In a step that will likely drum up some major competition, online stock trading platform Robinhood has today launched its cryptocurrency trading functionality with absolutely zero fees charged for commission.
The platform has initially only made Bitcoin and Ethereum available to buy, sell and exchange, with the service currently limited to California, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire and Missouri. Users can also monitor and track market data for 14 other currencies on Robinhood Crypto, as well as manage their other investments.
As an American online stock trading platform, Robinhood users can buy and sell U.S. listed stocks and ETFs with $0 commission, despite competitors charging up to $10 per trade. Robinhood announced its intention to expand into cryptocurrency last month, due to increasing demand from investors to gain exposure in alternative currency.
Its next largest competitor for crypto trading, Coinbase, charges fees of between 1.5 to 4 per cent on trades in the US. Trading on Robinhood Crypto is currently only available to select users, with plans to add more states and users from the platform’s waiting list in the coming months.
Tracking is available to all investors, on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple (XRP), Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Monero, Dash, Qtum, Bitcoin Gold, OmiseGO, NEO, Lisk and Dogecoin.
Interest in Robinhood Crypto since its announcement has meant the platform has now hit 4m registered users, up from 3m in November last year. So far Robinhood has brokered well over $100m in transaction volume, which it estimates has saved investors over $1bn in commission on equity trades.
The news comes as the UK government’s Treasury Committee has launched an investigation into whether blockchain, the technology on which much of cryptocurrency is based, poses a risk to central banking.
Speaking to the Telegraph earlier today, MP Nicky Morgan, who is also the committee chair, said that the inquiry would focus on “the potential risks that digital currencies could generate for consumers, businesses, and governments, including those relating to volatility, money laundering, and cyber-crime”.