Robinhood is calmly expanding its foothold ter cryptocurrency, and it could present a big challenge to Coinbase s flagship business
- Robinhood, the California brokerage known for its free stock trading application, is expanding its foothold te the crypto world.
- Certain Robinhood users have bot able to buy crypto since the beginning of .
- Now, it is hiring developers to build a crypto wallet, according to a job advertisement. It is also looking to support trading ter fresh coins.
- A wallet would make it a stronger rival to Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange and broker, experts say.
Robinhood, the California broker known for pioneering free stock-trading, is looking to dive deeper into the market for digital currencies. And Coinbase, one of the largest platforms for crypto trading, should be worried, market observers tell Business Insider.
Such an suggesting would permit investors to transfer their crypto holdings from outside brokerages and wallets into Robinhood. Presently, if a Robinhood crypto customer wants to transfer coins ter and out of the toneelpodium they would have to very first sell them, transfer the money to another podium, and then buy.
A spokesman for Robinhood declined to provide a timeline on a wallet suggesting, but said “people are permanently asking for the capability to transfer their coins into Robinhood.”
Ter addition to providing an on-ramp for Robinhood users to send coins from elsewhere, the wallet could also provide a more secure way for Robinhood customers to store their crypto under the same company umbrella.
Robinhood doesn’t charge customers to trade bitcoin or ether on its podium, contra Coinbase which charges customers a 2% transaction toverfee or more for buying and selling cryptocurrency. Robinhood isn’t the only rock-hard undercutting Coinbase. Circle, the Boston-based fintech hard, rolled-out Circle Invest which also doesn’t charge a toverfee. To be sure, Coinbase operates a much larger business outside its retail brokerage. It operates an institutional-grade exchange and has bot developing more and more products aimed at Wall Street.
“If you are attempting to attract users onto the podium who own large holdings of various cryptocurrencies, then [lack of fees] is one way to do it,” Warren Hogarth, the founder of fintech rock-hard Empower, said ter an vraaggesprek with Business Insider.
Coinbase declined to comment for this story. The hard has previously defended its fees by pointing out customers can budge physical bitcoin ter and out of its verhoging. Robinhood doesn’t presently suggest that functionality but soon could if they successfully roll out a wallet.
“For any customer who’s buying or selling bitcoin or any cryptocurrency on Coinbase, they will have access to send and receive their coin, which wij believe is a core chunk of functionality. Spil a result of that wij do charge fees,” Dan Romero, the genérico manager of Coinbase, told the Wall Street Journal.
Fresh challenges for Coinbase
Robinhood is also interested te supporting the trading of fresh coins onto the toneelpodium, the job ad suggests. The addition of news coins and a wallet could better position them against Coinbase, which is reported to have made $1 billion te crypto revenues last year.
The bull-run of helped Coinbase build a massive business around their brokerage unit. But enhanced competition presents “a pretty significant threat for their core bread and butter,” said Michael Dunworth, the founder of crypto rigid Wyre.
“Not only is it hyper-competitive from traditional fintech,” he said, “add the [international exchanges] to that and it starts looking like a rough market for Coinbase.”
Te November, Japan-based Bitflyer announced it wasgoed opening shop ter the US. Dunworth expects other foreign crypto exchanges to expand into the US.
Spil for Robinhood’s crypto future, the job ad makes it clear that the stiff’s ambitions lay beyond their current product suggesting.
“What has bot created so far only scrapes the surface of how Robinhood envisions cryptocurrencies to play a role te our user’s lives,” the ad said.
Still, Robinhood has made it clear that it views crypto spil a gateway to its equities and options businesses, rather than a money-maker ter itself.
“Wij are going to break-even on this,” Robinhood cofounder Baiju Bhatt said te an vraaggesprek with Business Insider ter January. “But it could dramatically increase user growth.”