Crypto currency

Robinhood’s crypto business explodes in the first quarter despite GameStop controversy

Robinhood, a popular trading app targeting millennials and other inexperienced investors, has become a major hub for cryptocurrencies, offering further evidence that digital assets are garnering mainstream appeal. 

The company reported Thursday that 9.5 million users traded digital assets on its platform during the first quarter of 2021 – a six-fold increase from the previous quarter.

Robinhood provides commission-free trading for several major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). It provides real-time market data for nearly a dozen more digital assets.

That Robinhood’s crypto business is on the rise is hardly surprising given the size and growth rate of the crypto market over the past six months. The combined value of all cryptos reaching $2 trillion in early April, having doubled in just three months.

A huge chunk of those gains was catalyzed by Bitcoin’s nearly twofold increase since January. As Bitcoin’s gains moderated, altcoins have taken over. Cryptos not named Bitcoin now account for roughly 45% of the overall market, according to CoinMarketCap data.

But 2021 hasn’t been entirely positive for Robinhood. The company was embroiled in controversy after deciding to suspend trading of GameStop and other stocks that had grown in popularity among retail traders. As a result, public opinion of the company tanked, forcing its executives to rethink their plans for a public listing.

Despite the controversy, Robinhood is moving ahead with its initial public offering, according to paperwork it filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission last month. Although the company didn’t specify when its IPO would take place, it confirmed that the offering would go ahead “after the SEC contemplates its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

Robinhood joins crypto-focused exchanges Coinbase and Kraken in reporting stellar first-quarter results. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Kraken appears poised to follow in Coinbase and Robinhood’s footsteps in pursuit of a public offering, perhaps as early as next year.