Very few mainstream brokerages offer bitcoin purchase and trading capabilities due to the uncertainty surrounding the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies. Robinhood Markets, Inc. (HOOD), an app popular with retail investors, is one exchange that offers crypto trading facilities. It charges zero percent commission for cryptocurrency trades and purchases and makes money from payment for order flow, passing on its trading volume to other trading platforms or brokerages.
The absence of a commission fee may be an enticing prospect for beginners, but there are a couple of catches to that offer. First, Robinhood does not have breadth of features and coins offered by prominent crypto exchanges like Coinbase. As of October 2021, Robinhood enables trading of seven cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, and Ethereum Classic—on its platform. In contrast, you can trade more than 100 cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. The exchange also offers various order types to minimize risk and offset losses during trading.
The Robinhood platform also does not have a hosted wallet. Therefore, if you want to purchase cryptocurrencies through Robinhood, you will have to factor in additional costs for an online wallet provider.