Roughly 9.5 million people traded cryptocurrency on the Robinhood app in the first quarter of 2021, the company announced in a new blog post on Thursday. The number is significantly higher than the last quarter of 2020, when just 1.7 million people traded cryptocurrencies on Robinhood, according to the company.
The news from Robinhood comes as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether become more and more mainstream, even as the risks remain significant. Companies like PayPal are moving into the crypto trading arena and it’s becoming much easier for the average consumer to convert fiat currencies into digital Monopoly money.
But while PayPal has a relatively limited number of imaginary currencies on offer, Robinhood has included a wider selection, including the joke currency Dogecoin—a memecoin that billionaire Elon Musk has tried to pump several times to very little movement.
From Robinhood’s blog post:
Robinhood Crypto currently offers seven tradeable coins: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. They vary slightly, but they’re united by the same general philosophy that underpins all cryptocurrency.
That philosophy? Getting rich without having to work. Or, if Robinhood is to be beleived, a “mission to take power away from institutions and return it to the people.”
Robinhood’s crypto numbers are surely impressive, but they’re still relatively modest when compared with other technologies. For example, Pew released a new study about social media this week showing that 81% of U.S. adults use YouTube, 69% use Facebook, and 40% use Instagram. Bitcoin boosters would kill for that kind of uptake.
Cryptocurrencies will certainly continue to grow in 2021, but the long-term outlook is still very much up the air, especially as central banks around the world contemplate creating their own digital currencies. Does bitcoin have a future when the people running major world economies get serious about digital money? Only time will tell. But invest at your own risk.