One Million People Are Waiting in Line to Join Robinhood's Crypto Trading

  • Eager investors join waitlist for early access to trading
  • App to offer digital coin options beginning in February

Eager to trade Bitcoin for free on Robinhood? Take a number and get in line...a very long line.

More than one million people have signed up for “early access” to the brokerage app’s cryptocurrency section in the four days since it said it would offer no-cost trading in digital coins. It could be a long time before they’re able to trade.

Robinhood Financial LLC said last week it plans to let its users buy and sell digital coins without fees starting in February. It’ll roll out the option gradually with the intention of having it available to customers in most states by midyear. 

That won’t be easy, as even the biggest exchanges are suffering from slow trading and other issues as demand for crypto has skyrocketed. Complaints about Coinbase Inc., one of the largest crypto exchanges instance, have surged recently.

The wave of registrations signals that consumer interest in the crypto craze isn’t slowing even after Bitcoin tumbled more than 50 percent from its mid-December record as regulators step up scrutiny. Not even one of the biggest financial heists in history dampened enthusiasm.

Robinhood became popular by offering free stock trading. There will be a charge to recoup the costs associated with the crypto transactions, though it’s not clear what that will be. 

Stripe Inc., an online credit-card processor, said Tuesday that it would stop taking Bitcoin as a form of payment due to the high fees and long transaction times.

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