Venmo Has Entered the Cryptocurrency Arena — Here's What to Know

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Apr. 20 2021, Updated 11:33 a.m. ET

Gone are the days where Venmo's best use was paying back your friend for that Bloody Mary at brunch. In recent years, the app has transitioned over to credit cards and business accounts. Now, they're upping their game with cryptocurrency wallets.

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Starting today, all Venmo users can buy, sell, and hold certain cryptocurrencies on Venmo. With the first-of-its-kind Coinbase IPO still fresh in our minds, this new competition shows there's more to come for the industry.  

Which cryptocurrencies are available on Venmo?

Four different cryptocurrencies are a part of the new Venmo feature:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Ether
  3. Litecoin
  4. Bitcoin cash (BCH, which has a larger block size for faster processing times than regular bitcoin)
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All of Venmo's more than 70 million customers will have access to the crypto capabilities. Since they're already on the platform, they can focus on transitioning existing users to the new functionality rather than courting brand-new users. With an estimated 30 percent of Venmo users (who sway on the younger side) already invested in cryptocurrency, this rings even truer. Venmo's popularity puts them in a good position here. Their top competitor is Cash App, owned by Square.

PayPal owns Venmo, and PayPal recently launched their own crypto wallet. The move to legitimize crypto use as a mainstream currency is sweeping across the company. 

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How to buy crypto on Venmo

Venmo has a minimum spending requirement of just $1.00 for cryptocurrency purchases. That makes it accessible for people who already may have funds in their wallet.

The buying process works like this:

  • Select the "Crypto" option from the top right-hand menu.
  • Choose to buy one of four cryptocurrencies available on Venmo. You can either purchase with your associated bank/debit card or you can use the money already in your Venmo wallet.
  • Keep an eye on value changes with the cryptocurrency, either through the Venmo app or independently. This will help you determine whether to buy more, hold on to what you have, or sell off some of your coins.
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Like regular Venmo requests and payments, these will also show up on social feeds (unless you prefer to keep it private).If you don't see the crypto tab yet, you may have to wait for your app to update. Make sure your phone is set to automatically update. Otherwise, you can manually do so in your app store.  

How you can use your Venmo crypto:

When you sell your crypto, it becomes liquid in your Venmo wallet. Once you've got the cash, you can use it to make in-app payments or transfer it to your bank account.

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So far, Venmo doesn't allow users to make payments with the crypto coins directly. This may change in the future, but for now it's a personal investing option rather than a direct form of compensation or repayment.

Venmo makes sure to note, "Crypto is volatile, so it can rise and fall in value quickly. Like all currencies, there's potential for gains and losses—so be sure to take it at a pace you're comfortable with." 

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