German neobank N26 is working to enable Bitcoin and other cyptocurrency purchases for its seven million customers by the end of the year.
The move comes although N26 co-founder Valentin Stalf is not exactly a Bitcoin fan, as German finance magazine Finance FWD reports. However, "the customers want crypto," he was quoted saying earlier this year.
To make the Bitcoin feature possible, N26 is reportedly working with an unnamed partner in Serbia, where "a team of 40 people is working with N26's global product and technology team," according to a representative.
The developments indicate a shift in N26's stance towards Bitcoin, as until recently, its terms and conditions included a section noting that cryptocurrency transactions could result in account closures. Only in 2020, N26 users shared related experiences on Bitcointalk.
The trading platform the challenger bank plans to launch in 2022 will feature stock trading options; whether it will include cryptocurrency trading pairs is not clear.
Neobanks have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. N26 itself has reached a valuation of $3.5 billion since launching its operations in 2013. Especially younger audience tend to gravitate towards the new banks, often due to the ability to open and manage a bank account completely online. Many neobanks further provide offers in partnership with popular brands and additional perks such as cash back and travel or phone insurances, catering to a young and mobile crowd.
Market research firm Grand View Research estimates that neobanks will take up a market size of over $722.6 billion by 2028. In 2020, the global neobank market size stood at around $47.1 billion.
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