The Robinhood mobile trading app launched zero-fee Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) trading for the first batch of the users of its Robinhood Crypto platform on Thursday, Feb. 22, as announced on the company’s blog.
Beginning Thursday, users who pre-registered for Robinhood Crypto will begin receiving emails inviting them to participate in an early access program for the platform, which allows investors to trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) side-by-side on a single platform.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm towards Robinhood Crypto and are excited to contribute to the cryptocurrency community in a meaningful way”, the company said in a statement. “With the release of Robinhood Crypto, we’re continuing our mission of making the financial system work for everyone, not just the wealthy.”
The service will initially only be available to residents of California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire, though the company intends to expand into other states as it acquires more money transfer licenses, which are granted at the state level.
Despite the limited roll-out, the creation of Robinhood Crypto promises to introduce millions of new customers to cryptocurrency trading over the long-term.
It took less than one week for the new platform to achieve 1 million pre-registrations, and the firm said that its brokerage platform already has 4 million users, who collectively have achieved more than $100 billion in transaction volume.
At launch, Robinhood Crypto supports Bitcoin and Ethereum trading, although users — including those who do not yet have access to Robinhood Crypto — can monitor and track market data for 16 cryptocurrencies, indicating that the company intends to expand it cryptoasset offerings in the future.
In keeping with its mission to “make the financial system work for everyone,” Robinhood will not charge commission on cryptocurrency trades, though prices will include trading fees charged by the underlying exchanges.
Robinhood faces competition from industry giant Coinbase, which achieved more than $1 billion in revenue last year, as well as Square Cash, which recently launched commission-free Bitcoin trading to the majority of its US customers. However, given its rapid popularity among its user-base, it would not be surprising to see Robinhood rapidly capture a sizable share of the US cryptocurrency brokerage market.
In first announcing the new offerings last month, Robinhood said the move was part of a push to bring cryptocurrencies to a wider audience of investors, using a platform which “democratizes” trading by expanding the pool of possible investors through its mobile and web-based apps.
In addition to Robinhood Crypto, the company announced the launch of Robinhood Feed, a social media-type platform which will enable investors to discuss different cryptocurrencies, news surrounding the space and the markets in real-time.
The Feed platform is currently only available to a limited number of people, according to the announcement.