Last year, PayPal and its Venmo subsidiary both introduced a new – and largely useless – feature that allowed platform members to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum via these P2P services.
However, users could only hodl or fodl. That is, they could only buy these particular crypto coins or sell them.
They could not actually send their crypto off-platform to external crypto wallets, such as those used by the best online sportsbooks.
And they still can’t.
Indeed, for anyone but the most basic boomer, the PayPal/Venmo crypto solution is anything but. It’s for investing only.
But for online sports bettors who can’t use PayPal, Venmo, or similar apps to directly fund their legal offshore sportsbook accounts, this can be frustrating.
Had PayPal and its ilk allowed for off-platform sending, for example, tens of millions of potential crypto bettors would have an extremely simple way of making crypto gambling deposits.
Cash App actually allows off-platform sending, but this is limited to Bitcoin only. Still, because Cash App works for BTC betting at all sites and voucher/MatchPay betting at Bovada Sportsbook, it’s currently the easiest and most versatile bet funding method going.
But not everyone uses Cash App.
In fact, with an estimated 40 million active US users, Cash App is actually the fourth largest P2P instant-pay service behind PayPal (400M users), Venmo (78M), and Zelle (48M).
Given the numbers above, it’s crucial for both bettors and crypto buyers – as well as the betting and crypto markets in general – that the PayPal-Venmo behemoth does something to make crypto more accessible than their existing broken and pointless buy-sell model currently allows for.
And after a fashion, it finally has!
Through a partnership with Coinbase, PayPal now lets its members link their P2P accounts to the US’ biggest cryptocurrency exchange. Venmo is reportedly launching similar functionality before year’s end.
Now, this is a dramatically different model than PayPal’s initial crypto approach.
Here, PayPal is no longer serving as an (extremely limited) exchange unto itself, nor is this a PayPal crypto wallet solution at all.
Instead, PayPal’s new approach – likely crafted due to various FTC and SEC regulations that make operating a full exchange with off-platform sending an unacceptable legal risk given PayPal’s prominence and market domination in the P2P sector – is to simply give crypto buyers a payment solution for existing exchanges. In this case, Coinbase.
And that makes sense.
Of course, you’ll still need to have a Coinbase account. This is not a way to bypass exchanges – or, presumably, exchange wait times (a la Cash App-Bitcoin or Zelle-to-Bitcoin).
Instead, this is simply a way to get regular PayPal users to consider making the jump to crypto by giving them a trusted payment option they already use for common daily expenditures. If nothing else, it’s a step in the right direction.
If you have a PayPal account and harbor an interest in crypto, this is a good way to get off the fence and get in the game.
However, if you’re looking to bypass lengthy exchange waiting periods, this isn’t really going to help the new crypto buyer get their deposits into their sportsbooks ASAP.
Regardless, more purchasing options is always better, and anything that helps streamline the process – at any point along the (block)chain – is good news.