Stocks to buy

SoFi Technologies May Have a Hidden Catalyst with Widespread Crypto Adoption

Like many names in the fintech space, SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) stock has been falling for the last month. But some investors have still done well. The stock has seen massive price spikes and falls, and the consensus price target of analysts is $25.57. However, I believe SoFi is a solid long-term buy. 

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In my opinion, there are several reasons to be bullish on SOFI stock. Not the least of which is the company has filed for a bank charter, which looks as if it will be more a case of when, not if. When that happens, the lending business will become more efficient. This includes the possibility that SoFi could hold a portion of its loan originations on its balance sheet, which would be an important step towards moving the company towards profitability. 

Meanwhile, the company’s mobile-first model continues to gain members. At face value, Sofi should have an easier time of garnering mass adoption. Companies like PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Square (NYSE:SQ) have already done a good deal of the heavy lifting.  

However, the focus of this article is that through its investment arm, SoFi Technologies allows consumers to invest in cryptocurrency. While some may view this as pandering to its target audience, it has the potential to be much more.  

The Future of Cryptocurrency is Still Being Written 

I’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the cryptocurrency movement for many reasons. One of those reasons is that, to date, I haven’t seen what will happen to cryptocurrencies in a legitimate bear market. You don’t have to be a perma-bear to wonder if the sell-off in the market is just a run-of-the-mill end-of-year correction or the beginning of something more.  

One thing that would ease my level of concern would be widespread crypto adoption. I see fintech companies like SoFi as leading the way in this regard. There’s also a template for this to happen with the growth of PayPal.  

When PayPal was still a novelty, one of the more cumbersome aspects of the platform was that digital payments were not widely accepted as a medium of exchange — and this was with fiat currency! What changed for PayPal was that it became more user-friendly for merchants and customers. A similar transition needs to occur in the crypto space. Writing for Yahoo! Finance, Dmytro Spilka offered this analysis: 

“For cryptocurrency to be more practical, the development of user-friendly blockchain wallets and more seamless integration with fiat-based finance are essential for adopters to gain more financial freedom when it comes to spending their money and making transactions.”

Does this mean I need to be able to pay for my groceries in Bitcoin before I believe in cryptocurrency? No, and let’s be clear, SoFi only offers a custodial platform for trading cryptocurrency. Customers cannot deposit crypto from a personal wallet to SoFi, nor can they withdraw crypto from the platform.

But this is one of those times when the word “yet” should be added to the end of the sentence. SoFi has stated they may support cryptocurrency withdrawals in the future. 

SOFI Stock is a Backdoor Play on Crypto Adoption 

I’m not calling SoFi Technologies a picks-and-shovel stock for cryptocurrency. There are regulatory and technological hurdles to overcome before SoFi will be able to truly satisfy the needs of cryptocurrency enthusiasts.  

However, if cryptocurrency is going to become widely adopted, the companies that take advantage of that adoption will also grow. And the companies that stand to benefit the most will be the ones that are nimble enough to move at approximately the same pace.  

When you consider which companies are going to be well-positioned for such a future, you also need to consider companies that already have an enthusiastic customer base. 

That’s why I’ll bet on a company like SoFi and by extension, SOFI stock. SoFi is already attracting these customers. This would simply give them another reason to stay on the platform. And with the stock trading at a substantial discount to where it was just a month ago, this may be the time to slowly add shares.  

On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.  

Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for seven years. He has been writing for InvestorPlace since 2019.