There are already a number of ways to gift cryptocurrencies, but today Cash App will make doing so simpler with a new feature rolling out to its peer-to-peer payments app. The app, owned by Block (the company formerly known as Square) will now allow users in the U.S. to send bitcoin, as well as traditional stocks, as gifts to other U.S. Cash App users.
While services like Stockpile and Coinbase allow users to gift stocks and cryptocurrencies, respectively, Cash App notes this is the first time such features have been offered in a peer-to-peer payments app.
The feature builds on prior functionality Cash App offered that allows users to send bitcoin to any $Cashtag on the app for free. What makes this new “gifting” feature different is that now, users can send bitcoin using their Cash App USD balance or debit card, not just their existing bitcoin balance. That means users don’t have to actually own any bitcoin — or any stock, for that matter — on the Cash App mobile app in order to send it as a gift.
To make this feature work, users will actually be sending the fiat value of the stock or the bitcoin from either their Cash App balance or a linked debit card, the company explains. While the earlier feature of sending bitcoin was accessed from the investing tab, the new feature is available both from the app’s payment tab or from a new “gift box” button on the investing tab.
The recipient will then receive the market value of the asset at the time they accept the gift. But if they’d rather not take the stock or bitcoin “gift,” they can instead choose to receive the gift in USD.
Of course, the launch arrives just in time for Cash App to capitalize on holiday gift-giving and could make for an easy last-minute gift. But the company notes users can now also choose to split bills and pay back friends by sending them stocks or bitcoin, not just cash.
More importantly, perhaps, the feature may serve as a way for existing users to encourage newcomers to investing to get started with stock ownership or bitcoin via Cash App, as opposed to a competitor’s app.
Cash App isn’t the only peer-to-peer app that has expanded into the investing or crytpo market — its top rivals, PayPal and Venmo — also both offer the ability to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies.
Plus, Venmo this year added the ability for credit card users to buy cryptocurrency with their cash back, as another means of pushing users to invest through its app. It had positioned the feature as a way for newcomers to enter the market without having to worry about the process of making cryptocurrency purchases.
Similarly, Cash App’s gifting feature could help draw in other new investors who wouldn’t have necessarily sought out bitcoin investments on their own, but were invited to do so by a friend or family member.
The new feature is launching today for Cash App users located in the U.S.