Plaid Weaves Crypto Exchanges Into Finance Data Platform

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Signaling a growing commitment to crypto, fintech Plaid announced today that it would be integrating the exchanges Gemini, Binance and Kraken into its financial-data platform.Plaid allows users to upload financial data from various banking sources to its interface, which can be used for purposes such as tax planning and digital payments. By including crypto-exchange data, Plaid gives users a way to merge these holdings with their traditional finances.

“With our new feature, consumers can also link their crypto accounts to relevant apps,” says Alain Meier, head of identity at Plaid. “To date, crypto assets are acquired and held separate from other investments. Now you can see everything in one place and get a more complete view of your finances for financial planning, net worth calculations, tax planning, etc.”

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Plaid, founded in 2013, is one of the largest fintechs connecting mobile apps to consumer bank accounts from industry behemoths like Chase and Bank of America
—part of the plumbing that keeps fintech running. For example, Plaid hosts the payment infrastructure behind fintechs such as Venmo and Robinhood. It competes against parallel data aggregators such as Yodlee, which was founded in 1999, but has grown by dominating the fintech market.

Up to now, the financial information that Plaid processes has been limited to data connected with establishment banks dealing in traditional, or fiat, currencies. Now, crypto holders who link their exchange accounts to Plaid can upload blockchain data including token balances and transactions, enabling uses such as tax accounting for an entire portfolio, rather than having to consider holdings in crypto and traditional financial instruments separately.

Plaid cited the mainstream adoption of crypto as a key reason for developing the integration, pointing to a Pew study last year that found that 16% of Americans had invested in digital currencies.

“As crypto adoption continues to increase, this has been one of the most desired features from our customers, especially wealth-management services and personal financial managers, that want to offer this to their users,” says Meier. “For these companies, it’s hard to give holistic advice to investors or create a full financial picture without factoring in crypto.”

The data is read-only, with no way of third parties using it to access holdings in crypto accounts, according to Plaid’s press release.

“More than half of millennials reportedly own some type of crypto and are just as likely to invest in crypto as traditional stocks,” says Meier. “In order to support this growing segment of users, companies need to support consumer-permissioned crypto data moving forward or they will be at a disadvantage.”


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