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Robinhood says crypto revenue jumped by over 45-fold in the second quarter to $233 million

Commemorative dogecoins on display in Yichang, China on May 14, 2021.

Barcroft Media | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

Robinhood said its crypto revenue accounted for more than half of all transaction-based revenue in the second quarter, as retail investors turned to the app for purchases of bitcoin, ethereum and other digital currencies.

In its first earnings report since its IPO last month, Robinhood said its revenue from crypto transactions was $233 million, up from $5 million in the year-ago quarter. Crypto accounted for 52% of transaction-based revenue, up from 17% in the first quarter and 4% in the fourth quarter of last year.

The company also noted that more than 60% of cumulative net-funded accounts traded crypto in the quarter.

“The three months ended June 30, 2021 is the first quarter where a larger share of new customers placed their first trade in crypto rather than equities,” Robinhood said in the earnings statement.

While Robinhood gained popularity by bringing free stock trading to a new generation of investors, the company has also been a big beneficiary of the surge in cryptocurrency markets. The app allows investors to buy and sell seven digital currencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, dogecoin, ethereum and litecoin.

Cryptocurrencies had a particularly volatile second quarter. The price of bitcoin plunged by over 40% after a huge rally in 2020, though it has since recouped much of that value. Ethereum, meanwhile, rose by about 18%, and the meme-inspired dogecoin more than quadrupled in value.

Robinhood said in its IPO prospectus that dogecoin accounted for 34% of its cryptocurrency transaction-based revenue in the first quarter, up from 4% in the fourth quarter. Much of that increase coincided with a barrage of tweets about dogecoin from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Robinhood even included a specific risk in is prospectus tied dogecoin, noting that its business could be hurt “if the markets for dogecoin deteriorate or if the price of dogecoin declines.” The company didn’t break down revenue from specific currencies in its second-quarter report.

Robinhood makes money in crypto by routing orders to market makers that the company says offer “competitive pricing” and taking a percentage of the order value. Overall, crypto assets on the platform skyrocketed in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis from $480.7 million to $11.6 billion.

PayPal, Coinbase, which went public earlier this year, and Square’s Cash App are other popular services used by U.S. consumers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

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