Market Musings

Venmo to Start Offering Cryptocurrencies to Customers — But There's a Catch

Published on:
April 20, 2021

The social payments app will support Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash — but customers will not be able to use it for payments.

Venmo to Start Offering Cryptocurrencies to Customers — But There's a Catch

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Social payments app Venmo is following its big brother PayPal into the cryptocurrency business.


Over the next few weeks, Venmo will enable customers to buy, hold and sell digital assets worth as little as $1.


Like PayPal, which introduced crypto in November with huge success, Venmo is limited to Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. 


Social-focused Venmo also allows customers to “share their crypto journey with their friends through the Venmo feed,” the company said in a release

It does not, however, appear to allow customers to make or receive crypto payments — unlike PayPal which is rolling out crypto payments to its network of 29 million merchants around the world.


Crypto for Newbies 

While as much as one-third of its customers are already crypto buyers, Venmo said its offering is focused heavily on people who are new to the industry. Senior vice president Darrell Esch explained:

"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. 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." 

Aside from its limited selection of cryptocurrencies, Venmo has a number of restrictions on how customers can use them. Notably, crypto can only be purchased with Venmo account balances or a linked debit card — not a credit card. And purchases are limited to $20,000 in any one calendar year, and $50,000 in any 12-month period. 


U.S.-only Venmo makes its profits on the spread between the buying and selling price it offers and what it actually pays for those transactions, which it will display before the purchase is finalized.


Leo Jakobson

I'm an NYC-based journalist covering crypto and business.

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