Why You Might Not Be Able to Buy Shiba Inu on Robinhood Anytime Soon


Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) reported 22.4 million funded accounts in the third quarter of 2021, and many of those users are interested in cryptocurrency. Robinhood’s cryptocurrency revenue in Q3 soared 860% year over year. More than 1 million people are on the company’s crypto-wallet wait list.

While Robinhood is rapidly expanding its cryptocurrency capabilities, it isn’t moving fast enough for some investors. The trading platform doesn’t support one of the hottest digital coins on the market — Shiba Inu (CRYPTO:SHIB). Here’s why you might not be able to buy Shiba Inu on Robinhood anytime soon.

A Shiba Inu dog with its mouth near a person looking at a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Clamoring demand

It’s not as if Robinhood users don’t want to buy and sell Shiba Inu. Tristan Luke, a big fan of the digital token, started a petition on Change.org to try to persuade Robinhood to list Shiba Inu.

Luke pointed out that Dogecoin (CRYPTO:DOGE) has been a success story for Robinhood thus far. He argued that, “Shiba Inu is a similar meme coin with genuine potential” and it’s “gaining new ground by the day.”

Several months have passed since the petition was first submitted, and it now has nearly 534,000 signatures. The petition needs 1 million signers to rank among the top on Change.org. That threshold could very well be within reach in the not-too-distant future.

Many Shiba Inu fans refer to themselves online as the SHIBArmy. This army has already won several key battles. Binance, which offers its own Binance Coin cryptocurrency, listed Shiba Inu in May. And only a few days ago, Gemini announced support on its exchange for the fast-rising digital token.

No rush

However, the SHIBArmy might have to wait for a while to achieve a victory in adding Shiba Inu to the Robinhood platform. The company doesn’t appear to be in any rush to add the popular token.

Robinhood co-founder and CEO Vlad Tenev acknowledged in the company’s Q3 conference call in October that “customers want new coins.” However, he added: “The regulatory environment in terms of new coins and lending products and crypto is uncertain and evolving. And we’re having to clear — carefully evaluate whether we can add new coins in a way that’s safe for customers and in line with regulatory requirements.”

Christine Brown, Robinhood’s chief operating officer, echoed Tenev’s tentative-stance recently. At an event last week hosted by cryptocurrency publication Decrypt, Brown stated: “Our strategy is a little bit different than a lot of the other players out there who are just racing to list as many assets as possible right now. We think that the short-term gain we might get is not worth the long-term trade-off for our users.”

Neither Brown nor Tenev have singled out Shiba Inu in their comments. However, it doesn’t sound as if Robinhood is planning to quickly add the popular coin. The company likely is reluctant to forge ahead without careful deliberation, due to the high volatility that could potentially cause liquidation problems. 

Does it matter?

Shiba Inu has achieved jaw-dropping success so far without being listed on Robinhood. It’s now the No. 11 biggest cryptocurrency in the world based on market cap, according to CoinMarketCap. 

However, availability on exchanges is an important driver of the value of cryptocurrencies. No traditional exchanges have listed Shiba Inu yet. The digital coin would almost certainly soar if Robinhood chooses to support it.

Robinhood users can use other platforms to buy and sell Shiba Inu coins, but having all of their holdings in one place is certainly preferable. The longer that Shiba Inu remains one of the most actively traded cryptocurrencies, the more pressure Robinhood will feel to add the token. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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