CoinBits Aims to Be the “Acorns of Crypto”
Bitcoin has been on a bit of a roll the last few months. With its price back over $8,000, there’s hope that some new life can be breathed into the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Still, the coin has a long way to grow, which is why Erik Finman — who MarketWatch describes as a “crypto wunderkind” — recently released CoinBits as a way to bring Bitcoin to a wider audience.
Launched last month, CoinBits take a page from Acorns — a micro-investing app that popularized the use of “round-ups.” In other words, the service looks at the purchases customers make and decides how much money to pull by rounding up each transaction to the nearest dollar. For example a $3.45 transaction would result in CoinBits investing $.55 in Bitcoin. Speaking to MarketWatch, Finman said of CoinBits, “The goal of the application is to make cryptocurrency not just more accessible…but to make cryptos and blockchain technology tangible and more tactile.”
Notably CoinBits isn’t the first app to apply the round-up model to crypto buying. Bundil also encourages users to “automatically invest your spare change from everyday credit or debit card purchases into Bitcoin & other crypto.” That app was even featured on the popular ABC show Shark Tank where they were offered an investment from venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary. However it’s unclear if that deal ever closed and the app has not released an update since late last year. Of course, even before Bundil, Bitcoinist also notes that apps like Lawnmower and Dust also utilized round-ups to help users buy crypto.
Beyond directly comparable applications, there are also other FinTech companies that have opened the door to cryptocurrencies. This includes the likes of Robinhood and Square’s Cash app — not to mention the continually growing Coinbase. However, asked about competitors, Finman said, “I think so many people have attempted to make bitcoin simple but I don’t feel like anyone has fully achieved that yet.” He went on to note, “A huge factor preventing Bitcoin from going into a bull run is its difficulty to buy. It’s not uncommon to hear about someone going to an exchange and never completing the transaction after experiencing just some of the mandatory steps.”
Finman is clearly optimistic about CoinBits’ prospects, predicting the app could reach one million users in its first year. However the company’s success will undoubtedly be impacted by Bitcoin’s performance more than the other way around. Nevertheless perhaps CoinBits could actually succeed where others have fallen short and help bring Bitcoin more into the mainstream.