Stock and cryptocurrency trading app Robinhood is reportedly exploring a way for users to be better protected from volatile crypto prices.
According to a Tuesday Bloomberg report, the trading app is working on a feature called “price volatility protection,” which would modify certain crypto orders depending on fluctuations in price. A message in the feature’s code says Robinhood “may sometimes skip your recurring orders or buy less than your chosen amount” to protect trades from price volatility, but will inform users before taking such action and never purchase more than the amount selected.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to provide our crypto customers with the functionality that they’ve been asking for,” said Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev. “We want to introduce new features safely, and there’s a lot of items we have to get right from the start.”
Reports of the proposed feature come after Robinhood briefly suspended instant deposits for crypto purchases in January. The trading app cited “extraordinary market conditions” at the time, likely referring to retail investors from Reddit pumping Dogecoin (DOGE) — the token surged more than 900% at the time and has been volatile throughout the year, rising to an all-time high price of $0.68 in May.
Robinhood later reported 34% of its revenue from the first quarter of 2021 was directly attributable to transactions for the meme-based cryptocurrency, and claimed its business could be adversely affected “if the markets for Dogecoin deteriorate or if the price of Dogecoin declines.” According to the trading app, 17% of its total revenue for the same period was derived from transaction-based revenues earned from all crypto transactions, with more than 9.5 million customers trading roughly $88 billion.
In addition, regulators in the United States have reportedly turned their attention to the trading app. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced in June it would be penalizing Robinhood roughly $70 million based on the results of an investigation alleging the app had caused “widespread and significant harm” to thousands of users and exhibited “systemic supervisory failures” starting as early as September 2016. Robinhood said it reached an agreement-in-principle with the regulatory body to pay some of the fines on a “no admit, no deny basis.”