Venmo to Allow Customers to Buy, Sell and Hold Cryptocurrencies

Crypto trading is coming soon to a Venmo feed near you.

PayPal Holdings Inc. on Tuesday will begin allowing select customers of its Venmo app to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies as consumers increasingly look for ways to pile into the digital assets. The firm will make it available to all the app’s users, who number more than 70 million, within the next few weeks.

For now, Venmo is allowing customers to trade in just four types of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Users will also have the ability to share their cryptocurrency purchases on the Venmo feed.

“We do think some customers will certainly want to share this fun experience,” Darrell Esch, senior vice president and general manager of the Venmo app at PayPal, said in an interview. “They can share with their friends and community that they’ve taken the step into this space.”

Venmo to Allow Customers to Buy, Sell and Hold Cryptocurrencies

PayPal has been adding new features to its PayPal and Venmo apps as the payments giant seeks to become a one-stop shop for consumers’ financial needs. After adding the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency to its PayPal app, the company saw customers who used the feature begin signing into the app at twice the rate they previously did.

Because Venmo’s customer base skews younger than the traditional PayPal user, the company is planning to debut a series of videos with the new offering to make sure clients are educated about their purchases.

“Crypto is volatile -- any crypto you buy can rise and fall in value, sometimes pretty quickly,” according to one such video, titled “Crypto vs. Stock.” “It’s important to tread carefully.”

There are signs Venmo users are already taking the plunge into cryptocurrency trading after the value of many of the biggest digital currencies soared in recent months. In one survey of 2,200 Venmo users, the company found that almost a third have already started purchasing cryptocurrencies or stocks.

“We think that the timing is right for this,” Esch said. “Our goal here is to provide customers with a really easy-to-use way to learn about and experience ownership of crypto from a trusted platform.”

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