How to send cryptocurrency as a gift

 A few companies are offering ways send cryptocurrency as a gift. Here's how to do it safely.

Though most Americans know about cryptocurrency, only a small percentage of them actually use it. Now it's easy to give cryptocurrency as a gift, even to recipients who may not know the difference between a hardware and software wallet or may not have a cryptocurrency exchange account. 

You don't even have to give a whole bitcoin (which currently costs around $48,000): You can send fractions of your preferred cryptocurrency, starting at less than $1. 

While there are many different ways to give cryptocurrency, we'll focus here on the big, popular players that have made it simple and secure -- even if you or your recipient have never dabbled in digital money before.

Cryptocurrency made simple

An increasing number of mainstream financial apps, including PayPal and Venmo, have already made it relatively easy to buy cryptocurrency -- though some charge higher fees than crypto-focused apps and exchanges. And not all of them make it easy to send cryptocurrency as a gift, especially to people who don't already have accounts. 

In March, Cash App debuted a new feature that made it possible for users to send bitcoin to anyone with a phone number or email address.

 Coinbase later unveiled a similar feature, making it easy for account holders to send bitcoin, ether and several other cryptocurrencies to anyone with an email address -- regardless of whether they already had a Coinbase account. 

There are other ways to give cryptocurrency as a gift without using a centralized exchange and financial app. Those will require more technical know-how. 

And regardless of how you give the gift, it's worthwhile to provide your recipient with a disclaimer: The world of cryptocurrency can be a wild place where scams and misinformation are common.

How to send cryptocurrency on Coinbase. To send cryptocurrency as a gift, you'll need a Coinbase account and can access the gift feature on the app and website. 

To get started, navigate to the left side of the screen and select Send a Gift.

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