Venmo, a versatile financial application, provides a range of features, including peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers and cryptocurrency transactions. Serving as a comprehensive financial tool, Venmo enables users to seamlessly handle transactions, including the option to participate in digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC). The app is designed to simplify financial operations and assist users in navigating contemporary economic systems.
What is Venmo?
Venmo, a mobile payment service established in 2009, has been under PayPal’s ownership since 2013. It operates as a P2P platform for money transfers within the United States. The social payment app facilitates money exchanges between users and businesses. Additionally, it functions as a digital wallet that enables individuals to accumulate funds within their Venmo accounts for future expenses.
Venmo also extends its capabilities by integrating cryptocurrency transactions, enabling users to buy, sell and hold digital assets within the app. Following a similar initiative by its parent company, PayPal, this feature was introduced in April 2021. Venmo users in the U.S., excluding Hawaii, can engage with four cryptocurrencies: BTC, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In the future, Venmo has plans to incorporate the PayPal USD stablecoin (PYUSD).
Buy Bitcoin with Venmo
To purchase Bitcoin with Venmo, users can use their Venmo balance, bank account or debit card, among other payment methods. However, it’s important to recall that credit cards and Venmo Credit Cards cannot be used to complete these transactions. Moreover, users are restricted from making crypto purchases through Venmo. Users are limited to a weekly cap of $20,000 and a yearly cap of $50,000 in crypto acquisitions.
Since cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, buying them involves exchanging one currency for another. The exchange rate determines the amount of Bitcoin users receive in exchange for U.S. dollars. Keep in mind that cryptocurrency values are highly volatile and change frequently.
Steps to buying Bitcoin through Venmo
- Open the Venmo app and navigate to the “Crypto” tab at the bottom of the menu.
- Select “Bitcoin (BTC)” from the list of cryptocurrencies. The current exchange price of Bitcoin is also available on the page.
- Click “Buy” at the bottom of the page.
- Enter the dollar amount to buy in BTC and tap the “Review” button. This step confirms purchase details, such as bank account, exchange rate and transaction fee, before finalizing the transaction.
- The app will provide a breakdown of the amount of Bitcoin to be purchased, along with any associated fees.
- Once satisfied with the details, tap the “Buy” button to complete the Bitcoin purchase through Venmo.
After completing a purchase, crypto acquired through Venmo becomes irreversible. This implies that users have to sell their digital currencies to regain U.S. dollars. It’s also important to note that Venmo does not provide compensation to users for any losses caused by price fluctuations.
After successfully purchasing Bitcoin through the Venmo app, users can conveniently track its price fluctuations within the app itself. The app also provides historical price data for the selected cryptocurrency, including past transactions involving that digital asset.
Steps to track the current market price of Bitcoin in Venmo
In Venmo, the current price of Bitcoin can be tracked using following steps:
Venmo’s app is equipped to monitor cryptocurrency prices in real-time, with updates occurring every few seconds. By default, it uses a line graph to show price movements over a 24-hour period. The time frame for price changes can be switched to one week, one month, six months, a year or the entire lifespan of the cryptocurrency selected. Tapping on the timeline graph provides more specific values over time.
Venmo fees for purchasing Bitcoin
Acquiring cryptocurrencies through Venmo involves fees based on the purchase’s size, with transparent fee disclosure during transactions. These fees consist of the spread between the market price from Venmo’s trading service provider, Paxos, and the USD-to-crypto exchange rate, along with a transaction fee associated with buying crypto assets. Venmo discloses both rates during crypto transactions, with an estimated 0.50% spread, subject to market conditions.
It’s crucial to note that Venmo doesn’t detail the specific spread earned on each transaction. By utilizing Venmo’s crypto services, users agree to cover all relevant exchange rates, including the spread and the associated fees.
Additionally, if a linked bank account or debit card is used as the funding source for purchasing crypto assets, additional bank fees, such as overdraft charges, may be imposed. Venmo doesn’t bear responsibility for bank-imposed fees, so it’s important to understand a bank’s fee policies when using these funding sources for crypto transactions.
Who can buy Bitcoin with Venmo?
To buy Bitcoin with Venmo, the app needs to be accessed, and specific user criteria must be met:
- Age requirement: Users must be at least 18 years old.
- Location: Cryptocurrency services are accessible to users physically present within the U.S., except for Hawaii.
- Payment methods: Either a Venmo balance, bank account or debit card is needed.
- Unique cell phone number: Users need a unique U.S. cell phone number not associated with another Venmo account.
Anyone who fulfills these prerequisites is eligible to create a Venmo account and can proceed with acquiring Bitcoin. To access cryptocurrency transaction services on Venmo, a user’s identity must be verified. This verification process includes providing essential information such as a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Furthermore, these services are exclusively accessible for personal Venmo profiles and are not supported for business or charity profiles.
Price Alerts in Venmo
To stay informed about Bitcoin market movements, Venmo’s Crypto Price Alerts can assist in monitoring and responding to crypto price fluctuations, assisting in making timely and informed decisions in this dynamic financial landscape. When activating crypto price alerts, push notifications will be sent when the chosen cryptocurrency’s price experiences a daily percentage change.
It’s important not to rely solely on them for cryptocurrency-related decisions. Crypto price alerts may experience delays or disruptions due to market conditions and data interruptions. Thus, verifying any information received through a price alert before making decisions is advisable.
To set up Bitcoin price alerts in Venmo:
- Navigate to the “Crypto” tab.
- Select “Bitcoin.”
- Activate price alerts using the Price Alerts toggle.
- Once activated, specify the desired percentage for price fluctuations, which can be adjusted as necessary.
If identity verification with Venmo is already complete and an account is configured for cryptocurrency activities, it’ll be possible to subscribe to price alerts while purchasing Bitcoin.
Security and safety measures in Venmo
Venmo employs data encryption technology to safeguard users from unauthorized transactions, ensuring user information is securely stored on protected servers. The mobile payment service also allows users to log out of their Venmo accounts on lost or stolen phones, set up personal identification numbers (PINs) for mobile applications, and enable two-factor authentication (2FA).
Despite Venmo’s security protocols, users should be aware of potential risks, including scams and fraud by cybercriminals. Although the source of these risks might not be attributed to the payment application itself, the resulting implications may directly impact Venmo users. It’s crucial never to share login details, use strong passwords, set accounts to private, and transact only with trusted individuals and businesses.
According to research findings, Venmo publicly reveals all peer-to-peer transactions by default, with the exception of the transaction amount, which could possibly disclose sensitive user information in certain instances. In 2018, the company reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to address multiple privacy and security concerns related to this and other aspects, leading to corresponding setting adjustments. Nevertheless, Venmo remained under scrutiny for potentially exposing users to privacy vulnerabilities.
Drawbacks to buying Bitcoin with Venmo
Buying Bitcoin through Venmo presents certain drawbacks to consider. Firstly, Venmo’s Purchase Protection doesn’t extend to cryptocurrency purchases, leaving users vulnerable to losses stemming from cryptocurrency price fluctuations. While unauthorized activity is safeguarded, Bitcoin transactions on Venmo are irreversible, underscoring the need for thorough research and cautious decision-making.
Unlike traditional banks, Venmo’s Bitcoin and investment balances lack protection by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Securities Investor Protection Corporation
(SIPC) or any other public or private insurance. Consequently, funds held within the app are not protected as they would be in a bank account, making Venmo an insecure choice for storing substantial cryptocurrency holdings.
Additionally, any currency or asset acquired on Venmo remains limited to the platform, making it impossible to transfer crypto to other platforms or personal accounts. This limitation can be restrictive for those who prefer to hold their coins in digital wallets or explore different trading options.
Cointelegraph By Liza Savenko