Renowned rapper and producer Jay Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation, founded in 2008, has invested in Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading platform.
Arrive, a subsidiary of Roc Nation, stated in an official announcement that it has invested in Robinhood because of its vision to improve the accessibility of financial markets. Arrive’s statement emphasized the importance of Robinhood’s cryptocurrency venture, adding: “Robinhood Crypto (…) will bring commission-free trading of Bitcoin and Ether to the Robinhood platform.”
Neil Sirni, the president of Arrive, wrote:
We believe in Baiju and Vlad’s mission to make the financial markets more accessible and cost efficient for customers of all size. Robinhood will have our support as they execute the long-term vision of their company.
According to Robinhood, over a million users have applied to join the waiting list of Robinhood Crypto, a platform that enables anyone to trade stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum simultaneously, using the same application.
The entrance of Robinhood into the cryptocurrency market is highly anticipated by the global cryptocurrency community because the majority of Robinhood’s customer base is from the traditional financial markets and trade stocks, ETFs, and commodities on a daily basis. The launch of Robinhood Crypto is expected to introduce many millions of existing users of the Robinhood platform to a relatively new asset class in cryptocurrencies.
A large portion of the crypto community is also interested in Robinhood’s potential to evolve into the first real competitor to Coinbase, the juggernaut that has become one of the largest companies in the sector along with Bitmain and Binance.
Although the launch of Robinhood Crypto is highly anticipated, Arrive’s statement revealed that Robinhood has only “over three million” users and is valued at US$1.3 billion. Existing companies in the cryptocurrency sector such as Coinbase and Binance have significantly larger user bases and market valuations. Hence, the impact of Robinhood’s entrance into the cryptocurrency market could be overblown.
In contrast, Coinbase has well over 10 million users, and it surpassed the 10 million user mark in November 2017. In just six months, Binance has acquired over 6 million users, adding 1 million users per month. Given that both Binance and Coinbase have at least three million more users than Robinhood, the launch of Robinhood Crypto is likely overhyped.
More importantly, although Robinhood Crypto has added over 1 million users to its waiting list, it is possible that existing customers of Coinbase and Binance have applied to Robinhood Crypto to utilize various cryptocurrency trading platforms.
Multi-million dollar investments in the cryptocurrency world by high-profile investors are beneficial for every party in the sector, including businesses and customers, because businesses can have more capital to maintain their operations and customers can benefit from competition in the sector.
Jay-Z image via Getty Images