Venmo, the peer-to-peer payment service owned by PayPal Holdings Inc, announced that it started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app, a step that could inspire more mainstream adoption of the asset class.
The company also added that users will be able to buy bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash for as little as $1 and publish transactions on the app’s feed.Venmo has more than 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment apps in the United States, especially among younger consumers who use it to pay friends and family. It processed around $159 billion in payments last year. PayPal has become one of the most active mainstream financial companies in cryptocurrencies.
In October, it began allowing users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in its digital wallets and last month it started allowing customers to spend their virtual coins at millions of merchants globally. The company’s crypto launch also coincides with increased competition in the U.S. peer-to-peer payments sector.More than 30% of Venmo customers have purchased crypto or equities, 20% of which started buying during the pandemic, the 2020 Venmo Customer Behavior Study found.
Darrell Esch, Venmo senior vice president and general manager said that the 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.Bitcoin and other digital currencies have risen in price in 2021 on the back of increased interest from institutional investors, while major companies like Tesla and PayPal have also made significant moves in the space. Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin earlier this year and now accepts it as payment for its cars.