Why we built an investing platform for teens and young adults

Step is the first financial platform to allow teens and adults to invest in crypto.

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I’m excited to share that as of today, Step is the first financial platform to allow your teen to invest in crypto, starting with bitcoin.

Crypto and DeFi (or “decentralized finance”) are playing an increasingly large role in our world – both financially and culturally. While crypto may not be accepted as a form of payment at your local grocery store yet, it’s not uncommon to hear people talking about buying digital art pieces or visiting bitcoin ATMs. Despite its growing popularity, these critical topics are largely absent in schools and inaccessible to teens and young adults.

That’s where Step comes in. We believe that giving teens and young adults affordable opportunities to invest in crypto at an earlier age, under your guidance, will better prepare them to make smart decisions as an adult. It’s easy for anyone to get lost in the ups and downs of the volatile crypto market, but it's especially challenging for people without any prior investing education. If we start exposing teens and young adults to these dynamics in measured ways and talking about the importance of long-term investing now, while time is on their side, we can improve their chances of success down the road.

We’ve put safeguards and education at the forefront of our investing platform, starting with requiring that you give your teen permission before they can buy, sell and earn bitcoin, as well as stocks, which are part of our future plans. They can start with as little as $1.00 because learning to invest responsibly shouldn’t come at the cost of their savings or everyday spending. You can track their portfolio balance and activity in real-time from your Step App and join them by investing with your own Step Account.

As you consider whether your teen is ready to invest, I invite you and your family to check out our new financial literacy curriculum, Money 101. From the basics of banking to stocks and crypto, the free program is designed to help teens and young adults establish a foundation in modern finance and includes practical activities, knowledge-checks and conversation-starters for the whole family.

This is an important step forward in our mission to provide young adults with better access to financial tools earlier in life. We’re honored to serve you and your family.

About Step

Step was founded by financial industry veterans CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko to provide teens, their families and young adults with financial tools for today’s modern-day banking needs and to promote financial literacy for the future. The founding team has 50+ years of combined financial technology experience from companies like Affirm, Block, Google, Gyft, Stripe, and Wealthfront. The Series C company has more than 3 million customer accounts and has raised more than $500 million in venture and debt funding, backed by Coatue, Crosslink Capital, General Catalyst, Stripe and several other prominent investors. Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC provides Step’s banking services and issues the Step Visa Card pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Cryptocurrency transaction and custody services powered by Zero Hash LLC and Zero Hash Liquidity Services LLC. Cryptocurrency services may not currently be available in all states, including in NY or to NY residents. To learn more, please visit: https://step.com or contact press@step.com.

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