Online lender SoFi, the San Francisco – based startup which is well known for refinancing student loans, announced yesterday that it’s crypto trading platform will go live next Tuesday. Bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin will be the first digital assets available to trade on its SOFI platform and with this SoFi invest is now the first global platform to offer automated and active investing with stocks, ETF and crypto through a single app.
Individuals can easily buy and sell several cryptocurrencies with straightforward, competitive commissions and no account minimums, as well as track the price movements of the world’s most widely traded digital assets, with more cryptocurrencies to be added in the months coming. SoFi secures all crypto holdings from fraud and theft.
CEO Anthony Noto told in an interview that the ability to buy cryptocurrency has been the most requested service from SoFi’s existing customers and added that cryptocurrency trading option has been long requested by his firm’s clients. he further told that crypto will complement SoFi’s suite of app-based investing options, which also include ETFs as well as automated and active stock buying. The firm targets millennial investors through its student loan consolidation service. The firm states that it is optimistic about being registered in all 50 states within a couple of months, noting that trading will not be available in New York or New Jersey at launch.
In the interview, Noto also said that he has been long intrigued by cryptocurrency and has invested in it for a year, with bitcoin in the limelight and he further expressed that bitcoin is not an asset which deserves investment.
‘’Feedback from our members has made it clear that a significant percentage are not only interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies but are also already buying and selling crypto…..we are very pleased to be adding this new product to SoFi invest as access education and keeping costs low for our members is at the heart of what we do.’’- said Noto emphasizing on educational benefits of SoFi.
I believe in the power of distributed ledger technology. But one of the things about crypto is its not always broadly available in a way that’s easy, transparent and fast,’’ he said, explaining Sofi’s decision to offer digital currencies.
SoFi’s decision to offer crypto, which had first announced in February, comes after a number of fin-tech companies have unveiled similar services. These include the payment provided Square, and the investment apps RobinHood and eToro.
SoFi says it will obtain the crypto to fulfill its customer orders from the exchange giant, Coinbase. The company will not charge commissions initially but will add a 1.25% fee in coming weeks.
For SoFi, which styles itself as a financial company that builds a community among its borrowers, the crypto offerings are its latest attempts to make money outside of its core student loan business. These other products, which include loans and mortgages, have failed to get significant traction so far- as reflected by SoFi cutting its workforce by 7% in late 2018.
Noto is bullish on SoFi Invest , saying internal market research shows it has been adding customers at a much faster rate than its competitors. he did not provide specific figures but the person familiar with the company said SoFi Invest has over 10,000 customers and is growing at a much faster rate.
SoFi’s new crypto service goes live on Tuesday, but initially will not be available in a handful of states, including New York and New Jersey, as the company navigates state regulatory issues. Noto says SoFi expects to receive all necessary licenses soon, and that crypto trading will be available nationwide within a few months.