Bitwala is one of the first European regulated crypto banks. Offering various products and services to customers looking to store Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It has a non-custodial wallet, debit card, and much more. In this review will unpack its features and see where fits amongst other crypto storage options.
Table of Contents
- Bitwala Overview
- Bitwala Featured Services
- Fully Serviced Bank Account
- Bitwala Bitcoin Interest Account
- Contactless Master Debit Card
- Crypto Wallets & Trading
- Crypto Tax Made Easy
- Bitwala Pros & Cons
- Bitwala Fees
- Cash Withdrawals
- Trading Cryptocurrency
- Bitwala Supported Countries
- Bitwala Verification
- Is Bitwala Secure
- Bitwala App & User Experience
- Customer Feedback
- Customer Support
- Our Real Review: Is It Truly A Crypto Bank Account?
Launched in 2015 by founders Ben Jones and Jan Goslicki. Bitwala manages everyday banking, trade, and allows users to store Cryptocurrencies in a bank account. The company is based out of Berlin, Germany, and has continued to grow its user base to 80,000+.
Bitwala has been on a mission to fully mend cryptocurrencies together with the financial world.
Bitwala Featured Services
Fully Serviced Bank Account
Through their partnership Solaris Bank. Bitwala provides users with a fully serviced bank account. The service merges traditional fiat and cryptocurrency in the same account.
Users can conduct everyday trades, purchases, and store bitcoin/fiat currency interchangeably.
Imagine buying 10 BTC, securing it in a Bitwala account, and then exchanging it into EUR. That money can then be used to buy a small boat.
Bitwala bank account makes it easy to make recurring payments and fast transfers. Additionally, users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from the account.
Bitwala Bitcoin Interest Account
Bitwala’s Bitcoin interest account is a HODLers paradise. It’s a separate account that allows for Bitcoin deposits.
Those Bitcoin deposits can be held in the account and earn users up to 5% in annual interest on their holdings.
The interest rates are maintained through Bitwala partnership with Celsius Network. According to Bitwala, Interest rates are calculated on a weekly basis. Allowing bank users to earn a weekly interest payout.
Users can withdraw and earn BTC from their interest accounts anytime without penalty.
Contactless Master Debit Card
Bitwala’s debt card behaves like a normal debit card as it is EUR cash only. This means users will not be able to spend BTC, instead the card deducts from the EUR checking balance.
For avid travelers, the Bitwala debit card can be a good deal. The card can be used anywhere around the world for free.
With Bitwala debit card users can make payments wherever MasterCard is accepted. Payments on everyday items, recurring subscriptions, or online transactions can all be done on this card.
Additionally, users can expect free Euro cash withdrawals and be able to make contactless payments.
Security – Bitwala debit card comes equipped with 3D Secure. 3D secure is a private code that adds an additional layer of online shopping security.
Crypto Wallets & Trading
Bitwala accounts come with a built-in Bitcoin and Either wallet. The wallets are non-custodial. A non-custodial wallet allows users to possess their own private keys and backup phrase.
This means users have 100% control over funds stored. Huge security benefits when compared to other exchanges that have traditional custodial wallets.
Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets are separate. Users can access the Bitcoin wallet on desktop and Ethereum via Bitwala’s mobile app.
Crypto Tax Made Easy
Another great service Bitwala provides is ready to use tax reports. Through their partnership with Cryptotax. Bitwala removes the hassle out of reporting cryptocurrency trades, transactions, and other tax requirements.
This is great for customers in the EU who are required to pay capital gain tax on crypto assets. The statements are presented on easy to read PDF and can be downloaded in minutes.
Bitwala Pros & Cons
- Low fees
- Earn interest on Bitcoin Stored
- Non-custodial Wallet
- Bank Back by SolarisBanks
- Easy to use Interface
- Verification process
- Focus Is On European Customers
- Trade Fees
Compare Top Merchants Bitwala Service fees are super competitive. Customers can expect to pay no annual fees on the Bank account, debit card, or wallets. Other services like deposits and ATM withdrawals are also free.
There is a 1% trading fee on Crypto selling and buying. We listed a full breakdown of all Bitwala fees below.
|ATM withdrawals in Germany||0€|
|ATM withdrawals in SEPA area||0€|
|Maximum card withdrawals||3000€|
|Buying Cryptocurrency||1% of the transaction volume|
|Selling Cryptocurrency||1% of the transaction volume|
|Minimum trading amount (per trade)||30 €|
|Maximum trading amount (per trade)||15,000 €|
|Card payment in Germany||0€|
|All other card payments||0€|
Bitwala Supported Countries
All residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland can sign up. Bitwala is a hybrid German bank account. This means outside of the EEA like the US will not be able to sign up for an account.
Although the Bitwala team is hoping to expand to the US in the future. US tax obligations make that a bit tricky. Right now, Bitwala only supports EUR payments.
Opening up an account with Bitwala is similar to opening an account with any normal online bank. There are criteria that every Bitwala user must meet before making an account:
- A resident of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- Hold an accepted Identification document. We posted the list of supported ID’s Here.
- Must 18 years or older
- Hold Proof of Address documents
Potential customers who meet these criteria can move on to step 1 of 2. Step one is to open an account. Step 2 is the verification of your identity through a video call.
Bitwala partners up with IDnow, to help fend off identity theft. The process is seamless and really adds a layer of security for Bitwala customers.
Is Bitwala Secure
A new platform like Bitwala may raise security questions for those looking to get an account. Bitwala has made efforts to build a blockchain banking experience that is secure.
Bitwala has a German IBAN that is fully regulated by The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany.
Accounts are protected up to €100,000 by the Compensation Scheme of German Banks. Also, users go through KYC video identification which adds authenticity to the platform.
Not to mention Cryptocurrency is held in non-custodial wallets. Giving users 100% responsibility for their Bitcoins and Ether. It is a rare, yet convenient feature offered by Bitwala.
There are regular internal and external security audits. Audits are made on Bitwala’s infrastructure, product, and services.
Bitwala App & User Experience
Both desktop and app user interfaces are smooth, refined, and glides right through on-screen animations. The overall look and feel are aesthetically pleasing and usable for the average user.
The mobile app and web interface does a great job integrating user bank accounts with their crypto wallets.
Users can easily transfer euros with SEPA and convert them into bitcoins in a few swipes or mouse movements.
The Bitwala App isn’t all perfect. Users have complained of bugs with the identification process.
Also having issues with multitasking while the app is on in the background. Others have had random app crashes during heavy usage.
One thing to note, the Ether wallet is only available on mobile platforms for now. It’s not accessible on the desktop web version.
Overall, we’ve seen customers generally post positive reviews about Bitwala. Customers love how Bitwala makes it simple and smooth to open an account.
Most customers find Bitwala support to be very helpful. Customer issues get resolved quickly.
However, this isn’t the case for all users. Other customers, we spotted mentioning a buggy and lengthy verification process.
Customers have had problems with the verification process. Going through multiple attempts to pass verification but struggle to get fully verified.
Trading BTC on Bitwala is straightforward. Yet customers have also complained of high trading fees.
Bitwala offers users a few different ways to get customer support. The first is there online chat, which is a quick and efficient way to get support.
If you’re a verified user, expect a quick response in many cases. The second-way user can receive support through email during opening hours.
Last, Bitwala has a support center with helpful articles and resources. The support center helps customers answer frequently asked questions.
We’ve also heard of users getting support on Bitwala twitter.
Our Real Review: Is It Truly A Crypto Bank Account?
Bitwala is a young and ambitious platform, with an enormous room for growth. Through their partnerships, Bitwala is offering users the best of both worlds.
Integrating traditional bank and Crypto services to work in a way that was thought to be unconventional.
Bitwala is a great service for a multitude of reasons. The most important reason is it gives customers who’ve invested in Bitcoin a way to enjoy the fruits of their labor in a convenient manner.
Customers can really do it all on one platform. Pay bills, enjoy traditional bank services, make trades, and hold BTC.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one place to store BTC then look no further than Bitwala.