Free stock-trading app Robinhood has recently announced its modern extended feature Robinhood Crypto. Now valued at $1.3 billion, Robinhood will allow users to trade cryptocurrency in a custom, 1980s-Tron style transaction portal.
Benefits to Crypto Trading Options
By spring of 2016, there was a waiting list to use this millennial-friendly stock trading app. It is a logical succession that the Robinhood program would develop and adapt to millennial taste buds. The app was the first to cut out middleman brokers from traditional trading. Robinhood shares the same demographic as cryptocurrency investors; men ages 25–35 years old.
Is Robinhood Crypto Worth the Hype?
With this new feature, users can transfer up to $1,000 to trade popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum and 14 other crypto coins. But this update will not be available nationwide. Robinhood plans to roll out Robinhood Crypto nationally over the course of 2018. Targeted states include California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire this February.
“We hope to have it available to most consumers in the U.S. in the first half of the year. Our goal is to roll [new products] out slowly and steadily.”
— Co-Founder & CEO Baiju Bhatt
Robinhood opting to roll out the crypto exchange feature means it will initially serve a small group of users which makes the extension non-inclusive. Exclusion operates against the fundamentals of crypto and blockchain community values. If the original anti-middleman stock-trading company were serious about embracing the innovation of coin sharing, they would make the function available to all.
Crypto Public Relations
With the rise of corporations adopting blockchain technology into their “business model” for PR exposure, many are skeptical of Robinhood’s intention for leaping into fostering coin sharing. This calculated transition could very well be a ploy to pull more subscribers to Robinhood. If it was a ploy, it worked.
According to Brian Kelly, author of The Bitcoin Big Bang, 800,000 people have signed up since the announcement of the launch of Robinhood Crypto. As of today, that number has climbed over one million.
Will Robinhood be the Next Coinbase?
Surely you know the most famous international trading digital currency platform. It’s understandable if you’re not entirely sold on Robinhood rivaling Coinbase. Yes, no-fee trading is attractive yet Coinbase, which has 3% transaction fees, is available in 32 countries and has exchanged $50 billion in digital currency while servicing more than 10 million customers.
For Robinhood to be a notable competitor, they would have to broaden their horizons by offering an inclusive experience. Much remains to be seen from Robinhood before Coinbase comparisons seem legitimate.
Changes in Coinbase
The irony of the Robinhood vs. Coinbase comparisons is Coinbase’s recent announcement on opening the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in the U.S. After receiving $75 million in investments from the New York Stock Exchange and military bank USAA, Coinbase is compromising with the U.S government on regulation. Will Robinhood do the same?
Changes and the Future
It is only January, and two major companies have pushed headlines for embracing blockchain technology. First, Kodak with KODAKCoin, used to fund KodakOne technology that encrypts and protects licensed photos. And now, Robinhood Crypto. With the successful exposure both groups had after associating with crypto, this is just the beginning of publicly traded companies adopting digital currency and hopping on the blockchain bandwagon.
The interest in cryptocurrency is undeniable. Some are calling it a bubble, others cannot find the value in digital currency, but internationally, this form of trading is becoming disruptive.