Payment app Square made headlines – and dollars – when it integrated Bitcoin trading into its mobile platform during the winter 2017 crypto bull market.
Now rival payment company Venmo, owned by PayPal, is following suit by launching cryptocurrency trading for four major coins: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litceoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Starting April 20 and available soon, Venmo’s more than 70 million customers will be able to buy, hold and sell crypto directly in the Venmo app. The launch will provide users with access to in-app guides to help them better navigate the cryptocurrency trading space and will encourage them to share their cryptocurrency experiences through the Venmo feed.
Venmo users can purchase cryptocurrency for as little as $ 1 and can use money from their Venmo balance or from a linked bank account or debit card to buy and sell their assets.
According to the company’s 2020 Customer Behavior Survey, more than 30% of Venmo customers have already started buying cryptocurrency or stocks. 20% of these started with their purchase during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that public health and the simultaneous economic crisis have accelerated trends in digitization and experimentation with new financial technologies.
Cryptocurrency support on Venmo is powered by a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of crypto products such as the stablecoin and other services. Venmo owner PayPal also holds a conditional Bitlicense from the discerning New York State Department of Financial Services. Conditional licensees such as PayPal must work with companies that have already been fully licensed, such as in this case Paxos.
Just under a week ago, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman hinted at the developments that have been going on since the payment giant first went live with its crypto offering in the United States in November last year. Schulman said PayPal is committed to supporting the use of crypto for everyday transactions and tapping into smart contracts and other more comprehensive features of blockchain technology. He also presented the company’s vision of using crypto to achieve a more ‘inclusive economy’, in which ‘things will be done very differently than they are now. ‘