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PayPal-owned Venmo launches cryptocurrency trading

  • Posted On - 2021-04-21 06:07:14

Payment application Square made headlines — and dollars — when it integrated Bitcoin trading into its mobile application back during the crypto bull market of winter 2017. 

Now, rival payments firm Venmo, owned by PayPal, is following suit by launching crypto trading platforms for 4 major coins: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litceoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Beginning on Tuesday and set to be universally available within the next few weeks, Venmo’s 70 M+ customers will be able to buy, hold and sell crypto directly within the Venmo app. The launch is offering users access to in-app guides to help them to better navigate the cryptocurrency trading space and will inspire them to share their cryptocurrency experiences by the Venmo feed. 

Venmo customers will be able to buy as little as one dollar worth of cryptocurrency and can use either funds from their Venmo balance or from a linked bank account or debit card to buy and sell their holdings.

Over 30% of Venmo users have already started to buy cryptocurrency or equities, as per the company’s research into 2020 users behavior. Of these, 20% started 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.

Support for cryptocurrency on Venmo is facilitated through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated supplier of crypto products such as its stablecoin and other services. Venmo owner PayPal is also the holder of a conditional Bitlicense from the exacting New York State Department of Financial Services. Conditional licensees, such as PayPal, are required to pair off with firms that have already been granted full-blown licenses — as, in this case, has Paxos.

Just before a week, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman hinted at developments underway since the payments giant first went live with its crypto offering in the November 2020. Dan told that PayPal intends to support the use of crypto for daily transactions and to tap into smart contracts and other, more expansive features of blockchain technology. He also said that the company's vision of leveraging crypto for the attainment of a more “inclusive economy,” in which “things will be done much differently than today.”