Venmo to add crypto features


Payment facilitator Venmo is one of the latest entities to add cryptocurrency functionality to its platform.

Marie Huillet reports at Cointelegraph that new crypto platform functionality will extend to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

Users, Huillet says, will be able to trade crypto directly within the Venmo app and utilize provided guides to tackle the learning curve as they’re getting started.

“Over 30% of Venmo customers have already begun to purchase cryptocurrency or equities, according to the company’s research into 2020 customer behavior,” Huillet writes. “Of these, 20% began their purchase during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the public health and concurrent economic crisis has accelerated trends in digitization and experimentation with new financial technologies.”

There is also a fractional design built-in for small investors, where buyers can go dollar for dollar with an incremental buying strategy that allows users to buy small pieces of coins. For example, someone without the $55,000 to purchase an entire Bitcoin could buy as little as a dollar’s worth.

Some looking at the nature of new cryptocurrency business were not surprised by Venmo’s move, given that PayPal, the owner of the Venmo subsidiary, has already greenlighted crypto tools within its own platform and holds a New York Bitlicense that gives the company an advantage in rolling out regulatory approval across the country.

So how do users anticipate Venmo competing?

“I’m not using any of these over cashapp unless the fees are so so low, but knowing paypal, they won’t be,” writes Reddit user wills-runways.

“I have Venmo but I like Metal Pay more, is more crypto friendly and you can send/receive/deposit/withdraw via ACH and debit card to your bank account,” writes  xsanchez21. “Metal Pay is the easiest and fastest way to exchange fiat to crypto and vice versa.”

If there’s a single takeaway here, it might be that users have options. Multiple payment systems have built in crypto trading, and a host of exchanges offer other ecosystems for getting into BTC or other similar assets. What’s your favorite?