If You Can Do Venmo, You Can Do Crypto

This article addresses how voice teachers can accept cryptocurrency for payment.

Level: Intermediate

An older man or dad checking am air conditioning unit


The crypto craze

It is not surprising that cryptocurrency (aka "crypto") has gotten a lot of attention recently. You do not have to understand the difference between Bitcoin and Dogecoin to understand that mainstream cryptocurrency has surged in 2021. If you are interested in accepting crypto in exchange for voice lessons, this article will give a brief overview on how you can do it.



How do I accept cryptocurrency for payment?

PayPal began accepting crypto in October 2020, but it only allows for certain transactions from approved retailers. Robinhood allows people to invest in crypto, but the availability of some obscure currency is limited and transfers seem to be a no-go.


If you want to start accepting crypto for your provided service (e.g. voice lessons), there is one app that works very similarly to standard payment apps like Venmo, and it is called Coinbase. I suggest that you sign up for both Coinbase (this referral link offers $10*) and its affiliated app called Coinbase Wallet. Coinbase allows for the purchase and transfer of crypto, and Coinbase Wallet allows for the transfer of crypto from one username to another--somewhat similar to Venmo. The two services are offered by the same parent company and can be tied together. According to Coinbase, these apps can be used in the US, UK, and EU markets.



How do I sign up?

To start the process, you can use the Coinbase referral mentioned previously, download the Coinbase app, or visit coinbase.com. If you sign up without a referral, as of today, you will receive $5 in Bitcoin.



Coinbase

According to Coinbase, to sign up you will need to be 18 years old, have a government-issued photo ID, a computer/smartphone, a phone number connected to a smartphone, and the latest version of your internet browser or app. Coinbase lists the following steps to create an account:

  1. Create your account

  2. Verify your email

  3. Verify your phone number

  4. Add personal information

  5. Verify your identity

  6. Link a payment method

Setting up Coinbase may seem somewhat invasive, but the experience feels similar to signing up for PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle. The only exception is the "Recovery Phrase." When you get to the step that requires you to write down and save a 12-word "Recovery Phrase," do not pass this off as unimportant.

I REPEAT, SAVE YOUR "RECOVERY PHRASE"

Write down the provided phrase--word for word and in the correct order--and put it in your filing cabinet, wallet, personal safe, or safe deposit box. You only get one chance at documenting this unique set of words, so DO NOT MESS IT UP. It can be worth thousands of dollars or more later.




Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase Wallet app, which is a "non-custodial wallet," may seem a little redundant. You can transfer crypto on the standard Coinbase app using a phone number or email address and completely ignore the Coinbase Wallet app. However, you may like the idea of transferring crypto on the Coinbase Wallet app because it allows you to send and receive crypto via a username rather than a phone number or email address.


As a voice teacher, your social media username (aka "handle") may be the same across multiple platforms. When someone sees a familiar and trusted social media handle, they feel more comfortable making a financial transaction. Your handle is part of your brand. A Coinbase Wallet username is a nice feature if you have established a trusted brand for your consumers and clients. Additionally, there is a convenient QR code creator and scanner in the Coinbase Wallet app.


If you would like more detailed information on the difference between the two apps, you can check out this Coinbase article, "What's the difference between Coinbase app and the Coinbase Wallet app?"



Keep in mind: this is a new frontier and there is a learning curve

Take time to figure out these apps. See what works for you. Just like any new app, it takes some time to get used to all of the features. Although the price/value of crypto can be volatile, it has a wide range of applications for professionals. Accepting cryptocurrency is a novelty and can be a risk, so proceed with caution. However, crypto has been around for over a decade and it does not seem to be going away any time soon. Best of luck!



Update May 25, 2021: Venmo now allows the purchase of cryptocurrencies. However, Venmo states "at this time, you cannot use crypto as a way to pay or send money on Venmo....[and] you cannot use crypto as a way to make purchases with Venmo."


This article provides a referral link to create a Coinbase account. If the reader uses this link to sign up, the author and reader both get "$10 in free Bitcoin" after the referred party "buys or sells $100 of crypto." Terms & Conditions of this program are located here. One does not have to use the referral link to create a Coinbase or Coinbase Wallet account. On the date of this publication, the author held BTC, DOGE, ADA, and SHIB cryptocurrency. The information in this article should not be interpreted as financial advice.

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