Payment app Venmo will now let users buy, sell, and hold four cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash, according to a press release from the company Tuesday morning. But users won’t be able to send cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to their Venmo friends just yet.
“Venmo customers can start their crypto journey with as little as $1 by clicking on ‘Crypto’ in the Venmo menu at the top right in the app,” the company said in a statement.
“Customers will have the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency using funds from their balance with Venmo, or a linked bank account or debit card. All transactions are managed directly in the Venmo app,” the statement continued.
The launch comes after Venmo’s parent company, PayPal, announced identical crypto features would be added last month. But a spokesperson for PayPal confirmed to Gizmodo over email early Tuesday that Venmo users won’t be able to send cryptocurrencies between each other. It’s not even clear if that feature is in the works, though it would seem logical, given that the main selling point of Venmo is the ability to share money between friends.
With over 70 million users, the decision to open up the crypto world to Venmo users will almost certainly help make cryptocurrencies more mainstream, but will do very little to create more stability in the broader market of fake money. Bitcoin has experienced wild swings throughout its entire life, and the coin plummeted 15% over the weekend.
Over 30% of Venmo users already trade cryptocurrencies, according to the company, with 20% starting since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.
“Crypto on Venmo is a new way for the Venmo community to start exploring the world of crypto, within the Venmo environment they trust and rely on as a key component of their everyday financial lives,” Darrell Esch, SVP and GM at Venmo, said in a statement posted online.
“No matter where you are in your cryptocurrency journey, crypto on Venmo will help our community to learn and explore cryptocurrencies on a trusted platform and directly in the app they know and love,” Esch continued.
“Our 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.”