On Aug. 29, German blockchain-based banking startup, Bitwala, announced the launch of its smartphone app for Bitcoin banking on iOS and Android. Customers in over 30 European countries can now open a German bank account with integrated Bitcoin wallet and trading.
The integrated Bitcoin wallet works just like conventional online banking. In this respect, it is different from an account at a cryptocurrency exchange as it can be used to manage daily finances.
Users can buy and sell bitcoin directly from their bank account. The wallet has P2P functionality to transfer Bitcoin to friends and family, and transactions can be authorized using biometrics. Private keys are held by the customer at all times.
Open an account directly from within the app in minutes
The onboarding process for new customers has been directly integrated into the app. It uses a video identification feature, with which residents throughout the European Economic Area can verify and open an account within minutes. Bitwala CTO, Benjamin James explains:
“Once you have an account, you can seamlessly integrate your daily banking activities – whether in Bitcoin or Euro – into your everyday life.”
The account comes with a free debit Mastercard, and euro deposits up to €100K are covered by the German deposit guarantee scheme.
Integrated Bitcoin wallet and trading
Bitwala CFO, Christoph Iwaniez, spoke about account security:
“With Bitwala your bitcoin are booked directly on the Blockchain via a multi-signature wallet. This is another way of saying that hacking Bitwala is as useless as breaking the Blockchain itself and that our customers are fully in control of their Bitcoin wallets at all times.”
As Cointelegraph reported last month, Bitwala raised €13 million in a recent funding round.
Super-Rich Indians Choose Bitcoin Over Altcoins for Investment: Poll
High net-worth individuals (HNIs) in India are more likely to invest in Bitcoin than other cryptocurrencies, according to a new Huru India survey, FinancialExpress reported on Aug. 30.
Digital currencies were the fourth most preferred asset overall, although almost half of the respondents didn’t know what cryptocurrencies are.
One tenth of wealthy Indians plan to invest in crypto
Of the Indian HNIs surveyed, around 10% said that they intended to invest in cryptocurrency over the next three years.
This made digital currency the fourth most favored asset class. Real estate is unsurprisingly the most preferred asset, followed by stock and fixed-income assets.
However, almost half of those who responded, indicated that they didn’t know much about virtual currency at all.
Those who are knowledgeable prefer Bitcoin
Of the respondents who were aware of cryptocurrency, almost 30% stated a preference to invest in Bitcoin. A further 9% preferred Ether (ETH) as an investment, with 7% indicating a preference for XRP.
The Indian authorities have a tumultuous ongoing relationship with cryptocurrency. As reported by Cointelegraph last week, the Indian Supreme court has been running out of patience with the Central Bank. It gave the bank just two weeks to justify a ban on servicing crypto-businesses that it imposed in July 2018.