A new announcement from one of America’s verifiable Bitcoin millionaires may end up netting a lot more BTC activity on Main Street by mimicking the kinds of promotions we’ve seen from the likes of Wells Fargo: a savings program aimed at helping Americans accrue large sums of money one bit at a time.
This morning Mark Decambre at MarketWatch chronicles the plans of Erik Finman, entrepreneur and “crypto wunderkind,” to create CoinBits, a platform that would round up a user’s purchases to the nearest dollar and put the additional fractions into Bitcoin holdings.
Finman’s “Acorns” style platform gels with the idea that the man on the street is only going to buy tiny pieces of a Bitcoin, and not the rather large chunks needed to purchase an entire big round BTC, especially where the currency now stands at $8000 per coin.
The idea that Finman is trading on here is that Bitcoin is partially daunting to small investors just because of the round numbers needed to purchase an individual coin.
This new plan also goes back to the essential question – who is Erik Finman, anyway?
It turns out that Finman’s fame goes back to when he was straight out of high school, investing $1000 in Bitcoin in May 2011.
At the time, a Bitcoin was considerably less than that amount, so unlike the average consumer, Finman did actually buy whole Bitcoins – he also apparently shed them at the right time, because although many traders lost enormous sums of money when Bitcoin fell from its $20,000 high point late in 2017, Finman used his initial growth of $100,000 to create peer-to-peer service Botangle and kept right on going.
Also, unlike many of those who are noted as big Bitcoin winners, Finman decided to reveal exactly how he made his bones, adding a whole lot to his credibility.
His story, chronicled at the time by venues like Mashable, showed prudent investment strategy and diversification, as well as critical security strategies: the reporting showed that the young investor spread out bitcoin purchases “across multiple wallets and multiple machines.”
Now, with his seed capital safely in hand, Finman is hoping that a saving app can introduce more people to value possibilities with cryptocurrency.
“The goal of the application is to make cryptocurrency not just more accessible…but to make cryptos and blockchain technology tangible and more tactile,” Finman told Decambre.
Social media, he said, will be a major tool.
“I really think a million users within a year is realistic,” Finman said. “Completely, nontraditional is the only way to do it.”
His central goal, Finman has said, is to make Bitcoin simple for users, something he says has not been adequately done by prior efforts.
Finman has also detailed other major needs for the cryptocurrency: according to a Billy Brambraugh story in Forbes recently, Finman has said Bitcoin needs lower transaction fees, quicker transactions, and more decentralized consensus, as well as good old familiarity for average consumers.
“People who live and breath bitcoin, working closely with others who are in the same positions as themselves, can sometimes forget that they need to on-ramp new people who aren’t yet into crypto,” Finman said. “The friends I went to high school with know the words ‘bitcoin,’ ‘cryptocurrency,’ and ‘blockchain,’ but they don’t really understand what they mean. They know bitcoin as a get-rich-quick tool and little more. That needs to change if bitcoin is going to be around much longer.”
It’s worth keeping an eye on this new platform, if only because of its founder’s tenure – but CoinBits could very likely become that on-ramp for users who want something profoundly convenient, and even easier than logging a whole lot of loose change to the Coinstar machine.