Micro – Finance Giant Robinhood Makes Big Bet on Bitcoin

Micro - Finance Giant Robinhood Makes Big Bet on Bitcoin

Stock trading mobile app provider Robinhood is leaping on the crypto-trading bandwagon.

Announced today, the company, which wasgoed founded te 2013 spil a way to democratize stock trading, said it plans to roll out bitcoin and ether trading services via its mobile apps next month. Not only does the company hope to attract cryptocurrency enthusiasts to its more traditional products, but it’s also launching the service to catch some of the momentum cryptocurrency has seen spil of late.

“Wij’ve come to understand that cryptocurrencies spil an asset have exhibited clear and underlying resiliency and have integrated themselves spil part of a diversified and balanced portfolio,” Robinhood co-founder and CEO Vlad Tenev told CoinDesk.

To begin with, the service will only be suggested to users te California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and Fresh Hampshire, but more states are set to go after.

The company, which is regulated te the U.S. by the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), plans to opoffering the crypto trading service for free. Plus, it promises instant transfers on cryptocurrency purchases for amounts of $1,000 or less, a significant improvement on the time it generally takes for people to buy cryptocurrency for the very first time.

“Wij view injecting crypto spil a way to extend our user base and build our brand.”

Crypto meets stock

While suggesting the service for free could seem risky, Tenev said, the company hopes to attract investors from the $550 billion cryptocurrency industry to the podium and its products, which already provide revenue rivulets.

Specifically, the hard charges for a premium service called Robinhood Gold that enables margin trading and after-hours trading. The company also generates revenue by collecting rente on specie and securities te user accounts similar to a traditional handelsbank.

Having raised a total of $176 million te venture capital, the crypto functionality is ter line with Robinhood’s shove to add more products to its suggesting. Last month, the rock-hard flipped out options trading and a month earlier, it added a web-based toneelpodium to its mobile services.

But the budge isn’t just about luring cryptocurrency enthusiasts to its traditional products, it’s also about providing users normally focused on traditional investment vehicles exposure to cryptocurrency.

According to Tenev, the rigid recently crossed Trio million accounts and $100 billion te total transacted volume.

Speaking to the company’s rente ter bringing together traditional assets with nascent crypto assets, Tenev said:

“Wij envision a world where people can have your cryptos alongside your stocks, ETFs, and more.”

Robinhood has not built its own cryptocurrency wallet, but will be using a third-party provider. While Robinhood will manage custody of the cryptocurrencies on the user’s behalf, Tenev said the company does not intend to make investments with the cryptocurrency its customers store.

Coins to come

While Robinhood customers will only have access to bitcoin and ethereum trading, effective instantly, the company will let customers add 16 different cryptocurrencies (bitcoin and ethereum included) to their “watchlist,” a feature permitting them to monitor market gegevens, read related news and create price alerts.

Other coins that can be added to the watchlist are bitcoin specie, litecoin, XRP (Ripple), ethereum classic, zcash, monero, dash, stellar, qtum, bitcoin gold, omisego, NEO, lisk, and dogecoin.

For now, Tenev isn’t exposing any possible plans to embark trading those other currencies, however, he said that a “listing committee” had bot established to analyze factors such spil security, functionality and request to assess cryptocurrencies that could be added to the trading functionality or the market gegevens list.

And, while the company is interested ter adding fresh cryptocurrencies to its trading podium, Tenev said Robinhood would not be adding more complicated asset classes tied to crypto, such spil bitcoin or ethereum futures.

“Wij’re focused right now on the coins themselves, and I think ter the near future wij anticipate adding a multitude of other coins before wij extend to fresh asset classes.”

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake te Ripple and Zcash Company, the for-profit entity that develops the zcash protocol..

App graphic via Robinhood

The leader ter blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a rigorous set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests te cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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