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You Can Buy Crypto on Venmo and Robinhood. Read This Before You Do – Money Magazine

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For proof of investors’ growing interest in cryptocurrency, look no further than the financial apps already on your phone. 
Digital payment giants PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App — along with mobile stock-trading platform Robinhood — are making it easier to invest in cryptocurrency than ever before, with options to buy and trade coins within their apps.
But even if you feel more secure buying crypto with an app you might already use over a cryptocurrency exchange you’ve never heard of, the risk and volatility remains. Some of these mainstream players are also far more limiting in what they offer than traditional cryptocurrency trading platforms. 

Here’s what you need to know about buying crypto outside of cryptocurrency exchanges, and how to decide what makes the most sense for you.

Mainstreaming Cryptocurrency

Apps like PayPal and Venmo make accessible entry points for crypto novices to dip their toes in the water. And, depending on how you already use the apps, their offerings may be well-suited to your knowledge base and interests. 
For example, someone with zero knowledge but a few dollars to spare might find an exchange like Gemini confusing, but may be willing to buy some Bitcoin through their Venmo account just to experiment as they start to learn.
In general, experts say these apps can be great places to start if you’ve decided it makes sense to invest in cryptocurrency, but don’t quite understand all the different types of crypto, how an exchange works, or different storage options
Whereas using a more traditional exchange might seem complicated, you can just log into your account and buy what you want without having to worry about it, says Tyrone Ross, financial advisor and CEO of Onramp Invest, a crypto investment platform for financial advisors. “For newbies, I really suggest going to PayPal, Venmo, Cash App types of places, because they make it as simple as possible.”
Even for investing pros, cryptocurrency can be daunting. Personal finance expert Suze Orman recently told NextAdvisor about her first attempt. “Truthfully, I didn’t really know how to buy a large amount of Bitcoin and crypto,” she says. “Coinbase was aggravating me, I had bought a little bit of it and then I sold some, but it was just too complicated for me — even though it’s not complicated at all.”

She instead decided to invest indirectly, through stock in companies with crypto holdings, but she’s recently come back around to buying crypto, this time on PayPal. “I own now $5,000 in Bitcoin, and I do it through PayPal because it was just easy to do it,” she says.
There are some important distinctions between using a fintech app to buy crypto versus a traditional exchange like Kraken or Crypto.com, largely involving ways you can (or can’t) transact, and limitations on where you can keep the crypto you buy. 

Payment Platforms and Cryptocurrency

PayPal, Venmo (which is owned by PayPal), and Cash App each operate a bit differently when it comes to crypto. Each of these apps offer different coins, and various fee schedules for buying and selling crypto. While Cash App does allow you to move your coins off the platform or move Bitcoin you hold elsewhere into your account, that’s not an option on PayPal or Venmo.
Robinhood offers a few types of cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and even Dogecoin), which you can buy and sell within the app. Like its other investment options, a big perk of trading crypto on Robinhood is a lack of fees, which can widely vary among traditional exchanges.
Its accessibility as an investment platform is a big draw for many — whether they’re investing in crypto or the stock market — but it’s also what can make Robinhood riskier. It’s been criticized for making trading too game-like and encouraging volatility through active trading, rather than long-term investment growth. Just like stock trades, approaching an already-speculative asset like crypto with that mindset can make your investment even more of a gamble. 
When it comes to crypto specifically, Robinhood recently announced it’s creating its own digital wallet for its crypto users. Previously on Robinhood, you couldn’t move your private key (the encrypted code that grants access to your cryptocurrency) into your own wallet, or trade on an exchange like Coinbase. For believers in the crypto mantra “not your keys, not your coins,” that was a major drawback.

Still, not many details have been released about Robinhood’s wallet, including fees, specifics around security and private and public keys, or any other features. 
Whether you’re considering Robinhood or an app like Venmo, remember that cryptocurrency is highly volatile. Even if you’re just putting in a few dollars to experiment, it’s smart to approach your investment with a long-term mindset — once you’re sure it won’t stand in the way of your other financial goals — and be prepared to buy and hold over time rather than participating in active trading.
Even the more popular cryptocurrency exchanges — like Coinbase and Gemini — may not be platforms you’ve ever heard of or trust with your financial information. And others are simply difficult to navigate, making the process of buying crypto even more complicated for beginners. 
Because there’s little federal regulation, it can be difficult to evaluate how secure or reputable a traditional crypto trading platform is. While apps like Venmo or PayPal can’t protect your crypto holdings under FDIC insurance like they can your cash, familiarity with these apps can make the experience a bit simpler — maybe you already have your financial information linked, or the user interface is just more familiar.
“How much transaction volume and transparency into their financials and business operations I really think is the stuff you want to look at,” says Douglas Boneparth, a financial advisor and president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York. “Are most people going to do that? No, they’re going to find the easiest app to download and link their bank account, and make it easy to buy crypto again. That’s kind of the appeal of mobile apps [like PayPal and Cash App] and the like.”

But many experts view the apps as a jumping off point, not necessarily somewhere they’d recommend you keep your coins long-term. 
“It’s going to be a great way to get people introduced to the crypto space,” says Spencer Montgomery, founder of Uinta Crypto Consulting, a program for new investors to learn about crypto. But as they become more involved, “I expect that a lot of them, as they see success with it, will want to learn more, and as they learn more they’ll realize that there are better ways to be buying Bitcoin and move off of that.”
At some point, you may decide you do want control over your keys and your coins after all — and that’s why a more traditional exchange may be a better choice. For example, if an initial investment later saw a significant increase in value, you might want to move your crypto offline for greater security from cyber threats — something that wouldn’t be possible on Venmo or PayPal.
If all your crypto is on a platform that doesn’t allow offline storage, your only option is to keep it and put more money in on another exchange — leaving your assets in multiple places —  or sell what you have at the current price before buying elsewhere. 
If you choose an exchange like Coinbase from the start, which offers the option to keep your coins on the platform or trade and store them on your own, it can be much simpler to ease into those activities if you want to in the future.

It all comes down to the learning curve. “Exposure leads to expansion,” Ross says. “As you’re exposed to the space and you learn more and you get into the crypto economy, you’re going to realize, oh wait, there are all these other things I can do.”    
Whatever option you choose, just remember that cryptocurrency is still a highly speculative asset. It can be a worthwhile way to diversify your portfolio, even if you’re just experimenting, but you should only invest what you’re prepared to lose. 
No matter whether you put a few dollars into Bitcoin through Venmo, or you’re prepared to buy on an exchange and hold your coins in an offline wallet, only do so after you have your other financial priorities in order, like an emergency fund and traditional retirement plan. 
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Tim Cook said Apple is looking at cryptocurrency – Here’s what the company is likely to do – 9to5Mac

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December 28, 2021
Bradley Chambers
– Dec. 28th 2021 6:00 am PT


A few weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook made headlines when he said he personally owns cryptocurrency while mentioning that Apple is looking at it from a technology perspective, but not from a treasury decision. What will Apple do with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency?

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It’s something we are looking at, it’s not something we have immediate plans to do. I would characterize it as there are things that I would not do like our cash balance. I would not go and invest that in crypto not because I would not invest my own money in crypto, but because I don’t think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto. So if they want to do that, they can, you know, invest directly in crypto through other means. And so I would not do that. I’m not planning to in the immediate future to take crypto for our products. As a mane of tender, but there are other things that we are definitely looking at.
During the interview, Cook revealed that he owns cryptocurrency, saying “it’s reasonable to own it as a part of a diversified portfolio,” while also noting that he’s “not giving anybody investment advice.” However, Cook didn’t mention if he owns Bitcoin or another particular type of cryptocurrency.
Apple has plans for its retail financial arm. Its Apple Pay service allows people to send money in particular jurisdictions over iMessage. It also has its Apple Wallet app and associated Apple Pay services for mobile payments. Apple wants to grow its services business, and siphoning off banking services is an ideal way to do it. What does this have to do with cryptocurrency?
I believe that Apple will build a Bitcoin wallet directly into Apple Wallet shortly while also allowing for a low-cost way to purchase Bitcoin on iPhone.
With Bitcoin wallets – where you maintain full control of your bitcoin and move it off an exchange like Coinbase –you are responsible for securing your wallet with a seed phrase. I personally reccomend using a couple of Trezor, Ledger, or Coldcard hardware wallets with a multisig vault with a company like Unchained Capital to eliminate single points of failure with your Bitcoin wallets. I also recommend using a steel wallet like billfodl or SEEDPLATE for securing your seed phrase in case of hardware failure.
For newcomers to Bitcoin, this whole process might seem overwhelming, which is why I think Apple might approach it in a couple of ways:
If Apple operates as a Bitcoin exchange, they’ll let you buy bitcoin directly in the Apple Wallet app using whatever payment methods you have on file. They’ll allow you to store your holdings in Apple Wallet while Apple itself will retain the keys. It’ll look a lot like what Cash App or Coinbase does, where you can send, receive, and store Bitcoin without needing to store your seed phrase.
If Apple sets up a software wallet directly on iPhone, it’ll likely look similar to BlueWallet, where you take self custody of your Bitcoin with a seed phrase backup. You’ll own the keys to your Bitcoin directly on your iPhone and be responsible for backing up the seed phrase. If Apple goes this route, I suspect they’ll build in an encrypted iCloud backup of your seed phrase that’s tied to multi factor authentication in such a way where only you can decrypt it. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
Finally, Strike is a company I could see Apple partnering with for global Apple Pay Cash transactions. Twitter is already working with the company for its tipping service. Strike does a couple of things that could be of interest to Apple:
It accomplishes the global payment system using Bitcoin as the transaction medium. If I want to send someone in another country money, I input dollars, it converts it to Bitcoin and converts it back to local currency when received. It sounds simple, but it’s a pretty revolutionary way to process payments globally for free.
I just published Announcing the Strike API
Today, @Twitter enables free, instant, global payments for their users with their integration of the Strike API.
What the internet did for communication, #Bitcoin + the Lightning Network is doing for money.https://t.co/jHkY6knXkP pic.twitter.com/FXujknG7sM
— Jack Mallers (@jackmallers) September 23, 2021

Ultimately, Bitcoin is becoming a significant force to be reckoned with in our world. With a finite supply, decentralization, and digitization of our financial system, it’s likely to continue to play a significant role as digital gold and global settlement network. Apple doesn’t want to miss a massive shift in technology as it seeks to drive services revenue and become a significant player in the financial services industry.
It’s also possible Apple will use Bitcoin as a transaction layer with its online store when the company is concerned about the stability of the local currency as we saw recently in Turkey.
Bitcoin’s energy usage is a common discussion among its critics. While there is a lot to unpack here, I’ve found the video I’ve embedded below to be a great resource to explain how there’s more to the discussion about Bitcoin and energy usage than most people would lead you to believe.
TL;DW: The Bitcoin network uses less energy than the use of Christmas lights in the US.
What do you think Apple will do with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Leave a comment below! Interested in learning how to buy Bitcoin? We’ve put together a detailed guide on the best apps for buying Bitcoin on your iPhone
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
Breaking news from Cupertino. We’ll give you the latest from Apple headquarters and decipher fact from fiction from the rumor mill.


Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.
Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to Bradley@9to5mac.com.
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94% of Advisors Received Questions About Crypto from Clients in 2021, Bitwise/ETF Trends Survey Finds – Business Wire

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94% of Advisors Received Questions About Crypto from Clients in 2021, Bitwise/ETF Trends Survey Finds  Business Wire
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GameStop Jumps After Report on NFT Trading Hub, Crypto Pact – Gadgets 360

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Short selling against GameStop increased by about 1 million shares to 8.4 million in the past 30 days
GameStop’s stock rallied on Friday after a report that the videogame retailer plans to expand its non-fungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace and partner with crypto firms.
The company’s shares soared last year as it was at the centre of a battle between small investors coordinating on online forums and Wall Street hedge funds that had taken short positions. Since mid-November, its stock has mostly declined.
On Friday, GameStop jumped 7.3 percent to $140.62 (roughly Rs. 10,440) after reports late on Thursday that the company would build an online hub for trading NFTs for virtual game collectibles and establish cryptocurrency partnerships.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters about GameStop’s plans, which had been reported by the Wall Street Journal.
GameStop declined to comment on the reports.
NFTs, which use blockchain to record the ownership of digital items such as images and videos, surged in popularity in 2021, leaving many confused about why so much money was being spent on copiable digital items that do not physically exist.
Highly volatile crypto assets have tumbled in recent months, with Bitcoin plummeting to a more than three-month low of $42,001.97 (roughly Rs. 31.18 lakh), down about 38 percent from its $69,000 (roughly Rs. 51.21 lakh) all-time high in November. Bitcoin price in India as of January 8 at 11:15am IST was Rs. 33.92 lakh.
Ether, used to buy NFTs, has slumped to $3,219.77 (roughly Rs. 2.39 lakh), levels last seen in early October. Ether price in India as of January 8 at 11:15am IST was Rs. 2.6 lakh.
“Meme stocks are speculative rather than fundamental and, to a degree, cryptos are also little speculative in nature … too much of an exposure to cryptos could have an effect on the balance sheets of these companies,” warned Mirabaud analyst Neil Campling.
Short selling against GameStop increased by about 1 million shares to 8.4 million in the past 30 days, now worth $1.11 billion (roughly Rs. 8,240 crore) and equivalent to 13 percent of GameStop’s free float, according to data from S3 Partners.
Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of predictive analytics at S3 Partners, said Friday’s share move was unlikely to be a short-covering rally.
“First we would need to wipe out recent mark-to-market profits on the short side, which means getting back to levels in the $170 – $200 (roughly Rs. 12,600 to 14,800)stock price range,” for a short squeeze to happen, Dusaniwsky said.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.
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