Palo Alto-based financial services company Robinhood Markets Inc., best known for its Robinhood trading app that allows retail investors to trade various stocks and cryptocurrencies, is seeking a US federal banking license to offer additional financial products within its app.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the firm is in early talks with US regulators to start offering traditional banking products next to its stock and crypto investment offerings. Bloomberg’s anonymous source familiar with the matter says Robinhood Is having “constructive conversations” with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency which oversees regulations for all US-based banks. The source notes that nothing is finalized and could fall through.
The move follows other cryptocurrency-related firms – such as Coinbase and Circle – who are also actively seeking banking licenses to increase their ability to offer additional products. It also comes one month after the company announced a $363 million funding round aimed at expanding its cryptocurrency offering. It is not yet clear if the new banking type products and the aggressive move into the crypto space tie in together in Robinhood’s business strategy.
Robinhood, which traditionally offered low-cost and simple access to stock trading for retail investors, launched cryptocurrency trading in select countries back in February. At the time of this writing, Robinhood only allows the trading of the top two cryptocurrencies by market cap, Bitcoin and Ethereum, but allows the tracking of an additional 14 cryptocurrencies via its app, including Stellar Lumens, Ripple, ZCash, NEO, and more.