Financial planning firm Mint has added bitcoin support to its service, following a deal with wallet provider Coinbase.
Following the move, Mint's popular finance app will allow US users to keep track of their bitcoin investments, alongside more traditional investments.
Hard to ignore
Mint product manager Vince Maniago told Venture Beat that there are already 12 million bitcoins in circulation, adding that 60,000 merchants are already accepting the digital currency via Coinbase. He said:
“We felt like it was something we couldn’t ignore anymore, and this is a good time to go out and support the currency as it becomes more legitimate.”
Coinbase now has more than 870,000 users, and Maniago was eager to point out that the company has a bigger user base than many official banks. Mint itself has more than 10 million users. It also tracks more than 16,000 financial institutions in North America and supports more than 17 million individual financial accounts.
Although the size of the bitcoin economy is dwarfed by the traditional financial institutions covered by Mint, it is expanding rapidly and beginning to attract more mainstream attention.
However, Mint is treating bitcoin as an asset – not a currency. This is hardly surprising, as many national regulators and financial institutions view bitcoin as a commodity. Maniago said:
“I bought some bitcoin as an investment and realized it wasn’t easy to track my bitcoin balance alongside all my other investments [...] Bitcoin value can fluctuate so much, which is precisely why Mint is treating it like an investment.”
Maniago believes bitcoin and Wall Street are coming together. He argues bitcoin will exist alongside traditional finances despite its somewhat controversial reputation in certain circles.
For the time being, the two will coexist in the Mint app, allowing users to keep track of their bitcoin investments alongside their existing investments.
Mint Image via Shutterstock