On Wednesday, Robinhood announced a new feature that will allow its crypto customers to buy as little as a dollar’s worth of coins on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.
This type of buying, known as recurring purchases or dollar cost averaging, is a popular investment strategy in the stock market and is regarded as a useful way to hedge against market swings.
According to Christine Brown, COO of Robinhood Crypto, the ability for investors to acquire small amounts on a regular basis is especially useful in the volatile cryptocurrency markets.
“This enables customers to take a long-term approach to crypto,” Brown explained to us.
She added that the recurring purchase feature may be especially appealing to those who are new to cryptocurrency and are intimidated by the market’s frequent crashes, such as the one on Tuesday that saw Bitcoin and Ethereum drop up to 15% before recovering partially.
In announcing the feature, Robinhood stated that any recurring feature will be free of charge or commission, in contrast to other cryptocurrency platforms, where transaction fees can range from 1% to 4%. The remark could be interpreted as an implicit dig at Coinbase, the largest crypto retail service that charges a fee on every transaction and is shaping up to be Robinhood’s most strategic rival.
Of course, Robinhood isn’t giving away its crypto services for free. The company earns money by selling crypto tokens to customers at a higher price than it pays for them, but Brown claims that customers still get far more value than they do on fee-based platforms. She also mentioned that some competitors charge higher rates for recurring purchases than for one-time transactions, which creates an incentive for consumers to make larger single purchases rather than frequent smaller ones.
Robinhood’s announcement comes at a time when the company, best known for being a place to buy stocks, is rapidly expanding its crypto business. During a recent earnings call, Robinhood revealed that the majority of its new customers last quarter purchased cryptocurrency rather than stocks.
The company has also hinted at much larger crypto ambitions, such as plans to add more coins beyond the seven it currently offers, as well as the launch of a standalone crypto wallet. However, Robinhood has been tight-lipped about the timing of these offerings, and Brown declined to comment on whether they would be available by the end of the year.
Robinhood’s recurring crypto purchase is being phased in gradually beginning today. According to the company, all customers will be able to use it within a month.