To do so, Mint said that it will integrate its services with Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase.
Mint product manager Vince Maniago said:
There are now 12 million Bitcoin in circulation and 60,000 merchants accepting it via Coinbase. We felt like it was something we couldn’t ignore anymore, and this is a good time to go out and support the currency as it becomes more legitimate.
According to VentureBeat, Coinbase is the best-known and most well-respected Bitcoin wallet service available, with over 870,000 consumer wallets.
Maniago said that figure is bigger than the customer size of many mid-sized banks. Meanwhile, Mint has 14 million users, with people able to use the service via the web or apps. Users can connect to 20,000 different bank, credit card, loan, and investment accounts -- although we still find holes and issues with connectivity -- to view their financial statements and manage their money in one place.
It was a natural extension of its own services with Intuit, makers of Quicken software, acquired Mint in late 2009.
It is still both mildly amusing and at the same time annoying when logging into Mint.com, only to find some accounts have had trouble connecting for weeks or longer, and that nothing can be done to fix that except deleting and reinstating the account (and perhaps not even that). It's also annoying to find that Quicken has the same issues, sometimes even with accounts that Mint works with.
Although labeled a virtual currency, bitcoin's value fluctuates like a stock or mutual fund. That is why Mint is treating it as an asset.
Although only recently have major (note the word major) online retailers such as Overstock.com and TigerDirect.com begun accepting bitcoin as a payment method, it is inevitable that the currency will continue to expand its reach. Famous for its volatility, it's beginning to calm its "mood swings" down, and that can only help it, as can Mint's move.