- Robinhood Exchange Key Information
- User Interface and Mobile App
- Trading Options and Availability
- Security: Is Robinhood Crypto Safe?
- Robinhood Fees, Trading Limits, Approval Wait Times
- Customer Service Experience
- Final Thoughts: Is Robinhood Crypto Worth Your Time?
Robinhood gained rapid traction and popularity due to its buttery smooth interface and fee-free trading features. The company was founded on the principles of democratizing investing for the masses but has since garnered a somewhat controversial public opinion during the “meme stock” era, where the trading for stocks like $GME and $AMC were halted, largely in the favor of large investment firms rather.
However, Robinhood has maintained its posterity as a user-friendly investment app, and is a popular destination for many beginners and intermediates.
So, how does Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading feature stack up? Let’s explore.
Robinhood Exchange Key Information
|Project Type||Cryptocurrency Exchange (Custodial)|
|Beginner Friendly||Yes, very.|
|Company Location||Menlo Park, San Francisco, California|
|Launch||2014, Crypto Trading in 2018|
|Site + Promo||$2.50 – $225 in free stock when signing up.|
User Interface and Mobile App
When compared to most exchanges, the trading interface on Robinhood Crypto is fairly basic. For those that are new to cryptocurrency, this might be considered a positive. For traders who want to use more advanced interfaces (i.e. candlesticks, real-time order books, etc.), Robinhood is not likely to be the best option for you. However, the fact that this exchange offers access to fiat trading makes it an enticing option.
Robinhood Crypto doesn’t have its own dedicated app. Instead, you’ll have to download the ordinary Robinhood app for iOS or Android. The cool thing about this app is that you can also use it to invest in other markets (i.e. stocks and ETFs). For many people, Robinhood provides a more convenient option than having to use multiple platforms to manage various investments, assets, etc.
Mobile app reviews are quite positive overall. On Google Play, Robinhood has 4.6 stars with 80,595 reviews. On iTunes, it has 4.8 stars with over 628,200 reviews. It’s also ranked as the 14th most popular app in the Finance category on iTunes.
Trading Options and Availability
Available cryptocurrencies on Robinhood include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Litecoin (LTC).
Compared to most crypto exchanges, the number of coins available is quite limited. Although not currently available for trading on the exchange, Robinhood also supports real-time market data for ten additional cryptos. These include Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Dash (DASH), Lisk (LSK), Monero (XMR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGO (OMG), Qtum (QTUM), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM) and Zcash (ZEC). It’s possible that these might be added to the list of tradeable cryptos on Robinhood Crypto at some point in the future.
One of the biggest limitations of current trading options is a lack of stablecoins. When trading an altcoin on another exchange and then transferring funds to Robinhood to cash out to fiat, this could present an obstacle for some traders. Essentially, if you want to convert crypto to fiat, you should be aware of how long it takes for funds to reach your Robinhood Crypto account and the potential price fluctuations in that time period.
Robinhood Crypto is only available in the United States, as of March 2019. This includes 37 states and Washington D.C. Robinhood excludes citizens of the remaining 13 states from signing up. While this can be discouraging for many users, it’s important to note that Robinhood is actively working to expand its geographic availability. It’s clear that a lot of progress has been made on this front. For instance, when the exchange first launched in 2018, it was only available in five states. You can find an up-to-date list of available states here.
Security: Is Robinhood Crypto Safe?
Compared to other services offered by this company, cryptocurrency funds aren’t as secure. For instance, Robinhood insures stocks up to $500,000 in value. Meanwhile, the company does not insure crypto funds. If someone is able to access your account and steal funds, you don’t have the ability to easily report this situation to the company and receive reimbursement.
Similar to other centralized exchanges like Coinbase, with Robinhood, you don’t actually own your coins or private keys. Many regard this as the biggest issue with Robinhood. Additionally, you are unable to transfer crypto from your account to a wallet outside of Robinhood without further verification steps.
Overall, Robinhood has never suffered from a large-scale hack across any of its services. Still, users have reported hacks of single accounts on various social media platforms. If you choose to use Robinhood Crypto, there are a few different ways that you can enhance the security of your account. For example, on the mobile app, you can enable Touch ID or Face ID. You can also add a custom PIN code or turn on two-factor authentication.
Robinhood Fees, Trading Limits, Approval Wait Times
As of March 2019, Robinhood Crypto (like other trading options with Robinhood) claims to have zero fees, commissions, or hidden charges. However, the 19-page “Robinhood Crypto User Agreement” seemingly contradicts this statement. There is a section titled, “Rebates and Pass-On of Fees” that some say could be interpreted as a way for the exchange to blend fees into the price of trades. For example, the exchange could offer higher than market average prices for certain coins. Even though this might not be the case, it’s probably a good idea to compare price points in real-time with other exchanges before trading.
Robinhood limits deposits and withdrawals to $50,000 daily. It also has waiting requirements for withdrawing funds from your account. This applies to funds that you transfer to your account as well as funds you trade on the Robinhood Crypto exchange.
Approval can take a few days (or longer) if additional documentation is needed to complete account verification. Once Robinhood Crypto approves your verification, you can link your bank account to deposit up to $1,000 instantly. It typically takes four to five days for the deposit to clear with a US bank account.
Customer Service Experience
There are several options for contacting Robinhood’s customer support team. For example, they have a dedicated Twitter account for customer questions. You can also contact them via email: [email protected]. The major complaint that most negative reviews have in common is that users receive “copy, paste” answers that don’t necessarily address the concerns of the customer.
Even with this being the case, customer support reviews appear to be mostly positive. Still, most customer reviews to date apply to other services offered by the company and aren’t specific to crypto trading. This is understandable, especially considering cryptocurrency is both a newer and more geographically limited part of Robinhood’s business model.
Final Thoughts: Is Robinhood Crypto Worth Your Time?
In terms of trading options, Robinhood still has a long way to go before it can be considered a top contender among crypto exchanges.
It’s worth noting that Robinhood doesn’t actually give you custody of the cryptocurrency you own on the platform, so you can’t send it to other wallets. However, it’s still a solid option for those simply looking to trade cryptocurrency on a very convenient user interface.
Robinhood currently has a promotion where new users can receive a free stock valued anywhere between $2.50 to $225 when they sign up.
The fact that it supports an easy way for many in the US to trade using fiat means that it will likely continue to gain traction where available. Zero fees, the established user base for other Robinhood services, and the momentum of the 2018 pre-launch all help increase the number of potential users for this exchange. However, some issues like fund ownership and limited geographic availability will likely need to be addressed in the long term.
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