Robinhood Looks Into Crypto Trading

Free stock-trading app Robinhood is exploring virtual currency trading on its platform, according to co-founder Vlad Tenev.

“We are looking at it, a lot of customers have been interested and are requesting the feature [like this reedit user], so it’s definitely something we are taking a look at,” he said today during the Future of Fintech conference.

The five-year-old startup has been growing at an explosive rate, signing up more than 2 million customers since the launch of its free platform. Late last year, the company launched its “advanced” trading product, Robinhood Gold, for experienced investors, with a $10 monthly fee; the product has been growing its userbase at 17% month-over-month rate, according to Tenev.

However, there are many regulatory issues to consider, before the startup can jump into the crypto space. “Regulatory issues are always front and center, as we want to make sure we are doing things properly and correctly, while expanding into additional lines of business,” Tenev said. While many companies are “scared off” from adopting blockchain technologies, Tenev believes that regulators are “very aligned with consumer finance.”

“Regulation is there to make sure that customers are well taken care of, and they are open to embracing a lot of these new innovations,” he said. “There is a desire to understand and implement these innovations [in blockchain].”

But there is more to Robinhood’s roadmap; the company is looking to offer its customers a full spectrum of financial products in the next five to 10 years, Tenev said. “We will certainly look different, so any product for which you would walk into your national bank branch, we will offer also, but faster and cheaper,” he said, adding, “And where customers get the vast majority of the value. We are barely scratching the surface of what people need.”

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