Robinhood's crypto COO on retail 'ebbs and flows,' NFTs, and new coin listings

Episode 67 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Christine Brown, COO at Robinhood Crypto.

Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on AppleSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected]

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors BakktKraken and Exodus

Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information

About Kraken
Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

About Exodus
Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.

 
Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
 
Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.

advertisement


Robinhood was hit by a slowdown in its crypto business during the third quarter, but the business unit's chief operating officer, Christine Brown, is optimistic. 

On this episode of The Scoop, Brown told host Frank Chaparro that "business is good" at the brokerage company. 

"More than 60 percent of Robinhood funded accounts traded crypto in Q2, and now everyone, everyone listening should know that retail is very cyclical," she said, foreshadowing the firm's earnings drop on Tuesday. "There's ebbs and flows."

Robinhood reported a decline in crypto activity from its levels in the previous quarter, "leading to considerably fewer new funded accounts."

Yet Robinhood hasn't moved as fast on launching new products and listing new coins, allowing rivals like Coinbase to take advantage of hype cycles around cryptocurrencies like Solana and Shiba Inu. And Robinhood's long-asked-for crypto wallet, announced in September, may not launch until next year. 

"We are actively rolling out the alpha and we have a small group of customers, about five to 10 people, who are going to be actively working with us through the last pieces of the customer experience," Brown said.

As for new listings, Brown said the firm is taking a "safety-first approach," indicating the firm won't add new coins anytime soon. 

"We only have seven coins on our platform. That's an incredibly curated set of assets, especially if you think of other exchanges out there where there might be hundreds," she said. "We want to make sure that what we list makes sense, that we are working with our regulators in the proper way."

Robinhood's slow and steady approach to listing new coins was further emphasized by the firm's CEO Vlad Tenev, who said during Tuesday's earnings call that "[t]he regulatory environment, in terms of new coins and lending products in crypto, is uncertain and evolving." 

He added: "We're having to carefully evaluate whether we can add new coins in a way that's safe for customers and in line with regulatory requirements."

As for NFTs, Brown said that the firm would "be remiss to not consider" launching a product akin to Coinbase's upcoming marketplace. 

"This second NFT wave that we're looking at is really focused on on digital art," she said. "But I think there are so many other uses for it as well."


© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Trending Stories

Get Your Crypto
Daily Brief

Delivered daily, straight to your inbox.

More