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Written by Sam Pennington on June 21, 2021
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SoFi Crypto Review 2021: Best Place To Buy Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is one of the hottest buzz words in the world of investing today. With unbelievable returns, many investors are searching for the best place to trade crypto.

In the last few years, many existing trading platforms began offering the ability to buy and sell various cryptocurrencies. Additionally, other investing platforms, such as Coinbase, have established themselves as a leader in crypto trading.

So how does SoFi stack up against competitors? Is SoFi the best place to buy cryptocurrency? In this article, we will provide a complete SoFi crypto review. and dive into the pros and cons of the platform.

SoFi Crypto: Platform Highlights

  • 5 cryptocurrencies available for trading on the platform: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin
  • 1.25% markup fee for crypto transactions
  • Cannot transfer crypto in or out of the platform
  • No account minimums
  • Minimum crypto order size of $10 and maximum order size of $50,000
  • Crypto trading available in 46 out of 50 states (Not available in Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, and West Virginia)
  • Current promotion of $10 worth of Bitcoin when you buy your first $10 of crypto
  • Investing only platform - cannot use cryptocurrency within SoFi to make other transactions
  • SoFi partners with Coinbase to execute trades
SoFi Crypto Review
  • User Interface
  • Trading Fees
  • SoFi Resources and Tools Available
  • Ability to Transfer Crypto
  • Cryptocurrencies Available on Platform
3.4

Summary

SoFi has become a fan favorite with its vast number of resources and offerings. They recently added investing capabilities in 2019, and with that came the ability to trade cryptocurrency.

Though they do charge fees and do not allow transferring coins in or out of the platform, investors like SoFi for its total package.

With a simple interface, investors will find trading cryptocurrency to be simple with SoFi.

Pros

  • 5 Cryptocurrencies available for trading with 40 more available for monitoring
  • Simple Interface
  • Complete Personal Finance Solution

Cons

  • 1.25% Markup Fee for Crypto Trading
  • Relatively Short Track Record
  • Unable to Transfer Coins in or out
  • Cannot use coins in the platform for transactions

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, also known as crypto, is a digital currency. Like other currencies such as the American Dollar or Peruvian Sol, crypto is a currency that can be used to make various transactions.

Rather than being issued and secured by a central authority, cryptocurrency is secured by cryptography and is managed on a decentralized network which uses blockchain technology. This appeals to many as this technology makes crypto nearly impossible to counterfeit. Cryptocurrency is secured through an online ledger, which is managed across a host of computers.

Cryptocurrency has become far more popular in recent years. In fact, a host of companies, such as Microsoft and AT&T, have made announcements that they will begin accepting various forms of crypto in exchange for their goods and services. This is important for investors interested in crypto. As digital money becomes more and more accepted, the value could continue to increase.

The extreme volatility of cryptocurrency can make it a risky investment. Unlike a company that produces a good or service, cryptocurrency does not have any inherent value. In economic terms, crypto subscribes to the Greater Fool Theory, which states that money can be made even when buying overvalued assets. This is because there is almost always someone else willing to pay more for the same asset.

sofi crypto coins

What is SoFi?

SoFi, also known as Social Finance, was launched in 2011 primarily as a platform to help students obtain and refinance their college loans.

Since then, they have truly become a complete personal finance solution. They offer members mortgages, a hybrid model of banking called SoFi Money, Automated Investing, and personal finance education through access to online tools and financial planners.

In January of 2019, SoFi launched SoFi Invest, which is an umbrella with three appendages: Active, Automatic, and Crypto. Within SoFi Invest, members can choose their own investments and strategies with a more active plan. However, if they are newer to investing or want to take a more passive approach, they can utilize SoFi's Automatic investing with a number of portfolio options. Lastly, they also offer Cryptocurrency trading, which is the focus of this article.

Trading Cryptocurrency on SoFi

Within SoFi Invest, members have the ability to buy and sell various cryptocurrencies. They currently offer users 5 cryptos: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Additionally, members of the platform can also track and monitor 40 other cryptocurrencies.

In the future, as cryptos are more widely adopted by society at large, it's likely that SoFi will expand the number of cryptocurrencies available for trading on the platform.

Crypto Availability on SoFi

SoFi offers crypto trading 24/7.  Unlike stocks, cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated or brokered through an exchange, meaning trading can happen at all hours of the day and every day of the week.

Crypto, due to the speculative nature, is not available in all states. It is currently unavailable in Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Crypto Trading Fees on SoFi

SoFi, like other trading platforms, offers commission free trades on stocks and other various assets. However, this is not the case with cryptocurrency. SoFi charges up to 1.25% markup for all transactions on crypto. They also state on their website that this is subject to change at any time.

If you wanted to purchase $100 of Bitcoin in SoFi, your total would come to $101.25. You would receive $100 worth of Bitcoin. The extra $1.25 would automatically be applied to your order as the markup for the transaction.

SoFi and Coinbase Partnership

SoFi does not actually complete crypto transactions on their own. They have partnered with Coinbase to execute trades for its members.

Coinbase takes security very seriously and is thought of as an industry leader as it pertains to crypto trading. Furthermore, SoFi states that it does not share member's personal information with partners such as Coinbase.

Fractional Coins

SoFi does offer fractional shares, or what they call Stock Bits, on the 40 most popular stocks. They also offer fractional shares with crypto. This means that when purchasing a cryptocurrency, you will type in the dollar amount you would like to purchase rather than a specified number of shares.

This is extremely beneficial to investors as some investments are more expensive than others. For example, at the time of this writing, the value of one Bitcoin was around $55,000. This means that in order to purchase one Bitcoin, the investor would have to spend $55,000. With fractional shares, you can invest as little as $10 on SoFi's platform. An investment of $10 would be approximately 0.018% of a share. While this may seem insignificant, that fraction of a share still experiences the growth of Bitcoin.

Orders Types

SoFi currently offers a variety of order types, though with cryptocurrency, investors are only able to execute market orders, which is done in real time. This means that when you place a trade, it will be executed at the current market price.

Protection and Security

Because cryptocurrency is not regulated by a central authority, many investors worry about the protection and security of their crypto.

SoFi offers a complete secure experience for users. SoFi uses two factor authentication and SSL encryption. They also guarantee members no personal information will be shared with partner companies or custodians.

It is important to understand the implications of trading cryptocurrency as it pertains to protection and insurance. Unlike the stock market, cryptocurrency is not FDIC or SIPC insured. This is because cryptocurrency is not regulated like the stock market is. With this in mind, many investors choose to store their cryptocurrency in a cold wallet, which is not connected to the internet. A cold wallet can be thought of as a thumb drive or USB stick.

sofi crypto ways to trade

Movement Of Coins

Before using SoFi Crypto, it is important to understand the following mechanics and limitations you will be subject to.

Transferring Coins

SoFi does not currently allow cryptocurrency to be transferred in or out of the platform. This is due to an effort to keep user's crypto secure.

This means that SoFi members cannot transfer their coins into cold storage outside the platform. 

Other platforms dedicated to cryptocurrency, such as Coinbase, do offer members the ability to transfer crypto in and out of their platform. This could be a downside of SoFi to crypto traders. In order to move cryptocurrency from another platform to SoFi, investors will have to sell their investment, withdraw the funds, deposit those funds into SoFi, and finally purchase the crypto of their choice.

Cashing Out of Sofi Crypto

After purchasing cryptocurrency within SoFi, you may decide that you would like to sell the investment. Selling your crypto in SoFi is quick and simple. Like buying the crypto, you will simply select sell. Buying and selling crypto on SoFi is done instantly. This means that after selling a portion or all of your cryptocurrency, the money will be available in your account. Though it settles instantly, SoFi holds the funds of a crypto sale for 1 business day.

Please note that withdrawing money out of SoFi takes 1-3 business days.

To initiate a withdrawal in the Mobile App you will select the Invest Account you wish to withdraw from, click ‘Manage’, and then click ‘Withdraw’.

SoFi vs. SoFi Digital Assets LLC

Trading cryptocurrency on SoFi is made possible through SoFi Digital Assets, which is actually a separate entity than SoFi Invest, though the two are both affiliates of Social Finance, Inc. While all trading and money management is done through the same platform whether on a desktop or mobile version, investors should be aware that trading cryptocurrency and stocks occur with two different entities.

SoFi makes the following statement on their website:

SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.

1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.

2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit legal.
While this may not impact investors or investing decisions directly, it is something to be aware of.
sofi bitcoin ethereum litecoin

SoFi Crypto Pros

  • Easy-to-understand interface for beginners
  • 24/7 trading
  • 5 main cryptocurrencies available
  • Available in 46 states
  • Fractional coins allow for diversification

SoFi Crypto Cons

  • Unable to transfer coins into or out of the platform. Liquidation is necessary to move assets
  • 40 cryptocurrencies are viewable but not tradeable
  • Crypto is not FDIC or SIPC insured
  • 1.25% markup fee for crypto trading

SoFi Crypto Review: Final Thoughts

SoFi has truly become a complete personal finance solution. With access to mortgages, financial planners, individual and retirement accounts, a hybrid bank account, and more, investors can rely on one platform for nearly every aspect of personal finance.

Investing with SoFi gives individuals the ability to invest passively through an automatic portfolio or actively where investors can choose their own investments. Cryptocurrency is also available on the platform, though they do charge markups for crypto trading.

While other competitors offer crypto trading for free or with lower fees, SoFi is a complete package with a plethora of other resources. For investors looking for one platform that can house their investments, retirement accounts, and various loans, this could be the platform for them.

For investors looking for a pure cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase may be better suited for their needs. Because SoFi does not allow the transfer of coins, some investors may look elsewhere in order to store their crypto in a cold wallet.

All in all, SoFi is a great option for many individuals. One great feature of SoFi is that individuals can actually download the app and open an account in seconds with just a name and email. After creating an account, users have the ability to explore the app before ever creating an actual brokerage account requiring more personal information. You can check out the platform now and see if it is well-suited for your needs.

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Article written by Sam Pennington
Sam is a personal finance writer. While in college, he dedicated his spare time to learning about personal finance, investing, and real estate. Sam currently works as a business analyst for one of the top food manufacturers in the world.

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