Nuri Review 2021 – The Most Crypto Friendly Bank in Europe?

As a fully secured digital bank in Europe, Nuri (formerly Bitwala) has become a popular choice among many modern investors to combine traditional fiat money with cryptocurrency assets.

Nuri was founded in 2015 and is a regulated and licensed German bank available for residents of the European Economic Area (incl. Switzerland and UK).

Nuri offers a broad of services including bitcoin interest accounts, free Visa debit cards, and free real German bank accounts with personal IBANs and zero maintenance fees.

In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about Nuri before signing up, so keep on reading. If you don’t have much time, skim through the one-mine summary below to get the key takeaways.

Get a free €35 welcome bonus: Join Nuri before September 30th 2021 and trade of least €35 in bitcoin or ethereum. Fully regulated German bank with fiat protection up to €100,000.

Nuri review: One minute summary

In this post, I listed my favorite European digital banks, including Nuri. At Nuri, you get a free German bank account protected up to €100,000 on EUR deposits, a free Visa debit card for spending, and a cryptocurrency wallet for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Moreover, Nuri offers up to 5% interest per year on your Bitcoin through their partnership with Celsius.

Here are the top takeaways for Nuri:

  • Free regulated and secured Euro bank account with personal IBAN
  • Account protection on fiat deposits up to €100.000 through the German banking compensation scheme
  • Free Visa debit card that is accepted anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Interest on bitcoin up to 5%, paid out weekly

I’ve been using Nuri for around 1 year now and have little to complain so far. If you want to get familiar with Nuri in-depth, read the full breakdown below and decide for yourself if Nuri something for you or not.

Nuri overview

With more than 250,000 users, Nuri offers a seamless banking experience with direct access to Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as a Bitcoin Interest Account that provides up to 5% interest per year. Additionally, Nuri offers a free Euro bank account and a Visa debit card that can be used globally.

Nuri is backed by multiple tier-one VCs across the globe such as Earlybird, Digital Currency Group, Alstin Capital, Global Brain, and HTGF, making it a trusted platform for both crypto and fiat.

Main features

🛍️ Products OfferedBuy & sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Interest Account
💰 Number of supported cryptocurrencies2
₿ Bitcoin Interest RateUp to 5% APY
🏦 Deposit MethodWallet transfer, Wire, SEPA
🔒 Two-Factor AuthenticationYes
🛡️ Insurance€100,000 Deposit Guarantee
🔐 Crypto StorageCustody and Non-custody wallet
Nuri main features

Nuri Pros and Cons

Nuri offers a limited selection of cryptocurrencies for now: Bitcoin and Ethereum, and offers a Bitcoin Interest Account that yields around 5% APY interest, and an easy to use investing platform.

Other advantages include worldwide card accessibility, free monthly withdrawals, and high trust. Account opening is also fast and intuitive.

Highlights
  • Easy to use platform – Mobile app and Web app
  • Fully regulated and secured
  • Backed by reputed VCs across the world
  • High interest rates on Bitcoin
  • Completely free VISA Debit card with unlimited monthly withdrawals at no additional cost
Things to keep in mind
  • Available only for residents of EEA countries
  • Maximum trading limit of €30,000 per week
  • Limited number of cryptocurrencies

History of Nuri

2013 – Ben, Joerg and Jan, the three founders of Bitwala thought that Bitcoin had the potential to change the world. In 2013 they started a “crypto consultancy”, trying to get banks and large companies to see the benefits. According to the company, they were laughed out of multiple offices and decided to take it upon themselves to make the change themselves.

2015 – In 2015, Bitwala first launched, allowing people to make bitcoin-powered bank transfers to 22 countries and a prepaid debit card. In 2018, Bitwala reorganized itself to become the world’s first crypto bank account. People had an easy and safe way to get started with cryptocurrency directly from their German bank account.

2021 – Bitwala, just like cryptocurrencies, has changed a lot in the last 8 years and it was time for a fresh new look. Nuri believes that everyone is empowered to build their financial future and Blockchain is at the heart of building that future.

Nuri’s Bitcoin interest account

Nuri’s Bitcoin Interest Account is an alternative type of savings account that pays interest on your BTC deposits. It is a free account that can be opened by any Nuri customer. Interest is paid out weekly. You can deposit or withdraw bitcoin whenever you want, there’s no minimum investment period.

Nuri offers instant withdrawals of funds to your wallet, and they are settled almost instantly free of charge. The minimum investment to get started with a Nuri interest account is €10. You can calculate how much interest you can can earn with Nuri here: https://nuri.com/earning/

As a German fintech, Nuri has partnered with Celsius Network to offer the Nuri Interest Account.

Who is Celsius?

Celsius Network was founded in 2017 with the mission to harness blockchain technology to provide unprecedented financial freedom. They currently have more than $21 billion assets under management from over 700,000 users.

How can I create an interest account?

It’s pretty simple: head to your Nuri app and tap on the “Wealth” menu item. If you scroll down you’ll see the option: “Open Bitcoin Interest Account”.

Why do the interest rates change?

Interest rates are based on market demand, if borrowing demand is high, Celsius are able to pay a higher rate on that coin. If demand is low, they will be paying a lower rate. Celsius dynamically changes these rates according to supply and demand. All interest earned on Bitcoin is compounded and paid out weekly.

How often are interest payments made?

Interest will be deposited in Bitcoin directly into your Bitcoin Interest account. It is calculated from Friday 05:00:00 UTC to Friday 04:59:59 UTC and distributed on Mondays. This means if your first deposit is on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday your first interest distribution will be the following Monday (you will not receive interest the first Monday).

How is my bitcoin secured?

Celsius lends out responsibly from their community’s pool of assets. This means that Celsius only does collateralized loans, and your coins are never “locked up” and you can withdraw at any time.


Platforms

Nuri’s web app and mobile app simple to use, even for beginners. On the negative side, their platforms are online available in English and German at the time of writing this review.

Web App

The web platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The main dashboard gives a clear overview of your total balance and shows the latest transactions in your account. Your crypto balances and portfolio distribution are clearly presented. You can also see how much interest you have earned and accrued.

Pros:

  • User friendly interface
  • 2-step verification
  • Clear account summary in EUR and Crypto
  • Downloadable tax report

Cons:

  • Web App is glitchy sometimes during peak volatility

Nuri’s web app reflects its simple suite of products with no other clutter. Unfortunately, it’s not well optimized for international usage, as it can only translate your account value into EUR, USD, with no support for other major world denominations like the GBP, YEN, or INR. Customer support is also only available in English and German.

Mobile App

Pros:

  • Two-step verification
  • Biometric authentication
  • Seamless EUR to Crypto and Crypto to EUR conversion in a single app
  • Track interest payments on Bitcoin directly in your bank account

Cons:

  • Log-in experience is not optimal
  • App is glitchy during some peak volatile times
  • No live chat support

Nuri Visa Debit Card

Nuri’s Visa debit card stands out among the crowd. A key feature of Nuri Visa debit card is the unlimited free ATM withdrawals wherever you go. Lock and unlock your card via the mobile app at any time to stay safe.


Is Nuri safe?

Nuri is a fully compliant German fintech, and all of its accounts are hosted by partner bank – SolarisBank AG.

Pros

  • Regulated by German
  • Solid leadership team
  • Backed by reputed venture capital

Cons

  • Safety of funds ultimately depends on the platform and its partners
  • Interest accounts are not covered by insurance
  • Ultimately, cryptocurrencies are speculative instruments and involve significant risk of loss. There is no absolute guarantee of investment protection and you should do a complete risk assessment before making any investment decision.

Nuri fees

Nuri’s fee structure is relatively simple because almost everything is free. That said, here is a fee-breakdown of the different services:

Banking Services

The Nuri bank accounts are hosted by Nuri’s partnerbank Solarisbank AG.

Account Management

  • Account Opening and Management: €0

SEPA Transactions

  • Outgoing SEPA Transfer: €0
  • Incoming Transfers: €0

Card Transactions and Limits

There are no card transaction fees, but exchange rates follow the standard daily Visa exchange rate. For details see HERE.

  • Card Payment in Germany: €0
  • Card Payment in € in SEPA Area: €0
  • Card Payment in other Currency in SEPA Area: €0
  • All other Card Payments: €0
  • Maximum Offline Card Disposal per Day: €3,000
  • Maximum Online Card Disposal per Day: €5,000

Cash Withdrawals

Nuri itself doesn’t charge withdrawal fees, but some ATM providers may charge their own fee. For more information see HERE.

  • ATM Withdrawals in Germany: €0
  • ATM Withdrawals in Germany: €0
  • ATM Withdrawals in Outside SEPA Area: €0
  • Maximum Card Withdrawals: €3,000

Cryptocurrency Services

Like their euro bank accounts, the Crypto wallets for Bitcoin and Ethereum are provided by Solaris Digital Assets and runs on their infrastructure.

Trading Cryptocurrency with Crypto Wallets

  • Buying Cryptocurrency: 1% of the Transaction Volume
  • Selling Cryptocurrency: 1% of the Transaction Volume
  • Minimum Trading Amount (per Trade): €30
  • Maximum Trading Amount (per Trade): €15,000
  • Trading Limit: €50,000 per Rolling 7 Days

Trading Cryptocurrency with Crypto Vaults

Nuri processes cryptocurrency trades within one hour, but the purchase needs to be processed by the blockchain network. For additional information regarding the network fee, see HERE.

  • Buying Cryptocurrency 1% of the Transaction Volume [+ €1 Network Fee]
  • Selling Cryptocurrency 1% of the Transaction Volume [+ Current Network Fees]
  • Minimum Trading Amount (per Trade): €30
  • Maximum Trading Amount (per Trade): €15,000
  • Trading Limit: €50,000 per Rolling 7 Days

Cryptocurrency Transactions

  • Receiving Cryptocurrency: €0
  • Sending Cryptocurrency: €0 [+ Current Network Fees]

Other Services

Customers having an average of more than 50,000 € within a calendar month on their bank account are charged the current deposit facility rate set by the European Central Bank. The fee only applies in times of negative rates.

  • Account Opening: €0
  • Initial Ordering Card in Germany: €0
  • Investigation Order: On-Demand
  • High Deposit Fee8: Variable
  • Ordering Replacement Card: €9.50
  • Postal Bank Statement: On-Demand

Customer service

Phone and email support are available for clients, but there is no live chat service. Support for international customers is not well optimized, as you can only call within German business hours.

Pros:

  • Relevant answers
  • Fast support within business hours
  • Friendly support

Cons:

  • No live chat
  • Urgent support missing
  • Not available 24 hours a day

Account opening

Nuri’s account opening is easy and available to 70+ nationalities residing in the EEA. Here’s the list of nationalities supported. Account onboarding is fast and fully digital.

Pros:

  • Fast onboarding
  • Identity verification call available only in English and German

Cons:

  • Verification can sometimes take longer as the verification partner has long wait times.

Verdict

Nuri is a great platform for investors who want to consolidate their fiat and cryptocurrency finances into one single platform. While Nuri is not ideal if you want to trade cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin and Ethereum, it’s a solid option for those who only care about holding these major currencies in combination with euros.

While it lacks in terms of number of cryptocurrencies, Nuri is a clear winner for its fee-free banking approach, quick and easy account set-up, and the ability to earn interest on Bitcoin deposits. I’ve used Nuri – first as Bitwala – for almost one year now and have not had any real troubles, except for the log-in experience on mobile which is rather bothersome.

Overall, Nuri have proven themselves trustworthy within crossroads of crypto and fiat banking over many years now – I recommend you try them out.

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Lucas P.
About the author: Lucas P., a pen name for privacy reasons, is an investor, hobby finance writer, and die-hard FIRE enthusiast. Lucas has previously served as editor for a news outlet in his European home country but now spends his time dabbling with traditional and alternative investments. To learn more about Lucas, visit his profile page.