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Robinhood Plans to Be ‘Crypto First’ in Global Expansion Push

Trading app Robinhood wants cryptocurrencies to be a central part of its business strategy, according to one of the company’s top executives.

3 min read
Robinhood app. Image: Shutterstock

Popular trading app Robinhood is turning its attention to international expansion, a strategy that will also see the San Francisco-based company shift much of its focus on cryptocurrencies, according to Steve Quirk, the company’s chief brokerage officer.

According to Quirk, the company is “doing a lot of exploration about finding compliant ways to expand [the list of supported crypto assets].”

“We also have aspirations to take this brand global and we would do so crypto first,” he told CNBC on Wednesday.

When asked to explain what he means by “crypto first,” given the presence of Coinbase and other major crypto companies in the space, Quirk said that “the path for [Robinhood] to go global and have the most traction is probably through crypto.”

 

Citing regulatory aspects of the market and “other facets,” Quirk added that stronger support for digital assets may be “the easiest way” for Robinhood to go global.

Robinhood’s ‘aggressive goals’

Robinhood was at the center of the meme stock frenzy last year as users turned to the app to pump stocks of companies like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

The company went public at a $32 billion valuation in July 202. Since then, however, and following recent struggles, it now has a market capitalization of just $11.96 billion.

Per Robinhood’s latest earnings report, the trading platform’s total number of accounts grew to 22.7 million by the end of 2021, though monthly active users fell to 17.3 million from 18.9 million in the previous quarter.

Now, at least according to Quirk, betting big on crypto seems to be the company’s best chance to improve the results.

“Robinhood has set aggressive goals to start opening its crypto platform up to customers internationally in 2022. The company believes in the immense potential of the crypto economy and sees a big opportunity in serving customers across the globe,” Robinhood said in its earnings report.

The long-anticipated rollout of crypto wallets last month is supposed to help the company to achieve that goal.

The project is still in its early stages, though, currently being available to only 1,000 customers from the top of the waitlist, and limiting daily withdrawals to 10 transactions at a maximum value of up to $2,999.

Moreover, as Jason Warnick, the CFO of Robinhood, said last month, the addition of new cryptocurrencies may take time.

According to him, following conversations with regulators who have warned they may regard certain tokens as unlicensed securities, the company is proceeding cautiously with adding new crypto assets.

Currently, Robinhood Crypto lists seven cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and meme coin Dogecoin (DOGE).

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