Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

January 30, 2014

Mint and Coinbase Get Together to Better Track Bitcoins

While the exact long-term value of Bitcoin as a whole is still somewhat up in the air, the wild value fluctuations that marked this currency's rise seem to be subsiding, and the “crypto-currency,” so to speak, seems to be finding a comparatively stable value. With increased stability comes increased interest, and the folks at Mint and Coinbase are getting together to offer Bitcoin users a little extra help in terms of keeping the budget on an even keel.

Mint operates as a personal finance app, the kind of thing that helps people track just where the money goes in a typical month so as to better find ways to manage spending and waste. Coinbase, meanwhile, serves as a Bitcoin wallet, which makes it a prime point of traffic for both the income and outflow of Bitcoins. Thus, getting the two together gives users one more point of consideration in terms of total asset and potential capital.

The numbers certainly support such a move. Not only are there 14 million Mint users out there, but there are nearly as many Bitcoins in circulation, at last report around 12 million. Given that there are 60,000 merchants that take Bitcoins in payment—one of the latest to pick up the trend was major retailer Overstock.com—there's an increasing use for Bitcoins out there, so keeping track of the crypto-currency is likely to prove a smart idea lest some fall into the trap of spending more freely what isn't in the hand.

However, even despite the growing numbers of retailers and the like who will accept Bitcoin in payment for goods and services, Bitcoin itself is often viewed more as an asset than a currency. There's still quite a bit of volatility when it comes to Bitcoin values—though admittedly, said volatility has tapered off quite a bit—so people aren't really doing much spending with Bitcoin as yet, rather holding onto the crypto-currency to use it as an investment tool, attempting to trade it on the highs and derive profit from the trades.

But that just helps Mint's proposition, really, as whether it's used to buy things or used as a potential profit vector, it still has to be tracked and cataloged, just like any other investment. Using Mint in conjunction with Bitcoin can allow it to either be part of a normal household budget or as part of a household investment portfolio. With even hedge funds looking for Bitcoin traders, it's safe to say that Bitcoin—whether as a way to buy things or as a way to gauge profit—is going to be part of our lives for some time to come. There will be plenty of similar advances being discussed at the Mobile Payments Conference, running through today and collocated with the 2014 ITEXPO event. Companies from Cryptanium to Capital One will offer up both product exhibitions and commentary on the wider industry, and offer both networking opportunities and important perspective on issues related to the field of mobile payments, an increasingly large portion of how retailers and other businesses get hands on the goods and services that make every day work and life possible.

The combination of Mint and Coinbase should offer plenty of value to users regardless of the ultimate purpose of the Bitcoins involved in the equation. Whether the Bitcoins are spent, held or traded, keeping track of these items is a great step in the cause of financial literacy.




Edited by Cassandra Tucker



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