Baiju Bhatt, the Co-Founder of zero-trading fee platform Robinhood, appeared on TechCrunch Disrupt earlier today to speak about taking the company public. Moreover, he also stated that they were looking for a Chief Financial Officer for the company, implying future growth and expansion.
He was asked about going public by the interviewer and stated that it is “very much in the future” for the exchange. The platform, which has investments from prominent VC Tim Draper and other notable players in the space, was valued at $6 billion during its last funding round. He stated:
“It’s something that we think is very much in the future for Robinhood, being a public company, I think, aligns very closely with our mission as well. And it’s definitely on the horizon. I think, not in the immediate term, but something we’re thinking about.”
Robinhood offers an easy on-ramp for newcomers to cryptocurrencies, as it does not take any fees on the transactions conducted on the platform. When asked about whether he does not feel a “sense of regret” for opening cryptocurrency up to the mainstream, Bhatt stated:
“We opened up Robinhood Crypto to customers in the US because we thought that this was a big change that is coming to the financial system and we wanted to make sure that if this was something that customers were going to do that yesterday’s business model didn’t follow tomorrow’s financial system… I think we still believe that this is something that’s going to matter long term. So we feel strong about about offering it.”
Various exchange platforms are said to take money to allow for the listing of coins on their platforms. This reportedly moves into the millions of dollars for a listing, as it is usually followed by a pump in the price of the coin. Bhatt stated on this:
“We do not get paid. We do not pay anyone to listen to coins. We have a listing committee and the listing procedure which I believe is actually available publicly. I don’t want to mis-paraphrase it so I’ll probably leave it at that.”
On how Robinhood plans to monetize cryptocurrencies at scale, Bhatt spoke about how their goal is to offer it sustainably. He stated that they want to be able to break even and cover the cost of running the business in general. He stated:
“We believe that if we build more and more services that are awesome for our customers will be able to continue to make money off of the ways that we do so.”
Margin trading has recently become popular among the cryptocurrency space, where traders can borrow funds from brokers to trade Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. This forms the collateral for the loan, which is then paid back after selling. While exchanges have already begun offering margin trades, Robinhood still does not. When asked about this, Bhatt stated:
“I don’t think we have any plans to bring margin trading in crypto, but we’ve seen people that come in because they’re interested in crypto substantial number of those people say hey, maybe I’m also interested in investing equity markets.”
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