Blockchain-focused challenger Bitwala raises €13m
Bitwala, the challenger bank based on blockchain, has received a €13 million Series A funding round, led by Sony Financial Ventures and NKB Group.
The funds will boost Bitwala’s growth strategy to attract new customers, recruit talent, and start offering Bitcoin accounts for businesses.
“We started Bitwala to connect bitcoin to the conventional financial system and remain in line with supervisory requirements in one of the world’s strictest regulatory jurisdictions – Germany,” adds Jan Goslicki, co-founder and chief compliance officer at Bitwala.
Christoph Iwaniez, chief financial officer at Bitwala states: “While we are entering a new phase of expansion, it will be very hard to imitate our unique technical and regulatory setup or garner the same trust in the customer base.”
With retail customers in all 31 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), Bitwala offers a free current account with a built-in bitcoin wallet as well as BTC trading options. Bitwala enables its customers to trade bitcoin directly out of a current account, hosted by Berlin-based solarisBank.
Bitwala charges a 1% fee for bitcoin trading, while the current account (B2C) and the Bitwala Debit Card come free of charge.
Since the new service’s launch in mid-December 2018, bitcoin worth more than €11 million have already been traded on Bitwala, an increase by €10 million since February 2019.
“When we started in 2015, we were three founders and a dog,” says Bitwala’s co-founder and chief technical officer Ben Jones.