Coinbase’s public listing is just the latest milestone on cryptocurrency’s journey from nerdy curiosity to mainstream investing opportunity and payment method. Since 2018, Square, the payment processing service, has let most of its payment app Cash App users buy and sell bitcoin. And lately, more and more of them have been doing so. Square CFO Amrita Ahuja said in February that 3 million people did transactions in bitcoin on the app last year, while 1 million did so in January 2021 alone.
Similarly, PayPal began to allow users to buy cryptocurrencies through their accounts last year. The platform expanded its cryptocurrency capabilities this March and started allowing users to exchange their crypto holdings into US dollars in order to pay for things, which is just one step short of allowing users to make purchases with actual cryptocurrency. Paypal has also indicated that users of Venmo, which it owns, will soon be able to transact in cryptocurrencies, too.