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Forget the last-minute run to the mall to find a holiday gift.
Robinhood announced Thursday it's launching a crypto gifting feature, which will allow users to send crypto to friends and family via the trading app starting Dec. 22. They can choose from seven cryptocurrencies to give, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.
Users will be able to give the crypto via their cash balance account — not a crypto account — so there's no need for you to actually own any of the crypto you're giving. You can send as little as $1 worth of crypto with a personalized message directly to the recipient by sharing a link via email or text. The receiver will then have two weeks to accept their gift. If they're a Robinhood customer, they'll be directed to the app. If they're not already a Robinhood user, they'll have to sign up to claim the crypto.
Interest in cryptocurrency has boomed recently. Trading apps like Robinhood and Webull, and even payment platforms like Venmo, make buying and selling crypto as easy as clicking a few buttons. The meme coins Dogecoin and Shiba Inu skyrocketed this year, and headlines about Bitcoin hitting record highs popped up routinely. People won't stop talking about NFTs, either.
So it's no surprise cryptocurrency is top of mind, even when it comes to holiday giving. Just this week, the mobile payment app Cash App announced that you can now send stocks and Bitcoin via the app to other users in U.S. Money even has a full guide to giving cryptocurrency this holiday season.
Keep in mind that giving someone cryptocurrency comes with risks. It's an extremely volatile asset; Bitcoin lost 50% of its value between April and July of 2021, before surging to an all-time high of above $68,000 in November.
In other words, the $30 in crypto you give someone might not be worth $30 just a few days (or hours) later. Plus, the asset's future is uncertain since the government could add new regulations, and while the list of companies that accept Bitcoin as payment is growing, you still can’t make most everyday purchases with the cryptocurrency.
And don't forget about the tax implications your recipient might face. The IRS treats Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like property or other investments, which means if you make a profit selling it, you need to pay taxes.