Popular mobile phone app Robinhood is offering the ability to trade cryptocurrencies in addition to stocks on US exchanges. The app initially set out to bring investments in public limited companies to a wider demographic without the limitation of fees and minimum balances. The app uniquely collects interest on balances similar to a bank instead of taking a commission on trades. It offers a variety of features, a few of which are security measures and real-time market data.
Robinhood Crypto was launched in February, supporting real-time market data for 16 cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the only two currently trading on the application, with a view to supporting more. A spokesman did say to “keep in mind that supporting market data for individual cryptocurrencies does not necessarily mean we plan to add buying and selling”.
Access is limited to customers in Montana, California, Missouri, Massachusetts and New Hampshire with more states available later. The company hopes to release the application globally, with plans initially for Australia. By bringing all investments together in one application which is more accessible, this could encourage integrity in the cryptocurrency market. Having a familiar application could make the transition to larger exchanges less daunting and also providing a streamlined solution for round the clock trades for those with experience.
Robinhood Crypto will not support ICOs at this time, which could contribute to safer investments for newer traders, mitigating the need for thorough research.
Features and security
Buy or sell orders can start at any amount above 0.00001 BTC and 0.001 ETH. Traders have several order options with additional functionality. Market orders can be protected from price moves with order collars (up to 1% for buys, 5% for sells). Limit orders can be placed in USD or fractional amounts.
Coins traded on the platform will be stored in a combination of cold or hot (offline or online) storage to provide enhanced security. As of now, Robinhood does not support withdrawing or depositing crypto to external wallets as a preventive measure against illegal activities. There is a view to allowing withdrawals in the near future.
Various steps have been taken by the company to provide enhanced security. Rotation of security staff, restricted access, and regular third-party security tests will look to ensure user investments stay safe.
Security is a growing concern in the crypto market with the limited availability of qualified staff. In recent months, the industry has seen some large-scale hacks to exchanges, such as the recent ones of Coincheck and Coinsecure. Exchanges’ inabilities to store clients investments securely could have a detrimental effect on the market.