Frozen-rails-2014

Bitcoin Exchange Safello expands with direct payments from banks across Europe

Several months ago, we wrote about the Swedish Bitcoin exchange Safello and their mission to make doing business with Bitcoin as simple as possible, although without the anonymity that some other exchanges pride themselves on.

They’ve now gone a step further, expanding their reach beyond the borders of Sweden and into the rest of Europe by enabling payment network/option SOFORT, which allows customers to pay for their Bitcoins directly from a number of  European banks by direct transfer.

“In 2013 we quickly became the market leader in Sweden and saw some European interest. We did a pilot in the Netherlands that taught us a lot about how to enter a local market. We took those lessons to heart and with this release we want to make a proactive effort to tailor to those customers who have fewer options to choose from in their home market. It is the first step in our plan to grow into a global company,” said Safello CEO Frank Schuil. This expansion includes 86 European banks, as well as support for purchases made in British pounds.

This comes after Safello announced that it had raised $600 000 in investment from Bitcoin advocates Erik Voorhees and Roger Ver, as well as Blockchain.info CEO Nicolas Cary and  Swedish angel investors Victor & Victor a little over 6 weeks ago.

The company emphasises that they see the future of the currency co-operating and co-existing with the current financial system, meaning that they have taken the strides needed to stay compliant with Swedish taxation laws, especially after the country has made clear its stance on Bitcoin taxation. Nevertheless, “applicable laws and regulations are currently quite unexplored,” said Safello’s Head of Legal & Compliance Officer, Sara Lindqvist in a press release. “In view thereof, and since the interest in crypto currencies is constantly growing, authorities world wide are now under pressure to find ways to regulate the market for businesses conducting the use of these currencies. However, it is important that these regulations will be focusing on making the system more reliable - without affecting the development of the invention itself,” she added.

The company also emphasised with its most recent expansion Bitcoins purchased directly from the exchange are then sent to the customers themselves for safekeeping. Schuil explains: “We have seen an increasing amount of people who no longer want to store their bitcoins at exchanges after the Mt Gox debacle. Safello’s customers have full control over their funds at any time as orders get executed directly to the market and bitcoins are sent to the preferred bitcoin address of the customer‏. We think it is the safer choice for the consumer; and for Safello that's priority one.”

The newly supported banks include the following:

Belgium
Argenta, Axa, bpost bank, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING België KBC Bank.

Poland
Wybierz Twój bank, Alior Bank, Bank BGŻ, Bank BPH, Bank Pocztowy, Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości (BPS25), Bank Zachodni WBK, BNP Paribas / Fortis Bank, Citibank Handlowy, Credit Agricole (d. Lukas Bank), Deutsche Bank, Eurobank, Getin Bank, ING Bank Śląski, PLUS Bank (d. INVEST-BANK), Kredyt Bank, mBank, mBank (d. MultiBank), Millennium Bank, Nordea, Pekao (UniCredit), PKO BP (iPKO), PKO BP (Inteligo), Polbank EFG, Raiffeisen Polbank (SYSTEM POLBANK), Volkswagen Bank

Spain
Banco de Valencia, Banco Mare Nostrum (BMN), Banco Pastor, Banco Popular, Banco Sabadell, bancopopular-e.com, Banesto, BANIF, Bankia / BankiaLink, Bankinter, BBK, BBVA, Caixa Penedès, Caja Cantabria, Caja Duero, Caja España, Caja Extremadura, Caja Granada (BMN), Caja Murcia (BMN), Cajamar Caja Rural, Cajastur, Cajasur, Catalunya Caixa, EVO Banco, Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Ibercaja, ING DIRECT, Kutxa / Kutxabank, la Caixa, Novagalicia Banco, Sa Nostra (BMN), Santander / iSantander, Targobank, Unicaja, Vital

Hungary
OTP Bank, ERSTE Bank, K&H Bank, MKB Bank, CIB Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, UniCredit Bank, BUDAPEST Bank, Sberbank, Citibank

The Netherlands
ABN Amro Bank N.V., Fortis Bank (Nederland) N.V., ING Bank N.V., SNS Bank N.V., RegioBank

Sweden
Handelsbanken

Italy
List of banks unavailable

Switzerland
List of banks unavailable

Germany
List of banks unavailable

France
List of banks unavailable

Austria
List of banks unavailable

A PhD student and voracious reader based in Stockholm, Claire Ingram is interested in open innovation, co-creation, start-up funding, public policy and pictures of puppies on Reddit. You can contact her on Twitter @Claire_EBI.

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