- Commission-free brokerage site Robinhood is offering users a chance to trade bitcoin and ethereum with zero transaction fees.
- The feature is only available in select states, and there are already more than 1 million people on the waitlist.
- The move to trade in cryptocurrencies could place Robinhood as a key competitor to cryptocurrency trading platforms like Coinbase.
Commission-free brokerage site Robinhood, recently valued at $1.3 billion, is now offering its users the chance to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like ethereum and bitcoin, with zero transaction fees. The news was announced via a blog post.
But if you want to make a commission-free cryptocurrency trade on Robinhood, you’ll need to get in line: Since the feature was first announced in January, interest boomed. The service is currently tallying the waitlist to get access to the cryptocurrency trading feature at more than 1 million prospective customers.
Now that the cryptocurrency features are rolling out, though, that waitlist should start to gradually move up.
The commission-free aspect is a trademark of Robinhood, which has offered the same policy for stock trades over the five years it’s been in existence. Extending that policy places Robinhood in prime competition with other popular cryptocurrency trading platforms, including the $1.6 billion startup Coinbase.
One caveat, though: While you won’t pay any fees to Robinhood directly, you will likely still have to pay some kind of a fee to buy cryptocurrency — buying or selling bitcoin in any amount has historically cost as much as $37 in fees, with the money going to the “miners” who generate the bitcoin in the first place.
For now, access to commission-free bitcoin and bthereum trades on Robinhood are relegated to users living in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire, although the company has plans to expand its geographical reach in the future.
Robinhood is also introducing Robinhood Feed — a real-time chat for people interested in keeping up to date on cryptocurrencies, market fluctuations, and investing advice.
Like the trading platform, Robinhood Feed has tons of interest: On its site, the company hints that Feed is only available to a limited number of users, and that early adopters will have the chance to give direct feedback on the product.