Bitwala is stirring up the crypto market. The provider is one of the first to offer a classic bank account in connection with the hand of cryptocurrencies. In addition, interest in the provider is increasing, as it has recently been offering the earnings account with which it is possible to collect interest for Bitcoin. Therefore, a Bitwala Test seems essential. How did our Bitwala experience end? We report in detail on our impressions of the platform.
Bitwala experience: Products presented
Our Bitwala research shows that the provider essentially offers 5 products, these are: Bank Account, Crypto Wallet, Debit Card, Earnings Account and an App. How well does Bitwala combine the classic bank account with cryptocurrency trading? In order to learn more about it, we took a closer look at each individual product and will examine this in more detail in our Bitwala experience.
By the way: You can now easily create a Bitwala account. About a year ago there was a waiting list due to the high number of people.
Bitwala bank account
The Bitwala bank account is just like the classic bank account that everyone knows, only with the additional features of a FinTech bank. For example, there are no account management fees. In addition, cash withdrawals are possible worldwide and only the fees of the respective machine operator apply. So you can use the account for everyday transactions such as wage payments, rent payments, shopping, etc. In summary, one can say that the account offers all standard functions of a current account and is also free of charge.
Bitwala (Multi-Sig) Wallet
At Bitwala you have an integrated Bitcoin and Ethereum Wallet, i.e. your digital wallet for the cryptocurrencies. A remarkable feature here is the fact that only the customer himself has access to the coins. This means that nobody, not even Bitwala itself, has access to your cryptocurrency. This is a huge difference to the otherwise centralized exchanges, where providers also have access to the accounts. To put it clearly again: Even if Bitwala goes offline or suddenly no longer exists, you have access to your Bitcoins and Ether.
The Bitcoin Wallet is available via desktop as well as via mobile devices. The Ethereum Wallet, on the other hand, is currently only available via the Bitwala app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Bitwala debit card
First of all, what is a debit card? A debit card is a bank card that you can use to make cashless payments and withdraw money from ATMs. In contrast to conventional credit cards, the current account is debited directly. In this way, no debit interest accrues.
A debit card thus offers the optimal alternative as a kind of interface between the account and everyday payment.
At Bitwala there is a big name behind the payment processor of the debit card. MasterCard acts as a partner. This gives you the greatest possible security and you can pay with the card not only in Germany, but also in over 40 million acceptance points worldwide, both online and on site. The card also has an NFC chip, which enables contactless payment.
What is so exciting about this debit card?
The exciting thing is that you can pay for every transaction with the deposited cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency is exchanged for euros via Bitwala and the amount can then be spent.
What are the fees?
The bank account and debit card are free. Bitwala itself does not charge fees for withdrawing money from an ATM. However, if cryptocurrency is exchanged for euros, there is a fee of 1%. Otherwise there are no fees.
What are the transaction limits?
- Online payments: € 10,000
- Offline payments: € 10,000
- Withdrawal from ATMs: € 10,000
- Online payments: € 1,500, can be increased up to € 5,000
- Offline payments: € 1,500, can be increased up to € 3,000
- Withdrawal from ATM: € 3,000
Bitwala Income Account (NEW)
The earnings account is relatively new to Bitwala. The income account allows you to receive interest on your bitcoins. Especially ideal if you wanted to leave the bitcoins in the wallet for a while anyway. Bitwala works together with Celsius. The company Celsius offers its users economic opportunities based on blockchain technology. The company currently manages approximately $ 300 million in assets from approximately 40,000 users. Celsius lends secured loans, which increases the security for the lender, however, as with any financial product, there is always a residual risk. More on this at: https://www.bitwala.com/img/risk-disclosure-crypto-interest-account.pdf
In our opinion, this is one of the most exciting features. Due to the high security measures taken by the German provider Bitwala, borrowing bitcoins is much safer than with many other providers. In addition, an interest rate of currently around 4% beckons. Thus, the user can not only look forward to the increase in value of his bitcoins over time but also receives additional interest on it.
How does Income Account work?
To benefit from the interest, all you have to do is send bitcoins from the Bitwala account to the earnings account. The current interest rate is up to 4.03%. However, the interest rate can change weekly due to supply and demand. The bitcoins and the interest can be sent back to the Bitwala wallet at any time if you need your bitcoins.
It is also exciting that the interest is paid out weekly and always on Monday to the income account. This also benefits from compound interest because you can lend the interest received.
What are the fees?
The use of the income account is free of charge. The only costs are the network fees for transferring the bitcoins from the Bitwala account to the Bitwala revenue account. However, there are no withdrawal costs, as Celsius pays the network fee for the withdrawal.
All in all, an interesting way to build passive income in a simple way and to rely on the increase in value of Bitcoin. Nevertheless, it is important to note that there is no access to the private key of the stored bitcoins for the duration of the use of the earnings account.
The mobile app is of great importance for today. At Bitwala you can control the account both via the mobile browser and via the app. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
The Bitwala app receives an overall rating of 4.4 stars from 343 reviews on the Apple Store.
In the Google Play Store, the app receives a total rating of 3.8 stars from 890 reviews.
Our research revealed that Bitwala released a new app design on June 16, 2020. This is accompanied by new functionalities. For example, separate dashboards are available for banking and investments. In addition, the so-called “portfolio view” was introduced. This allows you to manage all digital investments in one place. The view is divided into: Bitcoin, Ethereum and the Bitcoin earnings account. This view should make it even easier to keep an overview.
You can also analyze your portfolio development. You can see daily, weekly and annual charts, as well as visual feedback on portfolio growth.
Bitwala Tax Optimization with CryptoTax
Bitcoin fans often think that buying Bitcoin is too complicated in terms of taxes. It is not at all. The handling of this topic at Bitwala is all the easier. Because Bitwala works here with a company that specializes in creating tax reports for trading cryptocurrencies.
This is a special feature, because otherwise, you have to approach such an external service yourself and bear the costs. The CryptoTax service alone otherwise costs at least € 199 for over 10 transactions per year. Every Bitwala user receives this service free of charge.
In our opinion, it is an optimal way to make crypto trading as easy as possible for the user.
In principle, only 3 steps are necessary to fully use the Bitwala account:
- Create a bank account
- Confirm identity
A relatively simple process. However, our research also showed that the registration process, although quite simple, can only be used to verify identity using a webcam or cell phone camera. Since it is a bank, such a rigorous verification must be carried out. Bitwala also works with SolarisBank and they only accept verification via webcam or cell phone camera.
Conclusion of our Bitwala Experience 2020
Here we summarize our experiences with Bitwala. We look closely at what speaks for and what speaks against the provider.
- German provider who is subject to deposit protection. This means that the deposited money is safe up to € 100,000. You hardly have this security with any other crypto exchange
- The use of the account is free of charge
- Income account enables residual income
- You have full control over your Bitcoins / Ether because you own the private keys and not the exchange, as is usually the case
- The integration of CryptoTax makes it very easy to create a tax assessment. This also means that there are no costs for tax assessments that would otherwise be incurred on other exchanges
- Bonus for new customers of € 20
- So far you can only buy Bitcoin and Ethereum (further cryptocurrency is planned)
- Verification of identity when registering only via webcam or cell phone camera, no PostIdent
- Ethereum Wallet is currently only available on the Bitwala app
- No Americans are currently admitted to trading on Bitwala
Our Conclusion: Advantages and Disadvantages Summary
After we have reported in detail about Bitwala, we briefly summarize the essential points. Bitwala is a FinTech company that wants to make cryptocurrency trading simple and straightforward. Bitwala also achieves this and stands out with special features of other cryptocurrency exchanges. For example, at Bitwala you have your private keys and therefore always have access to your bitcoins. It is different from conventional stock exchanges. For example, if Binance goes offline, you won’t have access to your wallet. This is critical, because exchanges have been hacked in the past. So there is no such risk at Bitwala.
Another special feature is the integration and free use of CryptoTax. This means that Bitwala users do not have to worry about creating the tax assessment. We have never seen such a service from any other crypto exchange. You can create general tax assessments on most exchanges, but these are usually not optimized for the tax office.
However, we see a disadvantage with the small selection of cryptocurrencies. Only Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently tradable. However, more cryptocurrencies are planned. Another disadvantage is the verification of the account. You have to verify yourself with a camera. Many are familiar with the PostIdent process, but when registering Bitwala you have to show yourself in front of the camera. Not every favor, but it takes about 2-3 minutes. In our experience, the registration works very quickly.
All in all, it can be said that Bitwala is especially suitable for those who value security. After all, the money deposited at Bitwala is subject to deposit protection and is therefore up to 100,000 safe. You also have your private keys and therefore always access to the bitcoins, no matter what happens to Bitwala. If the simplicity is sufficient and you also want to build up additional passive income via the income account, then Bitwala is the right place for you.