Crypto-fans know this: One explains, inspires and creates interest for Bitcoin and other crypto-assets, but then it becomes difficult with the question "How do I get in?
Over the years, the Bitcoin ecosystem has grown significantly and has made massive gains in user-friendliness. Detailed knowledge is no longer necessary to open an account via Coinbase and other exchanges to buy coins, for example using a credit card.
But this convenience comes at a high price. Often a complete KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure is necessary for the purchase and the keys usually remain in the hands of the centralized provider.
A bank and a crypto project promise solution
A cooperation between the German WEG Bank AG, respectively its Fintech division, the TEN31 Bank, and the also German-originated crypto project, Nimiq, seems to be close to the releasing a solution.
The complete promise: Direct buying and selling of BTC and NIM via SEPA bank transfer – without an additional KYC process and even decentralized.
"OASIS", a protocol developed by Nimiq, should make this possible. This protocol, comparable to a sophisticated algorithm, simulates the functionality of a blockchain and should be able to be integrated almost universally. The most promising application: integration by banks.
It should be possible to use euros like tokens. The rules of the game are those of the blockchain, the main difference: they are enforced by the bank.
Bitcoin could soon be purchased by bank transfer
This creates the possibility of programmatically handle Euros and including them in Smart Contracts – something that was previously reserved exclusively for tokens. With such a Smart Contract construction, owners of a European account should now be able to buy and sell crypto in a decentralized manner and by bank transfer.
Currently the service – called Fastspot – is not yet publicly available, but the product has already been tested as "Closed Beta" by some YouTubers.
The videos show a registration-free process, at the end of which there is an IBAN belonging to the bank and a Euro amount to be transferred. After the amount has been instructed from the online banking system, an incoming transaction actually appears on the NIM address provided and after only a few seconds.
The process works without additional KYC and login, as the user is already identified by the bank account. It does not even seem necessary to provide an e-mail address.
Crypto and DeFi for everyone?
This could indeed be a breakthrough, if buying and selling BTC, NIM and, possibly other coins, is actually made that easy.
Possibly one of the most important barriers for mass adaptation of cryptocurrencies – the complicated access – can be overcome in this way.
Rumors say that Ethereum will be integrated shortly after release. Beside a very easy entry into the crypto world in general, the implications for DeFi could be immense.
Is the door to a new class of financial products that crosses the boundary between the block chain world and the conventional financial industry opening up right now and almost secretly?
Breakthrough or hot air?
The release of Fastspot is announced for Q4 2020. It remains to be seen whether and how usable the service will ultimately be. It would not be the first time that high-flying announcements, fueled by the DeFi hype, turn out to be empty promises.
Apart from whether Fastspot delivers the promised service, it is also unclear what limits will apply to buying and selling and what fees will be charged.
According to Nimiq, the fees will be used exclusively to buy NIM Coins from the market. Also it remains to be seen whether the approach pursued by the association of Nimiq and the German bank would indeed improve dramatically accessibility of cryptocurrency for the masses.
After all, Nimiq is an established project with a technical focus that has attracted attention more through substance than hype so far.
The TEN31 Bank is still more of a newcomer, but in a comparatively short time it has succeeded in assembling a powerful and prominent network (Litecoin, Salamantex, etc.) around itself.