Investment app Betterment looking into long-term crypto offering, says CEO

Betterment, a U.S.-based financial advisory company with roughly $30 billion under management, is mulling offering crypto investment opportunities for its customers. 

In an interview with Yahoo Finance released today, CEO Sarah Levy said the company had been searching for ways to offer Betterment customers a means to add crypto to their portfolios given the growing interest in the digital asset space. She added that though the market was volatile, it may still offer long-term investment opportunities to those who were properly informed about the space.

“Personally, I’m a big fan of crypto and I think it’s a really interesting asset class to add into the mix,” said the CEO. “What we’re doing is really trying to figure out: Is there a way that we can offer crypto with a guided wrapper so that we can help educate along the way?”

Levy added:

“I think how that will manifest itself will be more through a lens of a long-term buy and hold the asset as a smaller portion of a portfolio, rather than as sort of a trading opportunity short term.”

Levy’s comments come one month after she said Betterment was in a “watch-and-learn mode” over offering crypto to its customers. At the time, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) and major cryptocurrencies was significantly higher — the BTC price is roughly 38% lower at the time of publication than when it was within reach of $60,000 in early May.

“I’d like us to find a way to responsibly offer crypto, but I can’t say that we’re there yet,” the CEO said at the time.

Founded in 2008, Betterment allows users to invest in stocks and bonds through its app. Though the company reported the number of its clients had increased 116% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021, trading apps that allow users to deal in crypto assets have also seen substantial growth. At the end of March, Robinhood reported a 500% increase in users over that in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Related: Robinhood announces new COO to lead crypto trading desk

As Betterment mulls moving deeper into the crypto space, Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley has exposure through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. As of April 30, the firm owned 28,298 shares of GBTC, totaling $828,565 at the current price of $29.28. However, Goldman Sachs seemingly reversed its position on digital asse in a report issued this month that claimed cryptocurrencies are not a “viable investment.”

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