Venmo, a peer-to-peer payments service owned by PayPal recently announced to the media that it is launching a crypto exchange platform. This will allow users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on the application and is expected to inspire more mainstream adoption of the asset class.
The users of Venmo will have access to buy bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash starting with just $1 and even publish transactions on the application’s feed. Venmo currently has about 70 million users and is considered the most popular payment platform in the United States, especially among younger customers who use it for transactions between their friends and families. The firm processed around $159 billion in payments in 2020.
PayPal has emerged as one of the most active mainstream financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies. In October 2020, it allowed users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in its digital wallets, and in March 2021 it let customers spend their virtual coins on goods and services globally. Bitcoin has soared nearly 90 percent since the start of 2021. It was made possible by the interest from large financial institutions betting on its adoption and usage as a hedge against inflation.
The launch of Venmo’s crypto coincides with the increase in competition in the US peer-to-peer payments sector. Darrel Esch, senior vice president and general manager of Venmo addressed the media and stated that “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.” Crypto exchange on Venmo has been enabled through the partnership of Paypal with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of crypto exchange.