Robinhood plans to go global ‘crypto first’, says chief brokerage officer

Robinhood plans to go global ‘crypto first’, says chief brokerage officer

By Onose Enaholo - min read
Updated 26 January 2023
  • Robinhood's crypto section will be key as the trading platform seeks to venture into the global market.

  • Regulation is one factor Robinhood wants to get right as it moves to go global “crypto first,” chief brokerage officer Steve Quirk noted.

Robinhood Markets Inc is looking to go global, and the easiest route to achieving that is through crypto, the company’s chief brokerage officer Steve Quirk told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday.

In 2021, Robinhood hit household-name status, with the meme craze theme pushed forward by retail investors driving active user numbers and trading volumes. Stocks of GameStop, AMC Entertainment, Blackberry and Virgin Galactic among others skyrocketed, and the company’s retail user numbers shot up.

But a decline in the fortunes of the meme stocks, as the broader markets faced selling pressure, has meant a reduction in retail trading numbers. And according to Quirk, the meme stocks are no longer among the top traded names on the crypto broker.

Currently, Robinhood Crypto lists seven cryptocurrencies in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and meme coin Dogecoin (DOGE).

The platform is exploring other crypto assets, which the chief brokerage officer says is being done in a way that fits regulatory requirements. The platform is also looking to add other features such as wallets, he added.

We also have aspirations to take this brand global and we would do so crypto first,” he told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’.

Asked to explain what he met by “crypto first”, given the presence of Coinbase and other major crypto companies, Quirk noted:

Well, I think the path for us to go global and have the most traction is through crypto, and maybe follow that with other components of the offering.

He said that going the crypto way is the easiest avenue for the company to achieve its goal, citing regulatory aspects of the market and “other facets” of the market.

The California-based company saw its monthly active users decline over the fourth quarter, down to 17.3 million from 18.9 million in Q3. Monthly active users peaked above 21.3 million in June 2021.

The trading app is currently only available to US customers, having canceled its UK launch in 2020.