Robinhood said its cryptocurrency service has grown rapidly in 2021, having added six million funded accounts so far this year. This milestone was achieved even as the no-fee app had restricted the cryptocurrencies trading in the last few weeks, which apparently did little to damage Robinhood’s popularity.
According to data from SimilarWeb, Robinhood’s app was downloaded more than 3 million times last month, which was a record for any broker ever. However, the startup has not revealed the total customer count since it reported 13 million users in May 2020.
Robinhood Crypto offers trading on seven virtual coins, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin.
The Silicon Valley startup, mostly used by millennials to trade stocks and cryptocurrency, said the crypto division averaged 200,000 new customers in 2020 and peaked at 401,000 in a single month.
Much of that growth has been fueled by Bitcoin’s rally as millennials have increasingly seen the opportunity in the crypto market amid growing institutional interest.
The strong number for Robinhood is surprising given that the broker upset many of its users when it temporarily suspended trading of the so-called meme stock. As a result, some of its customers threatened to jump ship to competing services.
Additionally, Robinhood’s trading app crashed many times in 2021, but the trading outages did not seem to have scared retail traders away from the commission-free broker.
Earlier on January 27, Robinhood moved to curb the wild trading activity by raising margin requirements and restricting transactions to the position closing only. Moreover, it pulled the plug on retail investors seeking to ‘instantly’ buy cryptocurrencies on its no-fee app.
The crypto restrictions were believed to be a result of frenzy buying of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency created in 2013 inspired by the popular meme of the Shiba Inu dog. The joke-based coin has seen its market value soar by more than 800% overnight after discussions on a Reddit group called SatoshiStreetBets, similar to how WallStreetBets sparked the resurgence of GameStop stock.
Behind the meteoric rise was Tesla founder, Elon Musk who tweeted a digital magazine cover featuring a dog in apparent support of Dogecoin. Followers of the world’s richest man recognized the tweet as an endorsement of the current rally in Dogecoin.