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New Venmo feature lets users transfer crypto to outside wallets—and to each other

Someone holds a smartphone with the Venmo app open in front of a window.
PayPal, the digital payments giant, acquired Venmo in 2013.
Tiffany Hagler-Geard—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Venmo soon will allow users to transfer their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash to outside wallets—as well as to other users of the popular payment app.

The feature will roll out starting in May, according to a statement from PayPal, which acquired Venmo in 2013. Users can also transfer crypto to their wallets at PayPal, which released a similar ability in 2022.

Crypto transfers on Venmo will be irreversible, just like crypto transactions more broadly—a function of cryptocurrency’s use of blockchains, or immutable public ledgers. To roll out the transfer system, PayPal is partnering with Paxos, a crypto firm that specializes in stablecoins.

“We’re excited to connect Venmo’s customers to the community, other wallets and exchanges, and we intend to continue to roll out additional crypto products and services in the year ahead,” PayPal said in its statement.

The announcement from PayPal is one of the first drips of crypto updates from the payments giant since February, when it was reported that the publicly traded company was pausing work on its own stablecoin after reports that Paxos, its partner in the effort, was under investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services, a key player among U.S. cryptocurrency regulators.

At the time, a spokesperson for PayPal told Fortune that the company was “exploring a stablecoin” and that if and when the payments giant moves forward, it will “work closely with relevant regulators.” 

Before the onset of Crypto Winter and the recent regulatory crackdown on the industry, PayPal was one of the more public crypto boosters among legacy fintech firms. 

In October 2020, the company announced that U.S. users of PayPal would be able to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. One year later, the payments giant expanded the feature to Venmo customers.

Amid the crypto bull market of 2021, PayPal continued to build out crypto offerings. It let users pay merchants with cryptocurrency, partnered with Coinbase to allow those with PayPal-linked debit cards and bank accounts to buy tokens on the exchange, and expanded its crypto service beyond the U.S. to other countries, including the U.K.

After the collapse of several prominent crypto firms in 2022, PayPal noticeably rolled back its public rhetoric on cryptocurrencies. In February, longtime CEO Dan Schulman announced his intention to step down at the end of 2023.

Update, April 28, 2023: This article has been updated to show that Paxos is partnering with PayPal to enable crypto transfers on Venmo.

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