Online bank WB21 now accepts Bitcoin for transfers and deposits

Online bank WB21 now accepts Bitcoin for transfers and deposits

Online bank WB21 Group Holdings SA has announced that it has added Bitcoin as a method for its customers to transfer and deposit funds to their checking accounts, making them the first registered bank to do so.

WB21, for those not familiar with the company, is a London-based digital bank with an office in Palo Alto, CA that provides online deposits and payments, including cheap cross-border payments which has 650,000 customers dealing in 18 currencies and is available in 180 countries.

The company will be using BitPay, Inc. as its payment processor, and it is likely that customers will be able to deposit Bitcoin into their WB21 accounts with zero confirmations meaning they will be able to access their deposits immediately.

“A bank accepting bitcoin is quite unusual, however it makes total sense for us and provides huge benefits to our clients,” WB21’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Gastauer said in a statement. “We are offering instant account opening in 180 countries. The problem some of our clients face is to make deposits if we don’t maintain a local account in their country.”

“By accepting Bitcoin, our customers can instantly transfer funds to their WB21 account from any country in the world. As soon as they send bitcoin to our address, we credit the value in the currency the customer has selected to their checking account. The funds are instantly available on the account and can be sent out by wire transfers or spent with a WB21 Debit Card.”

“The process to convert Bitcoin into cash on a bank account is the fastest I am aware of. For us the acceptance of Bitcoin is a great way to support our global roll-out and improve customers fund depositing experience.”

Nice move

Although WB21 isn’t a huge bank by any stretch, it is none the less a fully licensed bank operating in multiple countries complete with complying with the regulatory restrictions; that they would happily take on Bitcoin deposits is a positive sign not only for the Bitcoin community itself, but also for the fact that it can be done.

The move also highlights one of Bitcoin’s redeeming features: that it’s a great way to make cross-border payments at little or no cost.

Image credit: gastev/Flickr/CC by 2.0

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Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley is a senior writer at SiliconANGLE covering Startups, Bitcoin, and the Internet of Things.

Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.

Tips? Press releases? Intersting startup? email: duncan@nichenet.com.au or contact Duncan on Twitter @duncanriley

Duncan Riley

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