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Should You Use Robinhood to Buy Bitcoin? – Motley Fool

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by Matt Frankel, CFP | Updated Sept. 28, 2021 – First published on Sept. 27, 2021
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There are some advantages to using the trading app, but it isn't right for everyone.
Robinhood is best known as the stock trading app that pioneered the concept of commission-free trading several years before most brokerages got rid of their trading costs. But you can also buy Bitcoin and six other cryptocurrencies directly through the app.
Like all cryptocurrency trading platforms, Robinhood isn't the best choice for everyone. Here's a rundown of the key advantages and disadvantages of using Robinhood to buy Bitcoin.
Robinhood pioneered commission-free stock trading several years ago, and while its competitors have largely caught up to the company's pricing structure in the brokerage side of the business, the same cannot be said of cryptocurrency trading.
Specifically, many of Robinhood's top competitors have expensive and somewhat hard-to-understand pricing structures. For example, Coinbase charges a 1.49% trading fee for most transactions, so if you want to buy $500 worth of Bitcoin, you pay about $7.50. And that's on top of a markup, or spread, you pay over the current market price. To be fair, Robinhood makes money from the spread between its current buy and sell prices, but that's it — no other fees apply.
There's also value in having your cryptocurrency holdings and stock investments in the same easy-to-use app, and Robinhood certainly lets you do that. Many people look at Bitcoin as an addition to their investment portfolios, so it makes a lot of sense to keep all of your investments in one place. With Robinhood, you can. With many other cryptocurrency exchanges, not so much.
By far, the biggest drawback to Robinhood's cryptocurrency trading platform is that all you can do is buy, hold, and sell your cryptocurrencies. In other words, you can't send your Bitcoin to another cryptocurrency wallet, spend it on real-world purchases, or receive Bitcoin from other people. It doesn't have nearly as much functionality as most leading cryptocurrency exchanges do.
Robinhood also offers far fewer educational resources and other features. It is mainly a place where you can buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin and a few other types of cryptocurrency. If you buy Bitcoin on Robinhood and it goes up in value, you can sell it and make money. But there aren't many other reasons to use Robinhood for your cryptocurrency needs.
Finally — and this point won't apply to investors who only want to buy Bitcoin — more avid cryptocurrency traders will find that there are other platforms with far more cryptocurrencies to choose from than the seven Robinhood offers. If you want to invest in Bitcoin and the other most popular digital assets, Robinhood probably has what you need. But if you're thinking of putting some of your money in smaller, up-and-coming cryptocurrencies, you might want to look elsewhere. For example, Coinbase offers more than 90 tradeable coins.
The short answer is that it depends why you want to buy Bitcoin. If your goal is to pay for purchases using Bitcoin, or if you want to send Bitcoin to friends or to an external Bitcoin wallet, Robinhood is not the best choice for you. On the other hand, if your goal is simply to hold Bitcoin and benefit from rising prices over time, Robinhood can be an easy and low-cost way to do it, especially if you're already using the platform for stock trading.
There are hundreds of platforms around the world that are waiting to give you access to thousands of cryptocurrencies. And to find the one that's right for you, you'll need to decide what features that matter most to you.

To help you get started, our independent experts have sifted through the options to bring you some of our best cryptocurrency exchanges for 2021. Check out the list here and get started on your crypto journey, today.
Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
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US banking regulators are looking to clarify crypto rules in 2022 – The Verge

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One of them is already working to make banks’ responsibilities clearer
The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (or FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have issued a joint statement announcing a plan to clarify the rules and regulations around how banks can use cryptocurrencies over the next year (via Bloomberg).
The agencies say they’re focusing on setting expectations for what banks can do when it comes to holding crypto, allowing customers to obtain crypto, issuing their own stablecoins (or cryptocurrencies whose value is tied to a fiat currency like the US dollar), and taking crypto as collateral for loans and keeping it on their balance sheets. According to the letter, the goal is to make sure consumers are protected and that banks act responsibly. The regulators also say it’s an attempt to make sure the financial industry isn’t used to launder ill-gotten currency, something the Treasury Department has been focusing on recently.
The OCC has already made moves in this direction — on Tuesday, the acting comptroller released a letter clarifying decisions that the office had made throughout 2020 and early 2021. Now, the letter says, banks will have to ask permission from regional regulators before getting into certain crypto fields.
Previously, the Comptroller said banks were allowed to hold cryptocurrencies for customers as well as assets being used to back stablecoins. Banks were also told they could use stablecoins and act as nodes on blockchain networks. While financial institutions will still be able to carry out these activities, they’ll have to be able to prove to regulators that they can do so safely and responsibly.
These announcements come as some crypto companies have skirmished with regulators over what legal classifications their products fall under. Recently, Coinbase canceled its Lend program after a public feud with the Securities and Exchange Commission over whether what it was selling counted as securities (and would therefore fall under heavier legal scrutiny). The Treasury has also proposed that large cryptocurrency transfers be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and has asked Congress to start regulating stablecoins.
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Altcoin Roundup: 3 signs that show crypto mass adoption is underway – Cointelegraph

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Bitcoin AUM falls 9.5% to record largest monthly pullback since July – Cointelegraph

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