Finance app Mint now tracking Bitcoin purchases

Personal finance app Mint is now letting users track their Bitcoin transactions, the latest sign that the virtual and unregulated currency is gaining popularity in mainstream retail.

Mountain View-based Mint, a free app owned by finance software company Intuit that help people manage their finances, announced Thursday that its users can track their Bitcoin transactions along with their regular credit and debit card activity, check payments, investments and ATM withdrawals.

“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 a news release.

Bitcoins is a cybercurrency that is created, distributed and authenticated outside of banks or governments. Mint has partnered with Coinbase, a digital wallet service that lets users buy and use Bitcoins, to track consumers’ spending. Coinbase has more than 12 million Bitcoins in circulation.

Mint’s new Bitcoin feature signals the growing popularity of Bitcoin among consumers for everything from gambling to online shopping and buying lunch at a local taco truck. Retailer Overstock.com began accepting the virtual currency earlier this month, and within the first day shoppers spent about $130,000 in Bitcoins. Tesla has accepted Bitcoin as payment for its Model S electric car, and San Francisco gaming company Zynga announced this month it would test Bitcoin as payment. And Gyft, a mobile digital gift card app founded in San Francisco, accepts Bitcoin for purchases of Target and Gap gift cards.

Bitcoin users champion the currency’s freedom from regulations, and say no government can create Bitcoin or meddle with its value. Yet its existence outside the physical realm — Bitcoin is basically computer code — has made it a currency favorite in drug trade, and its valuation has fluctuated wildly from $13 to $1,000. Such concerns about security and unpredictable prices have deterred companies such as PayPal from accepting Bitcoin, and led former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to call the cybercurrency “a bubble.”

 Screenshot provided by Mint

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (152 Posts)

Heather Somerville reports on consumer affairs, retail and technology for the Bay Area News Group. She lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys rock climbing, yoga and biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.