Bitcoins may have gotten a bit more legit with the news that Mint, the widely used personal finance app from Intuit, is now integrating the virtual currency.
Mint is using the Coinbase digital wallet Bitcoin service, and in its announcement on Wednesday said this: “With more than 12 million Bitcoins in circulation, Coinbase supports the world's most widely used alternative currency. Coinbase is the largest and fastest-growing Bitcoin digital wallet service in the United States which supports more than 870,000 consumer wallets, exceeding the customer base of many mid-sized traditional banks.”
Bitcoins have been implicated in money laundering, leading to debate over their use in government circles in the U.S. and China, among others. The Royal Canadian Mint is experimenting with a virtual currency of its own modeled after Bitcoins.
Some credit unions have publicly shied away from them, but their use also has been endorsed by such entities as the Sacramento Kings in the National Basketball Association, which is accepting them for payments in the team store. Mint is a standalone app available for Apple and Android devices as well as online. Intuit bought Mint in 2009 and last April said it would begin offering it directly to banks and credit unions.
The integration will allow Bitcoin transactions processed by Coinbase to be viewed along with traditional financial accounts, Mint said.
Mint itself now claims 14 million users and links to 20,000 financial institutions, credit cards and loan and investment accounts.
“By adding Bitcoin visibility, Mint becomes the only personal finance and money management tool enabling users to view those transactions,” Vince Maniago, group product manager for Mint, said in the announcement.
“This added feature better serves consumers’ changing financial needs and provides users with a more complete financial picture,” Maniago said.
Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam said, “We’re excited to partner with Mint to allow joint customers to manage their Bitcoin wallets in much the same way as their bank accounts or credit cards. This further demonstrates that Bitcoin is becoming more broadly adopted by consumers, and we look forward to working with the team at Mint to help make that a reality.”
Intuit, maker of Quicken software, got more heavily into the online account aggregation business in late 2007 with its purchase of Digital Insight. In 2013 it sold that company to equity investors who then sold it to NCR.