Bitcoin ETFs haven’t cannibalized spot Bitcoin trading — Robinhood CFO


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Robinhood traders haven’t taken to spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with the bulk of crypto trading on the platform remaining in spot Bitcoin, says the company’s chief financial officer.

On a Feb. 13 earnings call for Robinhood’s fourth quarter (Q4) 2023 results, Jason Warnick said only 5% of its user’s crypto trading occurs through Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs, with the other 95% opting for direct spot Bitcoin trading.

“We saw it was mostly additive. There were some traders that sold out of [trading] spot and got an ETF, but that was really more of the exception,” Warnick said. “Overall, we don’t view this as cannibalization. It’s additive.”

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Robinhood’s crypto assets under custody (light green) jumped 87.5% year-over-year in Q4 to $15 billion. Source: Robinhood

Warnick added that “some of the pickup” in the Bitcoin ETFs on its platform was from Robinhood traders adding ETFs to their retirement accounts. The platform offers all 10 United States spot Bitcoin ETFs that went live for trading on Jan. 11.

The new roster of spot Bitcoin ETFs have raked in over $10 billion in assets under management since they launched, with Bitcoin’s price jumping 6.5%, briefly surpassing $50,000 on Monday, Feb. 12 — its highest point in over two years.

Robinhood crypto revenue rises, beats estimates

Robinhood saw its revenues for 2023, specifically in Q4, bolstered by increased crypto transaction revenue. The company beat Wall Street analyst estimates and saw its stock price jump over 10% in after-hours trading.

Robinhood’s Q4 and full-year 2023 earnings to Dec. 31, 2023, showed annual revenues of $1.87 billion, up 37% year-on-year. Its Q4 revenue earnings came in at $471 million, up 24% from a year earlier, beating Zacks analyst estimates by over 3%.

Related: How Bitcoin ETFs could impact the average investment portfolio

The trading platform pinned the jump in total Q4 revenues primarily on an increase in crypto trading revenue, which reached $43 million in the same timeframe, an increase of 10% year-over-year.

In its earnings presentation, Robinhood said its notional crypto trading volume in Q4 was up 89% over Q3, spurred by growth in customer numbers and overall trade volumes.

Robinhood shares closed down around 1.5% on Feb. 13 but jumped 10.5% to over $13 in after-hours trading, per Google Finance.

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Robinhood shares gained over 10% after hours on Feb. 13. Source: Google Finance

Its year-to-date share price has struggled, falling over 4% compared with the nearly 4.5% gain posted by the S&P 500. Robinhood is down over 78% from its $55 all-time high on Aug. 6, 2021.

Big Questions: How can Bitcoin payments stage a comeback?