Although cryptocurrencies are on very long losing streak, a rapidly expanding fintech company Robinhood Markets Inc. does not turn off a strong customers’ request to expand the list of trading crypto assets beyond the current options of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
As previously reported by Coinspeaker, the platform has added no-fee trading of the two biggest and best-known cryptocurrencies in February, soon after Bitcoin price had skyrocketed to nearly $20,000. Notably since that time, Bitcoin has lost almost 65 percent of its value and now is trading for around $6,188 according to data from CoinMarketCap.Com.
On Tuesday, the company made an official statement saying Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are going to widen the Robinhood crypto offerings. The addition of the fourth and sixth most valuable digital currencies respectively, is expected to give a second wind of life for cryptocurrency investors at this difficult time.
As part of the announcement, Robinhood also claimed it had topped 5 million users, marking yet another milestone for the firm, which achieved a $5.6 billion valuation in May at the conclusion of its $363 million Series D funding round.
The platform’s decision to add Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash is not surprising as the cryptocurrencies come with little regulatory risk, based on recent guidance from the SEC. This is not the case with other more centralized digital tokens like XRP and Ethereum, which the agency has warned are akin to securities that must be registered.
Currently, Robinhood is offering a seamless cryptocurrency trading in 17 U.S.states, including California and Texas, while it navigates licensing requirements in the rest of the country. The company’s co-founder and co-CEO Baiju Bhatt previously said that by the end of 2018 Robinhood Crypto would be able to cover the entire U.S. becoming one of the largest cryptocurrency platforms.
With the addition of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, the firm also unveiled its plans to add support for coin transfers, likely confirming reports that Robinhood is building an in-app cryptocurrency wallet. At present, users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the brokerage platform but cannot deposit, withdraw, or transfer them.
However, users both inside and outside of markets where Robinhood Crypto is currently available can continue to add the broadened list of cryptocurrencies to their portfolio watchlist, while the firm has said it will continue to expand the list of cryptoassets available for trading in the future.
Reportedly, Robinhood has recently approached federal regulators about acquiring the licenses necessary to operate as a chartered national bank, which would allow it to offer traditional banking services to its customers as well as exempt it from the patchwork of state-level regulations governing money transmitter businesses.
By now, there are no details available regarding the Robinhood progress, but other fintech startups including payment service Square have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to secure national banking charters.
While a growing number of companies offer cryptocurrency, including market leader Coinbase and Square, Robinhood’s service is distinct because the company does not charge direct commissions or trading fees.
Robinhood’s co-founder Baiju Bhatt explains that now the company is not concerned about making money on crypto. Instead, Robinhood sees it as a complement to its core stock brokerage service, which has already notched more accounts than conventional services like eTrade.