PayPal’s Venmo to offer cryptocurrency transactions

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Venmo, the mobile wallet owned by PayPal has announced that users can now buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies on its app, a move that could help the asset class gain more mainstream adoption.

According to the company, Venmo users will now be able to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin cash for as little as $1 and publish transactions on the app’s feed.

Venmo is one of the most popular payment apps in the US, with more than 70 million users, especially among younger consumers who use it to pay friends and family. Last year, it handled $159 billion in payments.

PayPal has established itself as one of the most successful mainstream financial institutions in cryptocurrencies. It began allowing users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies in its digital wallets in October, and it began allowing customers to spend their virtual coins at millions of merchants worldwide last month.

These statements contributed to a virtual currency rally. Bitcoin has risen nearly 90 percent since the beginning of the year, fueled by interest from larger financial firms betting on its greater adoption and use as a hedge against inflation.

Venmo’s crypto launch also coincides with increased competition in the US peer-to-peer payments sector. Over the last year, Square Inc’s rival Cash App, which has enabled cryptocurrency purchases since 2018, has seen a surge in user development.

Crypto buying and selling are also possible through other financial technology startups common with young people, such as broker Robinhood.

According to the reports, more than 30 percent of Venmo customers have bought crypto or equities, with 20 percent beginning their purchases during the pandemic.

Mr. Darrell Esch, Senior Vice President and General Manager Venmo pointed out that “our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

PayPal’s collaboration with American Paxos Trust Company, a controlled provider of cryptocurrency products and services, has enabled cryptocurrency on Venmo.

Related: PayPal to let US customers shop with cryptocurrencies