Stock Trading App Public.com Takes Aim at Rival Robinhood With New Crypto Service Launch
Public.com, a commission-free stock-trading and ETF trading app, has stated it will allow its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform in the next few weeks, enabling the company to join the competition with other counterparts likes Square, RobinHood, and a rising number of other financial apps by offering the same services to the market.
On Thursday, October 7, Public announced that it will start offering ten cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dash, Stellar, Cardano, Zcash and Dogecoin.
Stephen Sikes, Chief Operating Officer at Public.com, talked about the development and said, “We are focused on the investing use case and potential for crypto and its potential to be part of a healthy, diversified, long-term portfolio.”
The firm, however, stated that its customers in New York would not immediately be able to trade cryptocurrencies because the company does not have a state BitLicense. The Public said it is working to acquire the license and is optimistic that cryptocurrency will soon be available to its New York customers.
The Public will rely on a firm called Apex Crypto to manage the back-end operations of the company’s new cryptocurrency offerings.
The Public also mentioned that its users would only be able to purchase, sell, or hold cryptocurrencies currently. The firm plans to provide more features through a crypto wallet it is working on launching in the future.
The Public was established in 2019 to compete with rivals like RobinHood in attracting first-time and young investors. Like Robinhood, Public offers a mobile-first design, no-commissions trading, and a popular social media element that encourages users to share what stocks they purchase and sell.
The company’s tactic of encouraging users to share their trades with others could make it a famous market for various crypto communities. This approach worked and was first popularized by eToro.
“For years, the stock market was a complex and intimidating environment — and for many investors, crypto is an even more complex and intimidating concept to navigate,” stated Public’s director, MaryAlexa Divver, who further mentioned that the app’s education tools and mobile design would make cryptocurrency more approachable.
However, the Public’s customer base (consisting of 1 million customers as of February) could make it difficult for it to challenge more established firms offering crypto services like Robinhood, which has a total number of 22.5 million users as of September this year.
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