Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with many businesses forming around crypto trading. However, while many crypto exchanges are open to adults, such as Coinbase and Gemini, no company provides the same services to people under 18. This is where Seattle-based startup, Stack, is stepping in.
Stack has created the first and only cryptocurrency platform that welcomes under-18 investors to legally buy and sell crypto. Beyond opening up the world of digital currency to the next generation, Stack is on a mission to help young people learn about finance in a way that’s engaging, fun, and rewarding.
First Crypto Platform For Minors
As the first company in the crypto space for under-18 users, Stack has undergone significant legal and compliance diligence to create a product that enables custodial crypto. A custodial account is one that is opened in a minor’s name, but managed by a parent or guardian until the minor turns 18 or 21 (depending on which state you’re in). It’s probably how you got your first debit card or opened your first savings account at the bank.
According to Stack founder and the CEO, Will Rush, “The idea to develop this product stemmed from the fact that most of the existing crypto platforms by big banks are for adults, and are not specifically targeted for the younger audience.” With a Stack account, teens will be able to invest in the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market, as long as a parent or guardian sponsors their account until they come of age.
A Teen-first Product
Trading crypto isn’t the only thing that will happen on the Stack app. “We listened to hundreds of teenagers and have developed this product to be engaging, fun, and thoughtful,” says Will. One of the ways Stack does that is with a “learn to earn” model, where users get rewarded for taking quizzes and engaging in learning content on the app. The idea, Will says, is that the learning elements of the Stack app will help teens “dip their toe in the water” of investing with more confidence.
Learning content is key because, Will advises, “Many new initiatives are going to plug into Blockchain. Being an early adopter of these new technologies can help the younger generation understand the benefits and gradually build their wealth.” In other words, “Adopting blockchain technology early dictates the winners and losers in the long run.”
In upcoming versions of the Stack app, users will also be able to earn rewards for practicing responsible investing activities, like holding an investment long-term, or diversifying their portfolio. All these elements of the platform are designed to help teens come out on top financially as they get older.
Brand Ambassador Program
Stack has a Brand Ambassador program where young adults can join and engage with Stack in multiple ways. The program offers young people professional experience and exposure to a startup. “We have created the ambassador program to help create value for everyone in a different way,” says Will. “It is a way for students to get early professional experience on their resume, which will be beneficial to them as they explore their careers.” Ambassadors work directly with the Stack team in marketing, entrepreneurship, and product experience.
Stack Brand Ambassador program participants are largely finance-focused high school and college students who interact in an open environment. Beyond professional experience, Ambassadors also get early product updates and are encouraged to give the Stack developers feedback about the user experience. They’ll also get advice from experts in the field about all aspects of business development for their future growth.
Some Last Advice
We’ll leave you with this: Will’s advice to students is to put small amounts of money in an investment account periodically. “The amount of money doesn’t matter at all,” he says, “What really matters is getting into the habit of investing, because when you grow up and have a career and start earning a salary, that habit of saving will be ingrained in your brain.”
What makes saving even better? Starting early. “Once you know how compound interest works, you’ll understand why it’s so valuable to start investing before you even turn 18. That one habit makes millions of dollars in difference in the long run.”
Start investing in your future. Join the Stack waitlist to get early access to the app.