Robinhood Brings Commission-Free Crypto Trading to Michigan

Siamak Masnavi
  • Robinhood's crypto trading service, "Robinhood Crypto", available via a mobile app, can now be used by customers in Michigan. 
  • This means that Robinhood Crypto is now available to residents of the following U.S. States: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Florida.
  • Using Robinhood Crypto, it is possible to buy/sell/hold BTC and ETH, and get real-time market data for BCH, BTG, DASH, DOGE, ETC, LSK, LTC, XMR, NEO, OMG, QTUM, XRP, XLM, and ZEC.
  • Robin's mobile trading app also lets you invest commission-free in (U.S.) stocks, options, and ETFs. 

The FinTech startup Robinhood's very popular "Robinhood Crypto" service, which allows customers to do commission-free trading of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) via a simple and elegant mobile app, has now expanded to Michigan.

This service, which was launched on 22 February 2018, initially was only available to customers in the U.S. states of California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire, with the promise that it would come to more states as the company managed to obtain regulatory approval. Since then, six more states have been added: Colorado (on April 20th), Mississippi (April 26th), Wisconsin (May 3rd), New Mexico (May 3rd), Florida (May 8th), and finally, the most recent addition, Michigan (May 9th).

Robinhood's mobile app is available for both Android and iPhone. It allows commission-free trading of U.S. stocks, options, ETFs, as well as cryptocurrencies, all in one app. Currently, it is possible to only buy, hold, or sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but the plan is to support trading of other popular cryptocurrencies later. In addition to real-time market data for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), you can get market data for fourteen other cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Dash (DASH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Lisk (LSK), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGO (OMG), Qtum (QTUM), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Zcash (ZEC)." As for historical price data, the app allows the user to see how prices have fluctuated over the past 24 hours, one week, one month, one year, and five years.

Although Robinhood's large user base, commission-free crypto trading, and beautifully-designed mobile app help it to be a very strong competitor to Coinbase in the United States, especially amongst millennials, Robinhood is not a direct competitor since it has two serious limitations.

First, it does not allow you to withdraw the coins they are holding for you, i.e. you can only sell them for fiat. However, Robinhood plans to support this feature "in the near future."

Second, you cannot deposit into your Robinhood crypto wallet existing coins that you may have on other wallets. This is what the FAQ section of the Robinhood Help Center has to say on this matter:

We currently don’t allow transfers of your existing cryptocurrency assets into your Robinhood Crypto account. Our primary concern is to prevent money from illegal activity being used for transactions on Robinhood Crypto. We’ll be sure to update you if and when this type of transfer becomes available.

Robinhood Help Center

In United States, amongst the few companies that offer commission-free crypto trading, Robinhood's closest and strongest competitor is the Goldman-backed startup Circle Internet Financial with its "Circle Invest" app, which got launched on 13 March 2018, is available in 46 states instead of 11, and which offers trading in five additional cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC), and the most recently added, Monero (XMR).

Luxury Cars and $15 Million in Crypto Seized in Chinese Arbitrage Scam Bust

Michael LaVere
  • Chinese authorities seized $15M in crypto and several supercars following scam ring bust.
  • The group was allegedly operating an arbitrage scam that promised users fake Huobi Tokens. 

Chinese authorities have reportedly seized more than $15 million in crypto-assets and $2 million in supercars after busting up an arbitrage scam selling counterfeit tokens. 

According to a report by China’s Ministry of Public Security, police in the city of Wenzhou arrested 10 individuals connected to operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. The report claims the arbitrage group was scamming victims using blockchain smart contracts to generate fake cryptocurrencies. 

Following the bust, authorities seized bitcoin, ether, and tether worth over 100 million yuan ($15 million). The report also claims police seized several supercars, including a Ferrari and a McLaren valued at more than $2 million, in addition to the luxury villa in which the scammers were staying. 

The arrested individuals had reportedly operated a smart contract scheme since 2019, which advertised a blockchain product that claimed to generate Huobi’s native token HT. Unsuspecting consumers were promised the tokens would generate arbitrage opportunities worth a return of up to 8%. 

One victim, identified as Li in the report, first notified police after joining a Telegram group belonging to the scam artists. 

Li told authorities, 

Simply put, you send one unit of ETH to a designated address, you will receive 60 HT. And then you can sell it to gain the difference.

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