Published on May 24th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


Venmo Adds Crypto Support

The world is slowly moving away from physical forms of currency. Coins have long been thought of as a problem in a world that prefers paper money. Coins are heavier and harder to carry around. Paper is lighter and folds away neatly but still involves carrying your wealth around with you. Digital transactions have been easier to handle from the moment that debit and credit cards were invented. Cryptocurrency is a logical extension of that process of evolution, and it looks like that the process is about to move along another step.

For the past few years, we’ve seen cryptocurrencies begin to gain mainstream acceptance. Traditional banks don’t like them, and governments aren’t overly fond of them either, but you can now use cryptocurrencies to make payments in a variety of places on the internet. In some countries, you can order your groceries with crypto. A surprising number of online slots websites now allow gamblers to make bets using crypto and have their bets paid out the same way. The security of transactions is important to people who play online slots, and so it’s easy to see why the method would appeal to them. As more websites like New Zealand Rose Slots open their arms to the idea, we get closer to it becoming the default way to make payment. The next thing for crypto to conquer, though, is popular payment apps – and that’s beginning to happen.

Crypto payments with Venmo

With immediate effect, the PayPal-owned mobile payment service Venmo is adding cryptocurrency support. That doesn’t only mean that it will start allowing users to make and receive payments using popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It also means that the app will now permit customers to buy and store the currencies themselves. The two cryptocurrencies we’ve already mentioned are fully supported, and they’re joined by Litecoin and Bitcoin cash. More currencies may be added in the future if the new features prove to be popular, and it’s felt that there’s sufficient demand for further alternatives. This latest announcement makes good on a promise that PayPal made during 2020 that Venmo users would have access to crypto storage by the end of 2021. In fact, given the timing of the announcement, it appears that PayPal may have accelerated its existing plans.

If you’re interested in using your Venmo account to manage your cryptocurrency balances, you can start by purchasing as little as one dollar’s worth and progressing from there. Users in the United States of America should find that they already have access to the new feature, with customers in the rest of the world expected to have access within the next four weeks. By the end of May, the facility should be available worldwide. Aside from potentially drawing more users to Venmo, this move might also encourage greater usage of cryptocurrencies in general. The app has more than seventy million users and shares some of the same functions and features as social networking apps. That means customers will be able to see their friends using crypto and might be tempted to try it out for themselves.

In reality, the new Venmo feature is an extension of functionality that PayPal gave to users of its native app several months ago. The PayPal app has been able to deal with cryptocurrency since the end of November 2020. On that occasion, customers in the USA were actually late to the party because they only received clearance to begin making cryptocurrency purchases in March 2021. Both PayPal and Venmo were beaten to the punch by Square, which has a much smaller user base but has been offering full cryptocurrency processing facilities since 2018 – albeit limited to Bitcoin.

One thing that users won’t be able to do is transfer their cryptocurrency balances from elsewhere. If your crypto is already stored in another wallet – Coinbase, for example – it can’t be sent on to Venmo. Nor can crypto balances held in Venmo or PayPal be exported to other wallets. Venmo-to-Venmo balance transfers won’t be permitted either. Customers can store every scrap of cryptocurrency they own in Venmo if they wish, but once they’ve moved it into their wallet, it has to stay there. The finer points of the new service are covered by a series of helpful videos that Venmo has published on its website, which also explain the basic principles of things like blockchain for potential first-time investors. If you’re totally new to the idea of owning or buying cryptocurrencies, that might be an excellent place to start.

While this is a significant new feature for Venmo, it’s still missing a little of the functionality that users of the PayPal app enjoy. If you use PayPal rather than Venmo, you have a more comprehensive range of cryptocurrencies to play with and full access to more than thirty million merchants, all of whom can automatically accept crypto payments because PayPal will convert the currency into their native or preferred currencies if they don’t want to handle crypto. This removes the “currency risk” that’s always been associated with the perceived instability of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies like it. With this obstacle out of the way and better access to digital currencies than ever before, crypto seems to be closer than ever to making itself a genuine alternative to cash and conventional currencies.

The battle for mainstream acceptance isn’t won yet. Even though the public has shown itself to be more than willing to use apps like PayPal to make everyday transactions and payments, they still prefer to store their “ready” funds with their regular banks rather than leaving them in PayPal wallets or similar places. Conventional banking apps – like the banks that own them – do not yet accept cryptocurrency transactions. We might still be a long way from seeing that happening. One bank will eventually do so, though, and when they do, we’ll start to see other banks following suit because they don’t want to be left behind. There’s change coming whether traditional banks and financial institutions want to see it happen or not, and this latest Venmo development represents yet another significant step on the road. We already knew that crypto was here to stay. Now we can be fairly sure that it intends to take over.

Photo by Tech Daily on Unsplash

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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