Bitwala is a global blockchain-based payment service provider headquartered in Berlin, Germany. Bitwala empowers people to make international transfers using Bitcoin faster, cheaper and more user-friendly. One of its core missions is to enable anyone to live exclusively on Bitcoin comfortably in an era where Bitcoin acceptance still has much room for growth.
Founded by Jörg von Minckwitz, Jan Goslicki, and Benjamin P. Jones in October 2015. According to Wired, in stark contrast to conventional money transfer services like the Western Union, Money Gram, and even TransferWise, the German startup utilizes digital currency to offer a faster and cheaper solution. Von Minckwitz, Goslicki, and Jones are long-time co-partners, having founded other blockchain businesses before Bitwala such as All4btc.com and Transistor Coworking, Germany’s largest fintech coworking space.
Bitwala enables SEPA and SWIFT money transfers by exchanging Bitcoin or Altcoins to over 20 fiat currencies to any bank account in over 200 countries worldwide. Bitwala offers Bitcoin Visa debit cards and also operates as a bitcoin wallet service to store, send and receive Bitcoin.
Bitwala is a web browser wallet with multiple additional features like a debit card that goes hand in hand with the wallet and built-in trading facilities. It also provides a convenient way to manage pay bills, send bank transfers and top up your Bitcoin prepaid card all in one place. Bitwalauses multi-signature technology to ensure that you have control over your funds.
- Platforms: Web
- Validation Type: Centralized
- Wallet Features: 2 Factor Authentication, Multi-Signature, Hierarchical Deterministic
- Anonymity: Medium
- Security: Personal
- Ease Of Use: Easy
Bitwala announced a US$910,000 Seed funding in March 2016. The round was led by Germany’s largest venture capital investment firm High Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), with the participation of New York-based Digital Currency Group (DCG). HTGF Manager Chiara Sommer said that HTGF invested in Bitwala because “Bitwala will be the first truly international bank account which allows people from all over the world to send and receive money in various currencies at marginal fees and in real-time”.
The exchange rate that Bitwala uses is the current market average from multiple exchanges. Bitwala passes the exchange rates directly to its customers without any changes or hidden fees. The product and services that Bitwala offers bridges the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to everyday use. Bitwala enables Bitcoin and Altcoins as means to pay and issue money transfers without the need of dealing with traditional banking. Affordability and speed are the two key benefits when it comes to Bitwala as it offers over 20 currencies to be sent to 200 countries at a low, flat fee.
Products and Services
Bitcoin to fiat currency money transfers
Bitwala has two core products: a Bitcoin to SEPA and SWIFT money transfers and Bitcoin debit cards powered by Visa. Bitwala offers international money transfers in 20 local currencies to over 120 countries. By issuing bitcoin invoices, customers pay the invoice using Bitcoin or any alternative cryptocurrencies and Bitwala converts these funds and issues a bank transfer on behalf of its customers. In October 2016, Bitwala announced its support for 9 new local currencies, making money transfers using Bitcoin to Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam possible and received in the respective local currency for a low 0.5% fee.
Bitwala is promoting transparency in the crypto space and was awarded the MVP Badge by Crypto-Potential:
Bitwala introduced EmailPay in 2015, a feature that allows its customers to send money using Bitcoin to any email without needing to know the receiving bank account details. Bitwala supports 11 payout currencies for its EmailPay feature, which are Euro (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), US Dollar (USD), Swedish Krona (SEK), Hungarian Forint (HUF), Norwegian Krone (NOK), Croatian Kuna (HRK), Swiss Franc (CHF), Czech Republic Koruna (CZK), Danish Krone (DKK), and Polish Zloty (PLN).
Bitcoin debit card
In December 2015, Bitwala introduced its Bitcoin debit card that is still the most affordable Bitcoin card on the market today. Powered by Visa, the Bitwala Bitcoin debit card allows customers to use Bitcoin to make POS and online payments and cash out at any ATM for a low and fixed fee. The Bitcoin debit cards are issued by Wave Crest Holdings Limited pursuant to a license from Visa Europe.
In August 2016, Bitwala launched a highly secure mobile and web wallet for Android and iOs. The wallet features HD, multi-signature technology along with Two-Factor for an extra layer of security. This enables transactions to be signed on its customer’s devices, ensuring the company no access and customers absolute control over funds in the wallet.
In addition to their Bitcoin solutions offerings, Bitwala also released its Android app in November 2016, followed by the release of the iOS app in 2017. Both of Bitwala’s mobile apps are feature-packed with multi-level security and 4-digit PIN access.
The service for alternative cryptocurrencies or often dubbed Altcoins is powered by a partnership with ShapeShift in July 2016 and has meant that Bitwala customers are able to send money and top up their Bitcoin debit card using Altcoins. Awards
- Best Blockchain Startup at the Paris Fintech Forum 2017
- Best Finance Startup at Fintech.Pioneers 2017
- Best Fintech Startup at 2017 Pioneers Festival in Vienna, Austria
- First place Future FinTech Star Award at ICT Spring 2017 in Luxembourg
- Third place for the startup category at the 2017 Der Deutsche Innovationspreis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.