Goodbye Coinbase, Hello Robinhood?
Robinhood has just announced that they will be doing crypto trades – commission-free.
Introducing Robinhood Crypto. Invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies commission-free on the Robinhood platform, 24/7. #DontSleep. Get early access https://t.co/28TamoX4rO pic.twitter.com/MiQ9xnsoaq
— Robinhood (@RobinhoodApp) January 25, 2018
Trading starts in February. At the time of writing, their waiting list soared by 30,000 in 20 minutes. New users are lining up in the hopes that they’ll be able to trade as soon as the new platform launches without the verification delays that have plagued Gemini, Kraken and Binance.
Despite 1.5 to 4 percent fees, Coinbase has a massive advantage and they are rumored to drop a list of new coins onto their exchange. But Robinhood is a fast mover. The company launched five years ago and has attracted a stable of millennials, the main crypto-trading demographic.
Robinhood Crypto’s Key Appeal
• No withdrawal limits
• ACH transfer amount up to $1,000 instantly from your connected bank account (Gemini max: $500)
• Increase instant ACH transfer amount with a Gold membership
• Track Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Monero, Dash, Stellar, Qtum, Bitcoin Gold, OmiseGo, NEO, Lisk and Dogecoin
• Implementation of a new two-factor authentication protocol to prevent hacks
But with regulators circling around fiat-to-crypto trading, Robinhood has more heavy lifting to do. Currently they are licensed to move fiat in five states (California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire). Coinbase, with 13+ million users, is licensed in 36 states.
Robinhood, whose main business enables users to trade stocks for free on a mobile app, will put more pressure on Etrade and TD Ameritrade, both of which have taken a wait-and-see approach to cryptocurrency trading by allowing futures trading only.
The founders are steadfast in their mission to fix a broken financial system that has spawned egregious wrongdoing by banks, effectively stealing money from the poor and giving it to the rich. In a telephone interview with CNBC, co-founder Vlad Tenev reports, “We will connect to many exchanges, up to a dozen or more, over the next several months. We want to break even on this business, not to profit from it. We view this as an opportunity to expand our customer base and give our customers more access to functionality.”