by Nuno Menezes
Bitwala is a German startup that is using bitcoin to make payments and transactions from around the world easier than ever before. Bitwala has introduced a smart, easy, safe and fast way to send money to friends or family abroad, and even to pay bills without using a bank account.
The company offers debit cards with transparent and low fees, which allow users to shop online or to cash out in their local currency on any ATM. By using Bitcoin, Bitwala is trying to introduce the future infrastructure of international payments and transaction. The company uses Bitcoin’s infrastructure in a simplified process that makes it easy to send international payments and transactions at an extremely low cost.
Currently, Bitwala is working in the European market but it is planning to expand internationally. Last week, the company secured its first funding round where it was able to collect about €800k. Now, it has announced that it has passed the 2 million mark in transaction volume; to celebrate, Bitwala is offering zero fees on SEPA transactions until April 25, 2016.
To learn more about Bitwala and the future of international transactions, BTCMANAGER corresponded with Jörg von Minckwitz, one of the company co-founders and CEO.
Bitwala was founded almost one year ago. Jan, Ben and I are the cofounders. We have worked in the Bitcoin economy for 5 years and we started Bitcoinsberlin as one of the first Bitcoin businesses in Europe along with Bitcoin.de. Jan and I studied together in Dresden and continued our Masters in Berlin. At that time, we found out about Bitcoin and we immediately were fascinated by it and realized right away: This is going to change the world! We wanted to enable the use of Bitcoin every day and make it possible to handle them like a normal bank account. Bitwala is our solution for that.
Bitwala is the next generation bank account. Bank accounts are not made for a global market. They are slow, expensive and really complicated. Bitwala aims to be the first international bank account.
On the potential of Bitcoin and blockchain applications
Bitcoin and the Blockchain are going to change the world like the internet did a few decades before. We always call it the TCP/IP of money and trust. It is something that has never been done before and slowly but constantly it will change how we do business, how we pay, how we sign contracts, how we identify ourselves and how we gain trust toward third parties. In short: Banking was the past, Bitcoin is the future.
On the company’s partners and supporters and the recent seed funding
We have a really strong network of partners. I think if you want to change the world you need to be taken seriously and to scale. Take Microsoft: when Bill Gates introduced windows he partnered with IBM and many other big companies to bring Windows to all our computers. Without his strong partners, Microsoft probably wouldn’t have this great success. This is one reason for choosing HTGF for our funding round, since it gives us direct introductions to all major German companies and banks.
On the company’s expectations and goals
Bitwala is going global within the next year. We will expand to Asia, Africa and the U.S. Within the next 3 months, our app will be launched which will be a real game changer in the way how you can handle your bitcoins and what you are able to do with that. We are really curious about the future of Bitwala and Bitcoin and we are excited to be a part of this world-changing phenomenon.