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Bitwala Mastercard Overview
- European cryptocurrency credit card with support for Bitcoin and Ethereum
- Users get their own lightweight bank account to go along with card
- Fees relatively low compared to competitors
- No need to stake a proprietary token to use Bitwala
Bitwala Mastercard Pros & Cons
Comes attached to a full service bank account that is friendly to cryptocurrencies
Crypto asset holdings can be held in interest-bearing accounts
Non-custodial storage for crypto assets
Founded in 2015
1% trading fees are lower than other services offering user-friendly interfaces
Free ATM withdrawals worldwide
Currently only supports Bitcoin and Ether
Only available for residents of the European Economic Area
It is not recommended that users try to store ERC-20 tokens in their Bitwala Ethereum wallet
Bitwala Mastercard Card at a Glance
What is the Bitwala Mastercard?
The Bitwala Mastercard card is the debit card that comes with Bitwala’s bank account offering. Bitwala bank accounts work just like any other bank accounts in Germany, with the added benefit that they also have native integration for Bitcoin and Ethereum. In this way, the Bitwala Mastercard card is rather easy for even novice cryptocurrency users to understand. There aren’t any additional frills that come with this crypto debit card, but the simplicity that is offered via its mobile banking app makes it easy for anyone who just wants to be able to transfer funds between Bitcoin, Ether, and their traditional banking account at the touch of a button on a mobile app.
What are the Benefits of the Bitwala Mastercard Card?
The main benefit of the Bitwala Mastercard card is that it comes with a full service bank account connected to it. This allows the cardholder to use their Bitwala Mastercard card in the same exact manner that they have used debit cards connected to other bank accounts they’ve had in the past. Additionally, the 1% fee associated with switching between cryptocurrencies and euros is rather low for a brokerage-esque platform like Bitwala.
Another positive aspect of the Bitwala crypto debit card is that it does not have a proprietary token associated with it. Many crypto debit cards force their users to hold or stake a proprietary token in order to gain access to high cashback rewards, and this entire setup often looks not too dissimilar from fraudulent investment schemes. With the crypto debit card offering from Bitwala, users do not have to worry about potentially losing a chunk of their savings due to a crash in the price of a token they were forced to hold just to gain access to a crypto debit card.
Two other benefits of the Bitwala Mastercard card worth mentioning are the fact that there are no fees for using an ATM to make cash withdrawals and users are able to retain control over the crypto private keys in the Bitwala wallet.
Potential Bitwala Mastercard Card Dealbreakers
There are really only two potential dealbreakers to look at when it comes to the Bitwala Mastercard card.
First, the card is only available to residents of the European Economic Area. This means people in places like the United States, Japan, and other areas where there is plenty of demand for crypto debit cards are unable to use this offering from Bitwala.
Additionally, the number of crypto assets supported by Bitwala is limited. While the company claims they want to add many more additional cryptocurrencies to the platform in the future, the reality is that only Bitcoin and Ether are currently supported. Even ERC-20 tokens issued on top of Ethereum are not explicitly supported at this time. That said, Bitcoin purists could also view this as a potential benefit of the platform.
Is the Bitwala Mastercard Card Right for Me?
Bitwala’s crypto debit card is an excellent option for anyone living in the European Economic Area. The platform works just like a traditional bank account, and the ability to move back and forth between fiat and crypto is almost just an additional feature tacked onto the sort of financial account that many users will have already used in the past. While crypto users can find fees lower than 1% for switching between crypto and fiat on more advanced exchanges built for traders, it would be difficult to find another option that offers the level of simplicity found in the Bitwala app around this price range. Much like any other mobile banking account, Bitwala also adds more features to their platform over time, such as the ability to earn interest on crypto holdings
Bitwala Frequently Asked Questions
No, users who wish to gain access to the Bitwala crypto debit card must be able to pass the sort of user verification process that has become the standard for gaining banking access around the world. To get access to a Bitwala account, new users must be able to verify their identity and tax information. This procedure is intended to prevent the use of financial institutions for illicit purposes.
It should be noted that you don’t necessarily need a form of identification from a country within Europe in order to create a Bitwala account. While you must live in Europe to get the Bitwala Mastercard card, the company accepts various forms of identification from all over the world for the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.
There are only two types of fees to worry about when creating a Bitwala account, and one of the fees isn’t even on Bitwala’s end. The first fee to understand is the fee for trading between crypto and fiat. There is a flat 1% fee charged on these types of transfers. Secondly, users also need to understand cryptocurrency network fees. These are the fees paid to miners that must be paid if you’re transferring some Bitcoin or Ether out of your Bitwala account.
Notably, there are no account fees or ATM fees to worry about with the Bitwala Mastercard card. Of course, it should be remembered that the particular ATM you decide to use with your Bitwala debit card may charge some fees of their own.
The Bitwala Mastercard card is only available to residents of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. This crypto debit card is not available to those who live in the United States. Although the Bitwala Bitcoin prepaid card is only available in Europe, forms of personal identification from many other parts of the world are accepted for the KYC process.
Like any other Bitcoin debit card on the market, there are limits associated with spending and ATM withdrawals for the Bitwala Mastercard card. On a monthly basis, there is a €10,000 limit each on online payments, offline payments, and ATM withdrawals. The default daily limits for online and offline payments is €1,500. The daily ATM withdrawal limit is €3,000. It should be noted that the daily online payments limit can be increased to up to €5,000, while the daily offline payments limit can be increased to up to €3,000.
There are also limits on trading between fiat and crypto on the Bitwala app. There is currently a €30,000 limit enforced on a rolling 7-day basis for this sort of activity.
The delivery of a Bitwala Mastercard card can take up to two weeks. There is also no way to track the delivery once the card has been ordered.