How to Buy Crypto on the Apps You Already Have

Buying bitcoin and other crypto assets doesn't have to be a painful and laborious process.

AccessTimeIconFeb 4, 2022 at 3:07 p.m. UTC
Updated May 16, 2024 at 4:08 p.m. UTC

If you are among the millions of people who are new to crypto and interested in investing in the burgeoning industry, the first question many face is how do you actually buy cryptocurrency?

In the early days of bitcoin, buying it required a level of effort and comfort with technology that deterred most people. But the industry has made significant strides since then, and the barrier to entry is now almost nonexistent. In fact, if you have already used Cash App, PayPal or Vemmo, you are most of the way there.

How to buy crypto on Cash App

Ever since Block’s Cash App introduced its pilot bitcoin services in 2017, it has continued to roll out more bitcoin-based functionalities, with the latest being the integration of the Lightning Network.

Simply put, Cash App is big on Bitcoin integrations, and it is arguably one of the easiest ways to get your hands on bitcoin, particularly if you already have a Cash App account and occasionally use the platform to access traditional payment and investment services. Below are the steps for purchasing bitcoin on Cash App.

  • On the Cash App home screen, locate and click on the “Bitcoin” tab.
  • You will then see an option for buying BTC. Click on that to continue.
  • The next step is to select the amount of BTC you wish to buy. You can click on "…" at the top right corner of your screen to enter a custom amount (applicable in situations where you cannot find your preferred amount on the default options).
  • After selecting a valid amount, enter your pin and click on the Confirm button to complete the purchase. You can confirm the transaction by checking your account balance.

Note that you must have enough money on your Cash App to facilitate this purchase. Apart from this basic bitcoin purchase method, you can also take advantage of other investing features, including auto-invest and custom orders.

How to buy crypto on PayPal

PayPal is another popular app that has incorporated bitcoin-focused products. Like Cash App, PayPal offers a simple way of acquiring bitcoin, albeit with some withdrawal restrictions.

When you buy bitcoin on PayPal, it is impossible to withdraw the coin to an external wallet. As a result, you will be limited to the services provided by PayPal. If you have no problem with those restrictions, however, you can start buying crypto by following the steps below.

  • From the dashboard of your PayPal account, click on the Finances tab and select Crypto.
  • Next, you need to choose your preferred cryptocurrency. At the time of writing, the options available to PayPal users are limited to bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash.
  • Once you have selected one of the four cryptocurrencies available, click the “Buy” option. At this juncture, you may need to verify your identity to continue.
  • Indicate the amount you want to purchase and click on the next “Buy” button to complete the transaction.

Note that you need to have enough funds on your PayPal balance before you can complete the transaction. If not, you must link your account to a debit card or a bank account. Also, depending on the amount of cryptocurrency you want to buy, you will be charged a fee when buying crypto on PayPal.

Purchase amount
1.00 – 24.99 USD
0.50 USD
25.00 – 100.00 USD
100.01 – 200.00 USD
200.01 – 1000.00 USD
1000.01 USD +

How to buy crypto on Venmo

In 2021, PayPal-owned Venmo enabled a feature specifically designed for those looking to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Like PayPal, Venmo imposes withdrawal restrictions as crypto holders cannot transfer their coins on or off Venmo’s platform. Another restriction you may also need to consider is the imposed maximum purchase limits set at $20,000 weekly and $50,000 yearly.

That said, below are steps you need to follow to buy cryptocurrency on Venmo.

  • First, you need to locate the Crypto coins tab at the bottom of your screen. Click that tab to see the array of cryptocurrencies you can buy on Venmo. Presently, the options available are bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin – the same selection as PayPal.
  • Select your preferred cryptocurrency to see the current price. If you are satisfied with the pricing, you can continue by clicking on the Buy option and entering the dollar equivalence of the amount of crypto you wish to purchase.
  • Once you have indicated an amount, click on Review to see the breakdown of your purchase, including all associated fees.
  • After reviewing your purchase, tap Buy if you are ready to complete the transaction. You can complete this purchase by using funds on your Venmo balance, a linked bank account or a linked debit card.

How to buy crypto on Robinhood

In line with the explosive adoption of cryptocurrency, Robinhood, like most traditional financial apps, now offers a section where users can purchase crypto. Unlike the other apps listed in this guide, Robinhood specializes in enabling trading services for its users. So Robinhood not only offers the ability to buy and sell crypto, but also allows you to trade cryptocurrency and even send it as a gift, and so if you are looking for an entry place to buy crypto that will grow with your interest, it may be a good choice for you.

Below are the steps to get started buying crypto on Robinhood:

  • From the home screen, navigate to the cryptocurrency section.
  • Here, you will find the order window on the right side of the screen. Enter the amount you want to buy in the appropriate field and click Review.
  • To complete your order, select Confirm.

Note that the steps listed above apply to those buying cryptocurrency from the web version of Robinhood. To purchase crypto on the mobile app, all you need to do is click on the Trade button while on the cryptocurrency section of the app. Next, you need to tap Order Types and select the buy option. Once you have selected an order type, confirm and submit your purchase by swiping up.

Notably, Robinhood supports the buying and selling of seven digital assets. They include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Bitcoin SV
  • Dogecoin

As an additional feature, Robinhood has introduced a wallet service that gives users more control over their digital assets. When it launches, the crypto wallet feature will allow users to move their crypto funds off the Robinhood platform.

Keen to distance itself from the competition, Robinhood doesn't charge its users any fees for buying or selling cryptocurrency on its platform.

Editor's Note: This article does not constitute investment advice and is not intended to invite or induce investment in any cryptocurrency. It is meant for factual and educational purposes, with respect to certain aspects of Robinhood, CashApp and Venmo, for those who might be interested. Cryptocurrency is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

This article was originally published on Feb 4, 2022 at 3:07 p.m. UTC


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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Andrey Sergeenkov

Andrey Sergeenkov is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in many cryptocurrency publications, including CoinDesk, Coinmarketcap, Cointelegraph and Hackermoon. He holds BTC and ETH.

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