For US-based financial services companies, there are probably four cryptocurrencies that are considered relatively safe to support from a legal perspective: bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and bitcoin cash. Coinbase has helped set these standards, allowing Ethereum trading in July 2016, Litecoin trading in May 2017, and bitcoin cash trading in December 2017.
One more cryptocurrency – Ethereum Classic – could soon join the safe list, as Coinbase recently announced its intention to support ETC exchange. Zcash, which Gemini received approval for listing in May 2018, is another coin teetering on the edge of wider adoption.
Robinhood, a company that offers a commission-fee stock trading application, seems to have followed the lead of these established cryptocurrency exchanges. In late 2017 and early 2018, as popular interest in cryptocurrency exploded, Robinhood smartly added cryptocurrency price trackers to its service. Hundreds of thousands of customers flocked to the company’s website, requesting early access to Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading platform, which, at first, supported just bitcoin and Ether.
Although cryptocurrency prices have since tumbled from their December and January highs, it appears that consumer interest has not diminished all that much. If Robinhood’s latest move is any sign, maybe we could see even greater heights of speculation.
On Tuesday, Robinhood announced the expansion of its cryptocurrency offerings, adding bitcoin cash and Litecoin trading. For now, Robinhood Crypto is only available to customers in 17 states (likely due to the web of financial regulation that demands compliance). The company said that it plans to expand its cryptocurrency offerings and “add support for coin transfers.”
From an adoption and utility perspective, the way that Robinhood describes cryptocurrencies under its “Crypto Education” section suggests that these “digital currencies” remain (speculative) investments rather than, well, currencies.
Matthew is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews with a passion for law and technology. In 2016, he graduated from Georgetown University where he studied international economics and music. Matthew enjoys biking and listening to podcasts. He lives in Los Angeles and holds no value in any cryptocurrencies.
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