Erik Finman is a twenty-something bitcoin maximalist as famous for his precocity as he is for his $12 bet on the currency a few years ago.
Now, Finman, who built his first company while still in high school, is launching a new startup called CoinBits, which allows users to passively invest in bitcoin.
The idea, according to Finman, is to democratize access to the currency by letting everyday folks invest nominal sums through well-known mechanisms like roundups on transactions made with a credit or debit card or through regular transactions from a customer’s savings or checking account to bitcoin through CoinBits.
Every transaction also helps Finman’s own bitcoin holdings grow, and makes the young entrepreneur a little wealthier himself through his bitcoin holdings.
Users can make one-time investments of $10, $25, $50 or $100 through the web-based platform and can establish a level of risk for their holdings.
Finman’s app collects no commissions on transactions, and 98% of the bitcoin is stored offline — for safety.
“Overall, investing in bitcoin is complicated and can feel almost impossible,” said Finman. “Coinbits allows you to put that spare change in bitcoin. For example, if you spend $1.75 on French fries, that remaining 25 cents is invested automatically.”
Withdrawals are handled by CoinBits, which will give users same-day processing for a 50 cent-fee, and offers an easily downloadable record for accountants to deal with any gains or losses associated with bitcoin.
Given the fractional nature of these investments, and the volatility of bitcoin, it’s hard to know what real value investors can reap from these small transactions, but it’s a less risky way to experiment with building bitcoin holdings than take a huge flyer on the market.