Investors can now trade bitcoin and Ethereum for free in a handful of US states. As promised, Palo Alto, Calif-based online brokerage Robinhood Financial has rolled out commission-free trading for bitcoin and Ethereum across California, Massachusetts, Missouri and Montana, the company said on Twitter. As CCN.com previously reported, users will still be responsible for fees charged by the underlying exchanges. But you can’t beat the quick access to funds.
There may have been some kinks with the launch of Robinhood Crypto, as evidenced by Twitter followers in roll-out states who complained they still didn’t have access. Others said the app, which in addition to cryptocurrencies supports stocks, options and ETF trading, is working like a charm.
Robinhood Crypto’s expansion gives more competition to the hundreds of other bitcoin exchanges investors have to choose from, including US-based Coinbase, which is among the leading trading platforms and currently boasts more than 20 million users and more than $150 billion in trades. Coinbase’s US trading fees are between 1.5% to 4%.
Instead of generating revenue from fees, Robinhood relies on interest accrued in user accounts plus a fee- and tier-based subscription model for users who upgrade to Robinhood Gold for higher instant deposit amounts and access to borrowed funds for trading. Robinhood isn’t 100% dedicated to cryptocurrencies, as they also support stock market investing. But even before cryptocurrencies, their approach has been to cut out hefty fees associated with investing so “not just the wealthy” benefit from brokerage advice and tools, as per the website.
More States, More Altcoins
Robinhood’s Twitter followers were quick to ask when the platform would open to investors in other states such as Florida and when they will add more altcoins. But considering that in one week’s time more than 1 million investors preregistered for this moment and millions still were placed on a waiting list, Robinhood has just made the day for many US traders.
Robinhood Crypto was also expected to reach New Hampshire, but Robinhood also said the rollout would be “gradual,” adding that they plan to “release crypto trading functionality in many more states later.” They also plan to support more altcoins in time. It’s available on Android and iOS.
While traders are limited to trading BTC and ETH, they can access market data on more than a dozen altcoins. Robinhood Crypto offers features like ‘instant access” to funds via deposits or stock sales, which is a streamlined approach that traders are sure to like versus the alternative of waiting for their funds to arrive on other platforms.
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