M1 Finance users are constantly asking if or when the platform is adding crypto trading. It may finally be happening.
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Crypto is the hot asset right now. Bitcoin in particular is obviously all the rage. But most brokers don’t allow users to directly buy and sell cryptocurrency. It’s somewhat of a different animal compared to your “traditional” assets like stocks and ETFs.
M1 Finance is a modern brokerage and holistic finance suite geared toward a younger, more tech savvy audience (I wrote a comprehensive review of the platform here), so it’s only natural that its users are eager to seamlessly trade crypto. M1 recently published a job posting on its website for a Technical Product Manager of Crypto, clearly indicating that the company is at least getting the wheels turning in thinking about and laying the groundwork for crypto trading. Here’s the description:
- Key product stakeholder in M1’s Digital/ Cryptocurrency and Alternative asset strategy and vision with primary responsibility for product implementation and delivery, including:
- Planning, developing, and launching new Digital asset/ Cryptocurrency experiences and workflows w/ in M1’s holistic framework
- Evaluate third-party vendors capabilities, product offerings and identify competitive advantages and dependencies
- Inform development of Core crypto trading and allocation capabilities experiences and address related fiat Money movements and payments capabilities.
- Discovery for additional products for crypto (e.g., lending, staking, DeFi)
- Advisory and product support for cross platform constituencies and tooling and automation for operations functions
- Build a deep and comprehensive understanding of Crypto systems, processes, and partners, how they all fit together and integrate within the overall M1 platform.
- Support a cross-functional team of product managers, engineers, designers, and user researchers throughout the product lifecycle.
- Work with product design and research to identify, design, validate, and launch simple, iterative and impactful product that resonates with customers.
- Trusted partner to and enabler of technology. Big picture and ability to answer detailed, day-to-day product questions from engineers to guide build and implementation
- Gather technical requirements, create specifications and workflow documents for product and feature release/ deployment.
- Define, measure, and report on progress, status and product KPIs to leadership and stakeholders, while continuously measuring the effectiveness of the team efforts.
- Develop tools and processes to improve team efficiency and speed
The job description provides a few useful nuggets of information:
- It sounds like crypto and digital assets will be a new product offering, of which the “experiences and workflows” will fit inside “M1’s holistic framework,” as we would probably expect.
- The feature set will be above and beyond simply buying and selling crypto; the description mentions “additional products for crypto (e.g., lending, staking, DeFi).”
- The new product will have a dedicated team of engineers, designers, and researchers.
Something to note is that M1 is a long-term investing platform and is explicitly not for day trading, and crypto seems to lend itself to a short term trading mindset. Cryptocurrencies also have extremely volatile prices. So it will be interesting to see how exactly crypto is incorporated into M1’s broader suite of investing and finance tools.
Moreover, will the premium M1 Plus account option be tied to crypto somehow? Maybe only M1 Plus users can access crypto. Maybe they’ll get more or longer trading windows. It would be really cool if an allocation to crypto can be seamlessly inserted into pies.
We can only speculate, but the addition of crypto and digital assets will certainly be a game changer for M1 Finance in terms of the expansion of its user base, as both prospective and existing users have been asking for it for a while. At this point, M1 users must either access crypto through an ETF or through a 3rd-party wallet like Coinbase.
What do you think about the prospect of M1 Finance offering crypto? Let me know in the comments.
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