Online brokerage platform Robinhood has experienced a flood of cryptocurrency user sign-ups since the new year began.
In each of the first two months of 2021, the platform says it has experienced a jump from an average of around 200,000 per month in 2020 to an average of around three million, according to a company blog post.
Google search trends, a metric that looks at search term data by region, reveals overall interest in cryptocurrencies has increased four times as much as compared to the end of last year. Meanwhile, Glassnode, an on-chain market intelligence platform, shows the number of new bitcoin addresses also rose sharply during the same period.
The total yearly sign-ups for cryptocurrency users on the Robinhood platform now stands above six million, data shows.
The new sign-ups have come as the platform faced accusations for deliberately limiting trading on stocks like GameStop (GME) and other securities last month after a group of retail investors on a Reddit forum kicked off a buying frenzy.
The accusations leveled against the platform were based on the belief the brokerage halted buy orders to stem the bleeding from Wall Street hedge funds. The funds at the time were overleveraged on their positions and were required to cover their shorts when the price of GME pumped, costing the big funds billions.
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev later described the decision over the incident as being based on a technical and operational one and not from outside sources such as those on Wall Street.
U.S. congressional hearings later summoned Tenev to appear before a committee where little detail was gleaned over the saga. Tenev reiterated points about how Robinhood halted buying of GME stock because of the margin requirements of clearinghouses.
The platform has begun allowing retail traders the ability to transfer their cryptocurrency holdings on and off the platform where previously it had only allowed users to buy and sell their digital assets.
Nevertheless, cryptocurrency investors have continued to pour money into the platform averaging monthly deposits of around $400-$500, up from the previous year's $250 average, according to the platform's data.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.