Most of the major crypto exchanges in this space have a user base that is mostly limited to the crypto community. Robinhood, however, has been one of the most popular trading platforms to be used by the mobile generation, introducing a cryptocurrency to the millions of new traders.
The application uses a friendly “gamified” interface that offers commission-free trades of stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies with one-push investing, referral bonuses, and push notifications. This made the silicon-valley based app popular among the younger generation.
The platform was available in the United States, and there were talks of an expansion in the UK since November.
But, according to a CNBC report on July 21, Robinhood announced that it had stopped its plans for global expansion, and is currently focusing on developing its home market in the near future.
A company’s spokesperson said:
“A lot has changed in the world over the past few months, and we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone our U.K. launch indefinitely. As a company, we are refocusing our efforts on strengthening our core business in the U.S.”
Without any clear explanation behind the company’s decision, nor a timeline as to when it will be available in the UK, the spokesperson added:
“Although our global expansion plans are on hold for now, we’re committed to democratising finance for more people around the world. We look forward to the day when we can bring this mission to the U.K.”
A crypto commentator posted screenshots of a notice sent to UK users who had signed up for the waitlist back in November.
According to the notice, the company will be removing its UK website and also close the waitlist. The company will also delete any user email, adding that the launch will be postponed.
Robinhood for the Millenials
The rumors of a UK expansion surfaced in early 2019 and was finally confirmed in August. Back then, the platform secured regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority to operate in the UK.
Robinhood was highly anticipated in the UK, with thousands of users waiting for its launch. The platform’s popularity has skyrocketed amidst global lockdown, and it has been perceived almost as addictive as a mobile game.
Columnist Matt Levine of Bloomberg had compared the trading application with mobile games, noting:
“You can analyze Robinhood as a mobile gaming company. It makes an app that you can download to your phone, and then you can play a game on the app. As with many mobile games, there are in-app purchases, and you can end up spending a lot of money on the Robinhood game. The game is, of course, a stock-trading game. The purchases are stocks.”
The app focused around attracting millennials, saw 3 million new users in Q1 of 2020. The platform even went viral on Tik Tok after Robinhood users started posting videos advertising Dogecoin, a popular meme-coin.
This even saw Dogecoin price temporarily surge more than 100% in 48 hours. While this was a common pump and dump event, users were also intrigued by the volatility of the crypto space, encouraging many to research other undervalued assets.