PayPal’s Venmo mobile payment app now allows users to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin and other digital tokens. This is potentially an important step in bringing cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.
Starting Tuesday, Venmo is showing users a new feature that allows them to invest in four different cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash – with a minimum spend requirement of $ 1. You can also share your crypto purchases with friends via Venmo’s social feed.
The development will be expanded by a first step by PayPal so that users can buy crypto through the main platform. More recently, the company has started letting people use their crypto holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants around the world.
With more than 70 million users, Venmo is one of the most popular digital payment services in the US. It’s especially popular with younger Americans who use the app to make payments or share purchases with friends and family. It competes with Square’s Cash app.
“Regardless of where you are on your cryptocurrency journey, Crypto on Venmo is helping our community learn and explore cryptocurrencies they know and love on a trusted platform and right in the app,” said Darrell Esch, senior vice president and General Manager of Venmo.
Esch added, “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that makes buying and selling cryptocurrencies easier and demystifies some of the most common questions and misunderstandings consumers face.”
Bitcoin and other digital currencies have risen in price in 2021 due to increased interest from institutional investors, while large companies like Tesla and PayPal have also made significant strides in this area. Tesla bought $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin earlier this year and is now accepting it as payment for its cars.
PayPal has since increased its investments in crypto. Last month, the payment giant announced it was buying Curv, a start-up that allows customers to keep their digital tokens safe, for nearly $ 200 million. In addition, a new business unit has been set up with a focus on blockchain, which Curv will join.
According to Venmo, the crypto function was developed in collaboration with blockchain infrastructure company Paxos, which PayPal has also used for its other digital assets initiatives. PayPal received a license for crypto activities from New York regulators last year.
While bitcoin bulls view it as a gold store resembling gold, not everyone is convinced of the formidable comeback of the digital currency – it fell to $ 3,122 in 2018 after rising to nearly $ 20,000 a year earlier. Skeptical economists view Bitcoin as a bubble waiting to burst.