Online brokerage M1 Finance to launch crypto trading accounts

Despite the bear market scaring away many crypto investors in 2022, online brokerage firm M1 Finance is set to launch crypto trading accounts and trading services over the next few weeks.

The Chicago-based company was founded in 2015 and claims to have more than $5 billion worth of assets under management (AUM). The brokerage also offers retirement accounts in addition to providing commission-free trading on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

In a July 11 blog post explaining the move, M1 CEO and founder Brian Barnes noted that it was primarily driven by strong consumer demand to support crypto assets:

“The crypto market is still young and volatile; Bitcoin emerged just 13 years ago.” he stated before adding, “Cryptocurrencies are a roughly trillion-dollar asset class that over 20% of Americans have invested in, traded, or used.”

“It has been the most requested asset addition, with roughly half of our surveyed users wanting to use M1 to invest in crypto.”

Adding them to the platform gives clients a choice to make this burgeoning asset class a part of their long-term investment strategy, he said.

The firm will initially support ten crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and “other large-cap liquid crypto assets.” M1 Finance stated it would expand its offerings over time and that crypto trading will be commission-free similar to competitors such as Robinhood.

One of M1 Finance’s key offerings is Pie-based investing, which essentially allows users to create a portfolio of “Pies” in which each asset and its exposure percentage is represented as a slice on a Pie graph. The service is backed by algorithmic software that can automatically balance each portion of the Pie depending on the investor’s initial investment strategy or asset allocations.

Related: Bitcoin risks new lows as $20K looms amid dollar euro parity

The firm also offers its own-curated and automated Pies, which provide exposure to a variety of stocks as a way to invest passively. M1 Finance has stated that Pie-investing will also be offered on the new crypto accounts.

“Create a crypto portfolio that fits your financial goals and risk tolerance. You can build custom crypto Pies or use Expert Pies, which are pre-built using thematic strategies such as DeFi, Web3, and large-cap crypto,” the company blog post read.

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