Bitwala Partners With Visa-Backed Solaris on Blockchain Bank Account

Blockchain startup Bitwala is working with Berlin-based fintech company solarisBank to launch Germany's first "blockchain bank account."

AccessTimeIconOct 9, 2018 at 7:59 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:28 a.m. UTC

Blockchain startup Bitwala is aiming to launch Germany's first "blockchain bank account" – and it's struck a strategic partnership with Berlin-based fintech company solarisBank in order to pull it off.

Built as part of solarisBank's "Blockchain Factory" initiative, the partnership will enable Bitwala to offer banking services by way of solarisBank's German banking license, spokesperson Roman Kessler told CoinDesk.

The goal is to launch the service in mid-November, and Bitwala hopes to cater to those who already hold cryptocurrencies. Bitwala raised €4 million in new funding last month to support its efforts.

Thus far, according to the company, 35,000 users have pre-registered for the upcoming service.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Kessler stressed that "we are a blockchain banking service" and not a bank. That said, Bitwala hopes to get there one day, and is planning to seek a German banking license of its own next year.

Bitwala's partner has some notable backers, including Spain-based BBVA and card provider Visa. SolarisBank closed a €56.6 million Series B funding round earlier this year, according to TechCrunch, having been founded in 2016.

Kessler explained two aspects of solarisBank drew Bitwala to it: the "fantastic technical platform that allows" any company the ability to easily "go in and plug your use cases" into the solarisBank API, and the regulatory access vis-a-vis its banking license.

Indeed, solarisBank positioned itself as a possible partner for the crypto-industry through its Blockchain Factory effort.

And the solarisBank partnership helps Bitwala avoid some of the regulatory pitfalls it's encountered in the past. In January, Bitwala was one of several cryptocurrency companies affected when Visa Europe closed the account of its debit card issuer.

"We are very proud to partner with solarisBank as we launch our new product. Their technical services and regulatory umbrella enable Bitwala to be fully compliant with German banking requirements while offering a reliable user experience," Jörg von Minckwitz, president of Bitwala, said in a statement.

Bitcoins and euros image via Shutterstock

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bank of England Committee Calls for Enhanced Crypto Regulation to Limit Contagion

The loss $2 trillion of crypto market cap over a period of months has “underscored the need for enhanced regulation,” the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee said.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Nexo Signs Term Sheet With Vauld for Potential Acquisition

Nexo said it has a 60-day exclusive due diligence period in which to decide if it will acquire up to 100% of Singapore-based Vauld.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
UK Government Seeks Views on DeFi Taxation

Those wishing to submit evidence have until Aug. 31 to do so.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Former JPMorgan Banker Samir Shah Becomes COO at Pantera Capital

Shah joins Pantera after 12 years at JPMorgan spanning roles in sales, strategy and digital.

CoinDesk - Unknown