Robinhood to Go Global With ‘Crypto-First’ Approach

Sebastian Sinclair
Sebastian Sinclair February 11, 2022
Updated 2022/02/11 at 2:13 PM
3 Min Read
  • Robinhood’s chief brokerage officer said crypto would faciliate the “easiest” means to go global
  • The executive also sided against “meme stocks,” labeling such securities as “probably a fad”

Stock trading platform Robinhood is looking to expand internationally with a “crypto-first” approach, according to the company’s chief brokerage officer Steve Quirk.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Quirk said Robinhood was looking to broaden its brand offshore and that crypto would gain the most amount of traction to provide for the company’s expansion.

“From a regulatory standpoint and all the other facets that come into it, it’s probably the easiest way to go global,” said Quirk.

The executive also offered his stance on the 2021 “meme stock phenomenon” labeling it as a probable “fad.”

“The only thing I would say is I’ll just look at customer behaviors and tell you that those aren’t even on the top handful of names that are being traded anymore.”

Its decision to move away from meme stocks comes as no surprise.

Back in 2021, Robinhood’s users accused the brokerage of suspending the trading of GameStop stock and other “meme stock” securities, spurred on by buying fervor from retail traders aimed at Wall Street betting against failing companies hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crypto trading is offered through its subsidiary Robinhood Crypto, LLC. The platform currently lists seven assets including bitcoin, ether, ether classic, litecoin, dogecoin, bitcoin cash and bitcoin SV. Last month, the platform released a Beta version of its digital asset wallet, known as WenWallets, to 1,000 select customers. The company is hoping to extend that number to 10,000 by March.

Laws and regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control restrict foreign users from using the platform outside US borders. A planned expansion with crypto front and center could help shore up last year’s poor earnings and lift the company’s share value.

In late January, Robinhood shares (HOOD) fell 15% in after-hours trading to a low of $9.77 following an unfavorable earnings report with a reported net loss for Q4 in the hundreds of millions. Its share price has recovered from its Jan. 28 lows and is up 34% to around $13.52.

In July, the brokerage priced its initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange at $38 per share with a company valuation of $32 billion.

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