Stock Trading App Robinhood Launches Zero-Fee Cryptocurrency Trading In 5 U.S. States

  • Popularstock trading app Robinhood launched bitcoin and ethereum trading, without any fees.
  • The company also announced a social media-like platform dubbed Robinhood Feed.
  • This puts Robinhood in direct competition with industry giant Coinbase and Square's Cash app.

Popular mobile stock trading app Robinhood has formally launched its new Robinhood Crypto service, that now allows customers in five U.S. states to buy bitcoin and ethereum without paying any fees.

According to an announcement, residents of California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Missouri and Montana can now trade the top two cryptocurrencies using the app. Those who aren’t yet able to trade will be able to track those and 14 other cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Monero, NEO, and Dogecoin.

Robinhood’s has promoted the service with zero fee trading and is targeting millennials with their ‘Don’t Sleep’ advertisement. Robinhood announced its plans  and hopes to bring cryptocurrencies to a whole new audience. Robinhood’s users are investors who trade traditional products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks.

Merely four days after announcing Robinhood Crypto, the platform saw over 1 million people register to use it. This helped Robinhood reach 4 million users, up from the 3 million it had in November. Its users have already transacted over $100 billion, and saved $1 billion in commission fees.

By offering zero commission trading, the app makes stocks, ETFs, and now cryptocurrencies more accessible. The announcement reads:

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm towards Robinhood Crypto and are excited to contribute to the cryptocurrency community in a meaningful way. (…) With the release of Robinhood Crypto, we’re continuing our mission of making the financial system work for everyone, not just the wealthy.”

Robinhood Crypto

Along with Robinhood Crypto, the company also announced the launch of a new social media-like platform dubbed Robinhood Feed. This new platform allows investors to discuss different cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency-related news, and what’s going on in the markets in real-time. Robinhood Feed, according to the company’s announcement, is only available to a limited number of users for now.

The move makes Robinhood one of the major financial apps allowing users to easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as it is now competing with industry giant Coinbase, which reached over $1 billion in revenue last year, and with Square’s Cash app, which also recently launched commission-free bitcoin trading to US customers.

Bitcoin Ransomware Attack: Google Disables Baltimore Officials’ Gmail Accounts

The Baltimore City government has been under siege since May 7, as it was hit with a ransomware attack that saw hackers demand $100,000 in bitcoin and officials refuse to pay the ransom. In a new development, Google disabled officials’ Gmail accounts being used as a turnaround.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore City government created Gmail accounts to work during the ransomware attack, as the city’s servers have been disrupted to the point their baltimorecity.gov emails aren’t working.

Recently, however, emails sent to several of the newly created Gmail addresses returned messages claiming the “email account that you tried to reach is disabled.” It was found that Google has considered these business accounts that need to be paid, instead of free individual Gmail accounts.

James Bentley, a spokesperson for Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, noted Baltimore planned to purchase a business plan from Google so the accounts could be restored. The news outlet quoted him as saying:

They disabled them because they deemed them to be business accounts. Their position is these accounts are circumventing their paid service

City Council President Brandon Scott added that meanwhile his staff was appealing the suspension with Google, although he hadn’t been briefed on the problem. A spokeswoman for Baltimore’s health department claimed she was able to see received old emails, but not send or receive new ones.

Per her words, there as no notice on why the account was disabled. On its website, Google claims it’ll suspend accounts used for sending spam, distribute malware, abuse children, violate copyright, or for other illicit purposes.

As CryptoGlobe covered, Baltimore was hit with a ransomware attack earlier this month that brought its real estate industry to a halt and crippled some of its essential systems. So much so the city’s collection and transfer of property taxes and water bills have been affected.

The hackers attacked the city’s servers with a new type of ransomware known as “Robbinhood,” and are demand a 13 BTC ($102,900) ransom to stop the whole attack. They also gave the city the option to pay 3 BTC ($23,700) to decrypt a specific system.