Robinhood Adds Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in Push to Expand Crypto
Robinhood, a stock-buying app popular with young investors, announced on Thursday it has added two new cryptocurrency offerings: Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The additions, which represent the fourth and sixth most valuable digital currencies respectively, come after Robinhood began offering Bitcoin and Ethereum–the two biggest and best known currencies–in February.
Currently, Robinhood is offering the cryptocurrencies in a limited number of states, including California and Texas, while it navigates licensing requirements in the rest of the country.
Robinhood’s decision to add Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash is not surprising as the currencies come with little regulatory risk, based on recent guidance from the SEC. This is not the case with other more centralized digital tokens, which the agency has warned are akin to securities that must be registered.
Robinhood says it’s service offers users the ability to track the price of other cryptocurrencies, including XRP and Monero, and that the company may offer some of these for sale in the future.
The price of Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, like other cryptocurrencies, are well off their highs from last December when the overall market went into a frenzy.
While a growing number of companies offer cryptocurrency, including market leader Coinbase and payment service Square, Robinhood’s service is distinct because the company doesn’t charge direct commissions or trading fees. As Fortune explained in June:
With a dearth of market makers in the nascent cryptocurrency industry, Square and other trading platforms like Robinhood typically buy their Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies straight from public crypto exchanges and then resell them to investors, hoping to profit on the spread, or difference, between the purchase and sale price. But that can be tricky, especially when cryptocurrency’s high volatility results in frequent price swings.
At the time, Robinhood’s co-founder told Fortune that the company is not concerned at the moment about making money on crypto. Instead, the company sees it as a complement to its core stock brokerage service, which has already notched more accounts than conventional services like eTrade.