Robinhood crypto wallet has a waitlist of 1.6 million people: Robinhood Crypto COO:
Crypto ceo, christine brown here, Music, excellent, christine thanks for being here thanks for having me delighted to have you theres, so much news to discuss. Uh lets just start off, i mean we really want to talk crypto today, but i have to mention the news of the day yesterday. You guys had an email address breach now that was the larger company. This was not uh specific to the crypto business and i know youve told me you really cant comment much on this, but i i want to ask it this way. You know you guys uh recently announced – and this was big news in the crypto space. A wallet is coming and when you launch a wallet there is so much that comes into it with security and all those concerns. So you look at an event like yesterday i mean how does that uh change your thinking on security and all the different measures you have to take, as you guys launch a true crypto wallet yeah, and i think we actually announced the crypto wallet when we chatted. Last time at mainnet um, so its been a few weeks and we are currently at a waitlist of 1.6 million users who are waiting for this product super exciting is that a number youve shared before we have not shared that number with before? Okay were breaking a little news: 1.6 million people, yes on the robin hood, crypto wallet, waitlist, yes, um and we are actively in our alpha.
So we do have users who we are onboarding, who are actually getting access to this product today, right now, um, but were moving slowly, precisely because we are a safety first company. We want to build features that have the right security in mind with with our users and and what theyre going to be doing. And i you know, uh transfers on change – are non recoverable right. Its a lot different than the traditional financial system and for a lot of our users, its going to be the first time that theyre actually transacting on chain. So we want to make sure that all of the feature functionality makes sense for that specific user group. So things that were doing were building mfa in app. So we know its you, when youre, actually initiating a transfer were adding checks on transactions to kind of see what wallet theyre going to make sure that theyre, safe or low risk and thats. One of the reasons why its going to take us a little bit longer to roll this out were still on track for a q1 general availability, late q1 um, but thats really whats been going on behind the scenes over the last few months. Yeah. I think there are people in crypto saying when wallet when wallet, it sounds like uh, with all those security rails and safeguards thats. What youre working on precisely you know when we talk about security, and especially you know, user information, all that stuff people in crypto often say crypto fixes this, and especially when it comes to logging.
In with something i mean just recently, you know ens, which is the ethereum name service, launched and did near drop just yesterday, a lot of people now say well yet another way that crypto could change the whole internet is, if you can just log into things on Chain, you know whether its metamask or some other wallet, maybe its a robinhood crypto wallet whatever it is. A lot of people say that eventually this could prove to be the killer. App forget logging in with your email and password. So i guess id ask, you, does crypto fix this? You know it could um. I think that were still in a discovery phase where there is a lot of innovation, theres a lot of ideas out there when we think about what were building at robinhood and what were going to adopt. We do have to think about the broad retail market and what our customers are actually looking for and what theyre familiar with, and what theyre going to be able to use. So it could tbd of whether or not were going to be the people that that launched. That you know you talk about the the retail investor market and were here with our friends at yahoo finance, so we really want to have a focus on investing and thats for everyone lets drill down with robinhood i mean you know. We really first associate robinhood with retail traders, which of course, jargon for regular folks right and there has been a retail trader revolution during the pandemic.
I dont think thats an overstatement, a generational change for sure i mean it started, arguably with gamestop, but it was really everything i should say game. Stonk, uh amc, you know best buy blockbuster. There were these meme stocks and all of our chats today have a little title. Our title with you christine is meme stocks to meme coins. So you guys have really uh first made your name on those stocks. Then you launch your crypto services and you offer a small number of coins, and that includes dogecoin, which im constantly being asked about. I mean, i think, its something that regular folks, you know, normies non crypto people have a lot of questions about dogecoin wasnt it created as a joke and its still a joke, and yet it trades like crazy and some days it shoots up. I mean what is robin hoods view toward uh, getting a significant percentage of its revenue from a joke or meme coin, like dogecoin yeah. Before i answer that specific question, i want to pull it up one level around this idea of meme investing um. I think that whenever we hear people talking about this theres, this undercurrent that you know, retail investors are not smart enough to make the right decisions when it comes to investing that theyre. Choosing these things just as gamblers – and you know i think, thats kind of insulting um. Honestly, our ceo vlad wrote an op ed for the wall street journal a few months ago that i would strongly co sign and say you know, retail investors actually have a wealth of information thats available to them.
They are long term in their outlook and we really shouldnt be criticizing them for what stocks theyre picking specifically right. So the idea of meme investing, i think, needs a little bit of an attitude adjustment um when it comes to coins. You know doge specifically, you mentioned um weve actually had dojo on our platform since 2018., so its not something thats. Just like oh theres, this big pop lets add it lets get this retail involvement um. What i specifically like about this, the the kind of doge cycle that we saw, was that it offers a way for people to get involved. Thats not super intimidating. So when you drive to work, you could be in the car that you like, and you could say, im going to buy stock in this company or you work with a computer and youre like this computers, great theyre, constantly innovating im going to invest um or you Go home and you brush your teeth right. The toothpaste that you use its working great youve got a pearly white smile. There you go um and so you say: im going to buy stock um with cryptocurrencies its a lot less accessible from a knowledge perspective. From being able to say what is this thing to really understanding it, people think i need to be a computer scientist. I need to be a cryptologist. Yes, i do right, and so doge is kind of the first thing that ive seen where its like.
You know what the community is. The first entry point right and community is incredibly important to cryptocurrencies and the projects and protocols um. So i think its a valid valid reason to get involved and we think its just an entry point like bitcoin and ethereum has been before it. You know for people who might be yahoo finance viewers, they might be more cautious investors, not all, but they might be used to a certain style of investing. You know, even when you talk about the community, i i think youre really onto something that crypto can be very intimidating and it can also be kind of crazy. Looking to people who arent in crypto, you know what i mean and they say they may not even know about the doge internet, meme and now youre, saying theres a coin now theres other coins that are spin offs of dogecoin. I guess id kind of ask what you would say to those skeptics about why all of this isnt, crazy or stupid. You know what what are they missing if they look at all this and theres, so many who still do and just try to dismiss it yeah. I would say 50 57 of americans. The majority of americans have a long term out outlook on crypto its, not people that are just getting in and gambling and wanting to see a quick pop it. It is people that are saying, hey, theres, something there there and i want to get involved now, because i think that theres, something that is is more long term.
I have to ask you know, were talking about dogecoin and uh. You know two earnings cycles ago was a significant amount of robin equipments revenue. Then last earnings cycle the revenue was down because dogecoin trading was down. All of this leads to a lot of people asking when shib shiba inu. What are the considerations with adding that additional meme coin? Yes, so first you mentioned earnings. Our revenue was down. If we zoom out just a little bit right year over year, were still up 800 over q3 last year right and you of all people. I think the people in this room know that the the retail market is cyclical right, so were going to see. Ups were going to see downs like we should all be ready for that um when shib. You know what one of my favorite things is seeing the community around these coins and you know, really engage with us and really let us know what they want when it comes to our strategy of what were gon na list, what were not gon na list? The first thing is that were not gon na talk about it, so im not gon na break that news here, unfortunately, im so sorry um, but i also think that our strategy is a little bit different than a lot of the other players out there. Who are just racing to list as many assets as possible right now? We think that the short term gain that, like we might get, is not worth the long term trade off for our users.
We want to make sure that were working and assessing everything from a regulatory perspective really well and were a safety first company, so thats how were going to play it? Who do you think, is racing to add as many assets as possible. You dont have to name names, but i guess what i really want to ask: who are robin hoods competitors, because there are pure play crypto companies out there. The first thought would be coinbase. Theres ftx were going to hear from sam bank and freed today, theres grayscale, which may be more for institutional or more buttoned up investors. I mean theres, so many players, then there are also fintech companies that arent originally crypto companies square paypal that are also getting in are all of these. Your competitors. You know what i dont spend a lot of time thinking about competitors. I think we spend a lot of time thinking about our customers, um and thats. Why we build features like 24 7 live support, which is not an industry standard in crypto trading right now its. Why we build tools so that investors can dollar cost average really easily its? Why we dont have commission fees um, we start with the user and and build for them uh. I honestly, when it comes to the landscape of competition. I think that theres a a wide market that that we can grow right. I think where all of the different players are are serving slightly different purposes and slight slightly different sets of users and bringing more people into this ecosystem, which is a good thing when we do talk about the other big players in this space.
I mentioned some of those exchanges and brokerages. Many of them have now said next up. We want to get into nfts uh, you and i were talking about nfts backstage, so i know that theyre on your radar, what is robinhood thinking about when it comes to listing those which, as a reminder to everyone – and you know, im, always trying to keep in Mind the people who are watching who are not already crypto experts. These are all just tokens. I mean nfts non fungible tokens. We talk about them as art, we talk about them as cartoon profile pictures, but these are tokens similar to the way the cryptocurrencies are tokens. Theyre on blockchain right is this something that you guys would add support for and what are the considerations when you think about that so heres? What i love about nfts today, the number of 18 to 29 year olds, who are actively investing right, who have any investment, is less than 30 percent. So investing has a whole lot of barriers to entry, whether its economic, educational, emotional, nfts, bring that barrier down a little bit more right. Weve all hung something on the wall. Weve all put something on a refrigerator, but you can hang it on the wall, but but the jump from hey art, music, things that are real and lets make that digital is a lot easier than investing, which the majority of young individuals today arent doing and saying. Okay, now theres a digital component to this right.
The jump is just a little bit easier and i think its an easier entry point for some users. So we are thinking about it again. Cant spoil the road map, but it is something that you know wed be silly to not be looking at right now. I like that would be silly to not look at it. You know when we talk about nfts or really any of this, and we talk about young investors because thats really, you know a core part of robin hoods focus. Is these new retail investors? We talked about these yolo traders from you know: reddit, maybe its college students. I remember talking to vlad when, when robin hood first launched and the idea was were making buying stocks really easy, you know swipe of a finger uh, especially when it comes to crypto. There are critics who see dangers with that. They say it shouldnt be so easy. You know are those things you think about. We talked about cyber security, but when you think about safety, i mean there are some perceptions that crypto is somehow more volatile and unsafe. And what are what do you guys think about that and how do you approach? You know onboarding new people, even with nfts, the big prices get all the headlines and then people point to it and say this is all out of control. You know right right. Well, i think it starts with education right. I think, especially when you talk about younger investors um.
What theyre often doing is starting small investing a little bit of money and getting experience in the market right, seeing what its like, what? How do they feel? How do they react when something goes up when something goes down, and i actually think thats very worthwhile experience to get early on in your investing kind of life cycle so that when you are a more mature investor, when you do have more money to to play With that, you know youve, already kind of tested the waters. You already understand how you show up to things, so i think education is a big part of it. Robin hood is really leaned in hard there we have an entire learn product which goes through all the basics, investing 101 and includes a lot of crypto kind of features as well and were going to continue building. On top of that, we also have a great learn section at decrypt uh. Well, we only have time for one more question its been so fast. I wish we had longer. Let me ask you this: when you look five years out, what do you see happening in crypto right now i mean the event is so perfectly timed. Everything is kind of exploding happening once you know, zach mentioned prices, yeah theres, nfts theres defy the volumes bigger than ever. Where do you think well be in five years, especially under the guise of our event? Name crypto goes mainstream and where will robin hood sit in that i mean, will robin hood think of itself as a crypto first company yeah.
So when i think of the long, the long term um, i think that we can kind of see our market as a growth curve right, theres, early adopters right. These are the first people that ever get into an asset um that this was bitcoin in 2013.. Um. That early adoption puts pressure on institutional players to come into the space right. You know their clientele wants exposure to this thing, so institutions get involved. Um were just starting to see that as well with the you know: bitcoin futures, etf, etc, um that institutional involvement gives like broad, sweeping legitimacy to a very, very much wider retail base. I think that were just at the peak at the start of kind of having that wider retail audience feel empowered and feel kind of um emboldened to explore this as a legitimate asset. So i think that were just at the tip of the iceberg. Theres a lot more coming, i think well see cycles right, well, see new tech, new innovation and well have that same. You know early adopter, institutional, broad, retail kind of flow over and over um. What that is, i dont want to speculate, but were here for it for sure something really representative of how much crypto has become more important to the company. Can you just tell everyone how much your team has grown the crypto division of robin hood, oh yeah, so between engineering compliance operations et cetera, we have grown over 10x in the last year 10x in the last year there you go well christine brown.
Thank you. So much my pleasure were going to talk again soon.