March 1, 2022

Announcing the LVL V2 Beta

A bitcoin bank for the next generation.
Clifford Osborn

LVL is excited to announce that the LVL V2 Beta is here! LVL V2 is a complete redesign of LVL to make it easy to bank on Bitcoin:

  • Get paid in Bitcoin by connecting direct deposit.
  • Pay with Bitcoin on the LVL Card.
  • Earn Bitcoin rewards when you pay with LVL.

LVL V2 is under development, and not all features are operational. In response to overwhelming excitement, we are opening the LVL V2 Beta on an invite-only basis. By participating in the LVL V2 Beta, you can help provide critical feedback to improve the product and make LVL your Bitcoin bank. You can request access to the LVL V2 Beta here.

Why Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is LVL’s primary focus. Here are some of our favorite reasons LVL chose to focus on Bitcoin for next generation banking:

  • Bitcoin was created under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown person/group that sought neither fame nor fortune, of which they could have easily had both. Bitcoin survives based on nothing but consensus and fundamental merit, not a founder’s words or flashy marketing.
  • Bitcoin remained in relative obscurity for a long time, democratizing access through technical innovation. Bitcoin reached adoption through product merit - it was not propped up by venture capital, premined, or allocated to insiders.
  • Bitcoin and its development community are laser-focused on the “money problem,” not general-purpose smart contracts. Bitcoin achieves trust by not requiring it. Bitcoin is an open source, public ledger that’s easy to verify.
  • With a total coin-cap of 21 million, and a set mining rewards schedule, Bitcoin is inherently deflationary and can’t be devalued by governments or central banks.
  • Bitcoin’s “proof of work” consensus mechanism is decentralized and secure, and the ledger cannot be modified by a central authority or “foundation.”
  • Bitcoin is permissionless. No one can stop you from using it even if they want to.
  • Bitcoin has the best and most uncompromising group of core developers and robust scalability efforts under way such as Lightning.
  • Bitcoin has cryptocurrency industry-leading network effects in terms of adoption, capitalization, and payments volume. The more people that use it, the better it works, and the more valuable it becomes.
  • These qualities seem unlikely to be recreated, or if so, with a smaller network of users.

These qualities make Bitcoin an excellent medium of exchange. However, today Bitcoin is mostly viewed as an investable asset: something to buy and hold for the long term. We believe the real Bitcoin revolution isn’t about investing dollars into Bitcoin, it is about replacing dollars with Bitcoin.

Ok, why a Bitcoin Bank?

Using Bitcoin as a medium of exchange in your day-to-day life is really difficult right now. If you own Bitcoin on a modern exchange and want to spend that Bitcoin on, say, a pair of shoes, you would need to sell the Bitcoin for cash, transfer the cash to your legacy bank, and then swipe your card. That can take several days and incur fees along the way. It’s a poor user experience, complicated, costly, and outright prevents adoption and use.

So what’s the problem here? It’s that Bitcoin companies today are solving the investment problem not the “money problem.” They make it easy to invest dollars into Bitcoin and provide great solutions for that, but they can’t help you use that Bitcoin.

On the other hand we have legacy banks, which are great at helping you use fiat. They offer debit and credit cards, checks, bill pay, and all these great tools to make your money more useful. This is what Bitcoin needs, but none of these banks support Bitcoin. These banks are paleolithic and won’t be supporting Bitcoin any time soon. And when they do it will probably be a Bitcoin investing feature with sky-high fees.

What we really need is a forward thinking, Bitcoin-native bank to provide useful services on top of Bitcoin and enable us to replace our fiat with Bitcoin. Replacing your savings account and investment portfolios with Bitcoin is a great start, but we still need the same for our checking accounts. We need to be able to get paid in Bitcoin, spend bitcoin easily anywhere, earn rewards in Bitcoin, and orange pill our friends and family.

And just like that, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole like we did, and you’ve arrived at LVL: The first Bitcoin bank. Our mission is to build and offer services that allow you to perform all daily financial needs interchangeably with Bitcoin and fiat.

Announcing the LVL V2 Beta

Since launching LVL, we’ve continuously engaged with our customers through email and premium chat support, striving to answer the question: “How can we help?” Our members have told us what features they want and what principles should guide the product. These are the core design principles behind V2:

  • Bitcoin Only - Make the LVL App, and LVL, Bitcoin only.
  • Bitcoin Bank - LVL V2 is not another one-feature app to add to your finance folder. LVL is a full-service banking suite that allows you to bank on Bitcoin, every day.
  • Nail the Basics - Buying, saving, sending and spending Bitcoin should be intuitive.
  • No Fluff - LVL is a bank, not a toy. No spinny wheels or Bitcoin loot boxes.
  • Brought To You By Humans - LVL is an app and a service with top-tier support.

The LVL engineering team, led by Jesse, Kang, and Evan, have been working tirelessly to redesign LVL from the ground up consistent with these principles. We think LVL V2 is a streamlined, simple, and sexy way to bank on Bitcoin, and we’re excited to share the V2 Beta with users now, followed by a full release later in March.

Join the LVL Beta Today

The Beta for V2 is available to join by request, which you can submit here.

We’ll ask you a few questions about your LVL Account. Once you are approved, you’ll receive an email with next steps to sign up and install the Beta. Once you install the Beta, you can share feedback from with the app by taking a screenshot. We’re also planning open-format Twitter spaces where we can chat with everyone about their feedback in an open format.

Our team is still building remaining parts of the full V2 experience, so this initial release will not be feature-complete. We will continue to release new features for Beta users on a day-by-day basis while also iterating on Beta user feedback towards the full release of V2 later in March.

LVL has made it this far based on the incredible strength of our community of wild early adopters. You all are pirates. You’re our secret weapon. We can’t thank you enough. LVL V2 is our biggest update ever, and the LVL V2 Beta is your chance to make your voice heard in designing the Bitcoin banking experience that YOU want to use. To provide even more ways to connect with LVL and share feedback, dedicated chat support with a LVL Pro will be available for all Beta users for the duration of the Beta.

This is a big moment for LVL and for Bitcoin. We are excited to share this with you and even more excited for what is to come.

The Beta for V2 is available to join by request, which you can submit here.

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