A new mobile app is now available to help users invest in Bitcoin bit by bit through gradual accumulation of spare change on transactions.
The app which is known as Lawnmower was launched few weeks back. It is one of several tools targeted at young people to help them in making financial decisions that will be hugely beneficial to their future by putting spare change here and there to good use. But unlike rival apps, Lawnmower adds a new twist with its support for Bitcoin.
While the name of this app might not sound appealing to many people, the idea behind it should do more than enough to shift attention from the choice of name made for it.
The Lawnmower app, based on an API developed by Spark Capital-funded company Plaid, keeps tab on every transaction carried out with online bank accounts in select banks as well as credit card transactions and rounds amount payable each time to the next higher dollar amount. For example, supposing you buy a cup of coffee for $3.5, the app rounds up the amount to $4. The extra 50 cents are invested in Bitcoin, giving users the opportunity to benefit greatly if and when a significant appreciation is experienced in the value of the crypto currency.
The founders of the startup responsible for Lawnmower think the name chosen for the app conveys the right idea of what they have in mind – although this will very likely not be visible to many people.
“Working backwards, it’s like we’re running the lawnmower over the grass and we’re clipping off a little bit of change,” co-founder Pieter Gorsira told cryptocurrency news service CoinDesk. “So, as you go along, we slice all these little blades of grass and collect change from these transactions.”
Lawnmower is of the opinion that this solution offers a very easy way for consumers, especially young professionals, to be eased into Bitcoin adoption.
What the founders of Lawnmower have in mind is a means of helping users invest in Bitcoin without appearing to be taking on high risk given the cryptocurrency’s known volatility. The app is actually not the first to offer this sort of low-risk approach to investment, with other startups such as Acorns and Robinhood already doing well in this regard. Lawnmower expects to follow similar path as the rival apps, which automatically invest users’ spare money in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks.
Gorsira said the main fear the founders had was that a larger entity like Coinbase could easily beat them to bringing the Bitcoin concept to reality. But the Bitcoin wallet and exchange service provider was not interested in such a project, preferring instead to support Lawnmower. Coinbase will hold all Bitcoin investment made with changes raked off users’ transactions.
The Lawnmower co-founder said the plan is to offer a variety of investment options to users in the future. He disclosed that among the different ideas being considered is putting part of spare money gathered into other digital currencies such as Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Alex Sunnarborg and Patrick Archambeau are the other Lawnmower co-founders.