Nearly a million people have signed up for Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading platform, even though the service won’t launch until February and will be restricted to residents from a handful of states.
Robinhood just announced the service — dubbed Robinhood Crypto — on Thursday, but by Saturday afternoon more than 860,000 people had already pre-registered for early access to brokerage app’s new platform, which will allow users to trade cryptocurrencies side-by-side with stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
As with its current brokerage services, Robinhood will not charge commission for processing trades on its cryptocurrency trading platform. However, trades will still be subject to whatever fees are charged by the exchanges that integrate with the brokerage service.
The service will initially only be available to residents from five states: California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire. The firm says that it will add other states “soon,” but has yet to give a definitive time frame.
Despite this limited roll-out, users have been lining up for the service in droves. It is likely that pre-registrations will cross the million-user threshold next week.
Barring some unforeseen development, it seems certain that Robinhood Crypto will immediately become one of Coinbase’s top challengers in the US market.
Both firms have billion-dollar valuations and are wildly-popular among millennials. However, the fact that Robinhood already has millions of users on its stock trading platform could help it siphon off a significant slice of the first-time cryptocurrency investor demographic, a market that, until now, has been dominated by Coinbase.
Notably, the launch of Robinhood Crypto comes at a time when many legacy payment providers have begun giving cryptocurrency investors the cold shoulder.
As BlockExplorer reported, several debit card issuers have abruptly closed accounts belonging to bitcoin debit card providers, leaving customers in the lurch for weeks as they await refunds.
Moreover, credit card processing giants Discover and Capital one have both altered their policies in recent months to restrict or in some cases prohibit their customers from using their cards to purchase cryptocurrencies from Coinbase and other brokerage firms.