the European Fintech Alliance (EFA) also fits into this growing together between the Blockchain scene and the Fintech community. The EFA is a Europe-wide association of Fintech companies of different sizes, which also seeks contact with the European authorities.

BitWala wants to represent the Bitcoin news in the EFA

Accordingly, dialogue with Fintech companies is not the only motivation for Bitwala to join the Bitcoin news. One reason for joining is to be a mouthpiece for the cryptocommunity at the regulatory level. Bitcoin news is also necessary: Uncertainties about taxation, who owns the data on the blockchain, possible contradictions between the DSGVO and a public blockchain – the list of regulatory challenges is long. This leads to a repressive attitude on the part of central banks and government bodies, which nips cryptorelated technological innovation in the bud.

BitWala is no stranger to dialogue with the authorities. In their efforts to find a licensed bank, they have had to discuss a lot with representatives of the regulatory bodies. This also helped BitWala to understand the side of the authorities and to name the problems of understanding:

“Blockchain or token is simply something that never existed in this form. It is therefore very difficult for regulators to classify and decide what to compare with tokens in order to regulate them. Thank God the German regulator doesn’t want to over-regulate Blockchain, so everything takes a bit longer. Even the difference between the tokens themselves has not yet been clarified. We have tokens that are more similar to securities and tokens that are more similar to fiat currencies. The challenge for regulators is getting bigger.”

So far, 30,000 interested parties have registered for early access with Bitwalas Bitcoin-Bank. The company plans to launch these in a few weeks. Deposit protection up to 100,000 euros is guaranteed to account holders. With this Bitwala account a Bitcoin Wallet is to be connected, with which account owner with Bitcoin like with norm