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Fintech App Wealthfront Will Offer Direct Crypto Investing Later This Year

The fintech robo-adviser will likely allow customers to invest as much as 20% of their portfolios in crypto, said Wealthfront Chief Strategy Officer Dan Carroll.

Apr 28, 2021 at 3:13 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:48 p.m. UTC

California-based investment app Wealthfront is offering cryptocurrency to its clients later in 2021 as it rides new retail interest in digital assets like bitcoin and ether.

The announcement was part of a broader shift the company revealed on Wednesday where it would allow users to customize their portfolios. Prior to this, Wealthfront would choose a portfolio to fit the customer’s risk profile. 

Still, Wealthfront Chief Strategy Officer Dan Carroll said crypto exposure in any given account would be limited to "likely no more than 20%."

“People can go to Coinbase or go to Robinhood if they want to gamble, but we think Wealthfront can become the place to invest responsibly in crypto as part of a diversified portfolio,” said Carroll.

The fintech firm decided to get into crypto after seeing interest from Wealthfront clients and crypto exposure in those clients’ outside brokerage accounts, Carroll added.

The company has allowed users to link their Coinbase accounts since 2018 but only began thinking about adding a cryptocurrency offering directly to customer portfolios in the last year, Carroll added.

Wealthfront is one of many fintechs to announce intentions to offer crypto services. Robinhood reported 9.5 million customers traded crypto in Q1 2021 with the Robinhood Crypto team more than tripling this year. In October, PayPal announced it would offer a highly custodial crypto product with a broader set of crypto ambitions down the road.

PayPal uses Paxos as its crypto back-end provider. Wealthfront did not disclose which firm it's using for crypto custody.

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