A few months ago, our resident writer Alex Wickery wrote about how Robinhood is giving Coinbase a run for its money by introducing trading on its platform. Since a soft launch in February, Robinhood crypto is now available in 10 states namely:
- New Mexico
I finally managed to get my hands on the crypto trading feature within the app after putting myself on the invite list around late January, and it has been Great!
Instant transactions, no transaction fees and a very low minimum transaction requirement make it the best app to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is also possible to day trade, and a knowledgeable technical trader can easily exploit the rapid volatility in the crypto market. And there is a lot more. I am here to break down all the above good points of the app, and also a few of the negatives which for now make the other platforms like Coinbase a necessity.
THE USER INTERFACE
The homepage of the app is the same for trading both stocks and crypto. This makes it easier for users who want a diverse portfolio to hedge their risk against the volatility in the marketplace. You search for cryptos just as you would search for a stock, by typing in its name, and then you are led to the crypto side of Robinhood.
The UI for a specific cryptocurrency is different than that for a stock. It is more crisp and dynamic, almost futurist as the picture below shows. Almost as if to show that it is a new technology still in its infancy. At least, that is my interpretation for the way the app is designed. The colors stay constant through, not changing as the stock UI does when its trading hours. Overall, I love the design.
The best part about this new feature are the Cryptocurrency Live Chats. These are admin moderated conversation between every Robinhood crypto user, and could be used for meaningful insight generation on the direction of each Crypto, if used right. For some reason the chat feature was down when I went to take this picture, at least for me. I’m sure it will be back soon.
A common problem with Robinhood has been its lack of charts, and this has followed it to the cryptos as well. The only chart available is a simple line graph. But, it’s no worry as the user can easily use another website to chart out a coin before making the transaction on Robinhood
Crypto Buying Process Has Never Been So Simple
Purchasing a cryptocurrency on Robinhood is pretty similar to buying a stock. The only difference is that there is a warning when you purchase your first coin as to the volatility in the market. They only support market and limit orders, though I am hoping they increase the order types in the future.
The lack of transaction fees makes the minimum transaction size much much lower than any other platform. It is now possible to purchase $0.1 worth of Bitcoin and $0.7 worth of Ethereum. According to the ToC it should be $0.01 for Ethereum as well, but when I tested it out it said the minimum was $0.7, perhaps there is a glitch. This makes crypto trading profitable for everyone. I don’t know about you, but those transactions fees have sometimes wiped out all my gains on trading cryptocurrencies. So this is a welcome respite.
And as I said previously, it is now easier to day trade Cryptocurrencies and make a quick buck. This is really hard with Coinbase, and I still have not figured it out as they have a three day processing time before you can trade. While the other platforms don’t allow conversion to USD from a crypto making it impossible to day trade. But now chartists can go crazy getting in and out of cryptos rapidly exploiting the volatility.
Availability of Coins and Coin Transfers
Right now Robinhood has restricted its available coins to just Ethereum and Bitcoin. But it is looking to increase the number of coins in the future, providing only tracking data for now. This is to ensure that the platform is secure and there are no problems. The coins are stored both physically and digitally with the highest level of security (so they say).
To further ensure that the launch of cryptos is secure, Robinhood does not allow transfers of coins both into and out of its platform. This is to ensure that no illegal activity takes place within the platform. They are hoping to launch coin transfers soon, and we can’t wait for it to happen.
What Happens to Coinbase?
Robinhood is definitely giving Coinbase a run for its money, but as long as coin transfers are not possible on Robinhood, there will be a place for Coinbase. Robinhood is also more restricted, as a user requires an SSN to use it which is not the case for Coinbase.
But Coinbase does have a problem, as Robinhood is bound to replace it in the future. The company must innovate, and find a better niche to target, as the lack of transactions fees within Robinhood makes Coinbase useless. Though, this does bring up the question of how Robinhood hopes to profit off Crypto’s, but that is another article all together.
Robinhood crypto is a godsend to the cryptocurrency marketplace, and is bound to renew interest in the digital currency. As the company looks to expand, recently announcing their interest in entering Australia, Robinhood Crypto will just continue to grow leading to bigger interest in the cryptocurrency market. The happy days are here again, hopefully.
If you join Robinhood with this referral link, click here, (http://share.robinhood.com/andrewl365) we will both get a free stock.
Watch out for major competitor exchanges (both in the crypto market and equity market) and how they’ll react to Robinhood’s entrance. It’s going to be fun to watch.