Giving to the Needy What the Rich Won’t Touch
The mobile stock trading app Robinhood will soon open up cryptocurrency options to its users, CNBC reports.
Starting in February, users from California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire will have access to Bitcoin and Ethereum trading pairs. The move comes at a time when cryptocurrency interest in mainstream media and popular culture is at a fever pitch, and Robinhood’s founders want to attract the fledgling traders that cryptocurrencies have brought to the investing scene.
“Cryptocurrencies have become the first foray into investing and financial services to a large number of people,” Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s co-founder, told CNBC. Tenev believes that it’s now clear that Bitcoin and its cohorts are a legitimate “investing asset.”
Established in 2013, Robinhood was founded with the focus on challenging what it’s founders believed to be a stock investing model that benefited the already wealthy. They wanted to break the barriers of entry and exclusivity that defines most stock trading platforms.
It seems fitting, then, that they should adopt such a disruptive asset class as cryptocurrencies. Considering that 78% of their 3mln users are millennials, the move seems fitting as this group is especially attracted to cryptocurrency investments.
In line with the company’s mission, Robinhood will offer their cryptocurrency trading services for free. On top of this, it promises instant purchase transfers on any amount under $1,000, and there will be no purchasing or withdrawal limits either. The company will keep investor funds secure with offline cold storage, while its hot wallet reserve will be managed by a third-party wallet provider.
“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,” Tenev indicated to CNBC.
Robinhood’s cryptocurrency features will also include real-time price tracking of Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Dash, NEO, Qtum, OmiseGo, Bitcoin Gold, Lisk, and Dogecoin. The trading app plans to accommodate markets for these coins–and potentially others–in the future, as well.
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