Lending Fintech SoFi Moves into Crypto Through a Partnership with Coinbase

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by Julia Sakovich · 3 min read
Lending Fintech SoFi Moves into Crypto Through a Partnership with Coinbase
Photo: SoFi / Instagram

Having entered in a partnership with Coinbase, fintech startup SoFi is going to launch crypto trading services which are said to become available by the second quarter of 2019.

Today financial services are greatly associated with cryptocurrencies and opportunities that they offer. More and more traditional financial institutions try to find the most feasible ways to integrate crypto in their offerings, not to mention innovative financial startups.

Fintech startup SoFi that is known as an online lending platform is going to enter the crypto world as well. Having entered in a partnership with Coinbase which is the major US-based crypto exchange, SoFi Invest wants to provide its users with crypto trading opportunities.

What Is SoFi

Founded in 2011, SoFi (which is an abbreviation for Social Finance) is a startup headquartered in San Francisco. At that time it was focused on student-loan refinancing. But later it began expanding its offerings. Its target audience is millennials who are open for innovations and understand the value of high-tech financial solutions. Today SoFi offers young adults a wide range of financial products including lending.

SoFi Invest that will offer crypto options for its clients was launched less than a month ago but it has already managed to attract the attention of the community. At the current moment, SoFi Invest offers broker and automatic options which presuppose active investment. Users can easily trade stocks from their mobile device. The company does not take transaction and management fees, though there are fees related to trading stocks.

Moreover, as it has become known the startup is launching a new arm dubbed SoFi Money which can offer customers a possibility to open a 2.25 percent APY cash account with no fees. It is expected that such a deposit option will be highly competitive at the market.

Joining the Crypto World

The company is actively growing and is going to launch several new products this year. Among its nearest plans, it is necessary to mention re-launching of its home loans product and offering its users an opportunity to get a SoFi credit card.

Moreover, later this year, it is planned that it will launch joint accounts, saving vaults, and round ups which are said to increase the usefulness of SiFi Money. But one of the main new directions of its development is moving into crypto.

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto explained such an initiative by the growing demand from the side of their customers. He said:

“Our target audience wants to see what the price of cryptocurrency is, and to buy it. They have a desire to do that and in many cases they already are.”

There is no information on the list of cryptocurrencies that the customers will be able to buy through the app. Nevertheless, as this option will be provided via the partnership with Coinbase which is regulated on a state-by-state basis, it is believed that XRP trading may be limited due to some regulatory issues, for example, XRP may be unavailable on SoFi platform for users from New York.

Thanks to this partnership, SoFi customers will have an opportunity not only to purchase crypto but also monitor their prices. In general, such an option is quite similar to the services that Coinbase ensures for retail customers of Fidelity Investments, though Fidelity is going to offer crypto trading for institutional clients through its own separate platform.

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