Shiba Inu and Robinhood logos
Source: Robinhood Facebook, Shiba Inu Facebook

When Will Robinhood Add Shiba Inu (SHIB)? It Could Be a Win-Win

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author
By

Oct. 6 2021, Published 10:22 a.m. ET

Meme cryptocurrency Shiba Inu (SHIB) has been volatile. While many SHIB fans have been gunning for it to rise to 1 cent, fellow meme crypto Dogecoin has been in the wilderness. Meanwhile, SHIB fans have been lobbying to get Robinhood to add the crypto. The popular trading app already has DOGE on its platform. When will Robinhood add SHIB to its platform?

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SHIB fans have started a petition on Change.org to request that Robinhood adds Shiba Inu for trading on its platform. Initially, the campaign hoped to get 300,000 signatures. The campaign had received over 200,000 signatures as of the first week of October 2021.

Shiba Inu fans want Robinhood to add the coin.

The campaign got a lot more support than what it previously envisioned and has been signed by over 550,000 people. The community is now aiming for 1,000,000 signatures. If that happens, the petition to add Shiba Inu on Robinhood would become one of the most signed petitions on Change.org.

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What cryptos are on the Robinhood platform?

Currently, there are seven crypto assets on the Robinhood platform. Three of them are from the Bitcoin family, while two are from the Ethereum family. The platform has two altcoins—Dogecoin and Litecoin.

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Robinhood has been selective about the crypto assets that it adds to the platform. In its earnings call for the third quarter of 2021, the company said that it would add new coins that it thinks are safe for its customers and also meet all of the regulatory requirements.

Why are cryptocurrencies important for Robinhood?

In August, Robinhood released its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, which was its first earnings release as a publicly traded company. The filings showed that cryptos made up over half of its transaction-based revenues in the quarter and over 60 percent of the funded accounts traded in cryptos in the quarter.

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To put that in perspective, in the first quarter of 2021, only about a sixth of Robinhood’s transaction-based revenues came from cryptos. Also, it was the first quarter for the company where more new customers traded in crypto than in stocks. The earnings changed the perception of Robinhood from a stock trading app to a crypto exchange like Coinbase.

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Dogecoin was a key revenue driver for Robinhood.

Another key takeaway from Robinhood’s second-quarter earnings was the growing importance of Dogecoin for the company. For Robinhood, 62 percent of its crypto revenues came from Dogecoin in the second quarter. While that’s an incredible number, it also exposed Robinhood to the vagaries of the meme cryptocurrency.

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Robinhood's crypto revenues have plummeted.

This is precisely what happened. Dogecoin fell out of favor with traders after the first half of 2021 and its impact is visible in Robinhood's earnings. It reported revenues of $565 million in the second quarter of 2021, which was a new record led by higher revenues from cryptos. Since then, the revenues have been sliding and were $363 million in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The fall in revenues is led by lower crypto revenues. Robinhood's crypto revenues fell to $48 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to $223 million in the second quarter of 2021.

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Will Robinhood add SHIB?

As a meme cryptocurrency, Shiba Inu competes with Dogecoin for a share of traders’ attention and wallet share. Robinhood sees cryptos as a key growth driver and it's also looking to expand its crypto trading services to customers in other countries.

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Robinhood is also coming up with a crypto wallet as well as other crypto-related services like lending. The company is looking to add more cryptos to the platform, which can help it revive its sagging sales.

Apart from being a smart business decision, SHIB would also help Robinhood win over customers. A lot of Reddit traders were furious with the company after it blocked trading in hot meme stocks like AMC Entertainment and GameStop at the height of the Reddit-driven frenzy.

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When will Robinhood add SHIB?

Currently, there hasn't been an official confirmation on when Robinhood would add SHIB or if it would add the crypto at all. The question also cropped up during the company's earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2021.

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Irvin Sha, Robinhood's Head of Investor Relations and Capital Markets, asked Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev if the company was going to add Shiba Inu.

Tenev was measured in his response. He admitted that "we've been hearing from customers loudly. We know they want more cryptocurrencies on the platform, and we've actually been proactively engaging with regulators."

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However, Tenev added, "So the main concern with adding a large number of coins is that platforms that are adding lots of them could be adding unregistered securities. So they're watching the space closely."

Will Robinhood add Shiba Inu in February 2022?

There have been intermittent rumors on when Robinhood will add SHIB. In January, a Twitter account by the name Zerohedge with 1.2 million followers tweeted that Robinhood could add Shiba Inu as early as February.

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Considering SHIB's current popularity, and the fact that Coinbase Pro has already added Shiba Inu, Robinhood might take a favorable view of adding the meme cryptocurrency to its platform. Robinhood adding SHIB would be a win-win move. While SHIB would get more acceptance, Robinhood would be able to increase its revenues by adding SHIB to the platform.

All said, Robinhood has been trying to reposition its brand and is looking to add other financial products including those related to retirement. Too much focus on meme assets would run contrary to Robinhood's brand strategy. It's a tightrope for Robinhood because it has to manage the long-term brand positioning and meet current customer requirements.

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