The fast-swipe stock trading app was launched in 2013 and hasn’t added crypto for five years. It just started trading Bitcoin and Ethereum in February 2018, then added Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Dogecoin in July, getting a huge backlash for the latter. (During the crypto surge of 2021, DOGE was a drug for Robinhood until he became an albatross.)
It has since added Bitcoin SV, Ethereum Classic, Compound, Polygon, Solana, and Shiba Inu, bringing the total number of supported coins to 11.
Christine Brown was there for everything. The former Google employee joined Robinhood in 2017 before tapping into crypto, then became the first Crypto COO in May 2021, growing the crypto team from five to 100 in one year.
He left the company at the end of March and is now co-founder and COO of Floor of Floor, an NFT portfolio tracking app that announced an $8 million seed round this week.
Robinhood has certainly had stock problems this year, including a horrendous 56 percent stock plunge, but many may still wonder why an executive left a publicly traded financial services company with a $6.5 billion market cap for an NFT app.
Brown explains the jump decrypt‘s latest GM podcast says he’s leaving a place that serves purely financial investment for an industry he believes is much more than that.
“I think a lot of people today see a very small part of the NFT space and they think, ‘Oh, this represents speculative trading or financial positions.’ This is where you can see some overlap with the Robinhood brand,” Brown said. “But I think NFTs will really empower a multitude of use cases, from things we already know like art, ticket memberships to things we don’t know yet.
“We are very early on and there is so much to build on from this initial use case that it seems to me a lot bigger than an investment vehicle, which is where Robinhood focuses on,” he added.
It’s all in NFTs, Brown said, and calls the popular comparison of We3 to the early days of the internet, when picks and shovels were still built and sold, and skeptics still couldn’t see the big picture.
“If You used to tell those early builders that I would use this to get a taxi to get me somewhere and I wouldn’t actually have to greet him, I wouldn’t have had to pay for him in cash, they might have been a little surprised. “That’s what they built for it back then,” Brown said, “and I think that’s what we’re going to see in NFTs as well.”
While citing the potential of NFTs, Brown also brought up Dogecoin in his app last year and Robinhood’s turbulent experience with DOGE trading.
“Dogecoin had a moment on the Robinhood platform last year, and a lot of people said, ‘It’s a meme coin. Why support it? Why trade it? It’s bad for crypto in general,'” Brown said. “I actually think it has a bad reputation, and in many ways it doesn’t get the credit it deserves for helping people get into space.
“Dogecoin used to be when people were like, ‘Yeah, that’s for me. It made it really easy for him to say, ‘I can start with a coin with a dog on it and a dollar and just try’. go out and see what happens and stick my finger in and go from there.’ And I think NFTs are in many ways, but on a much bigger, bigger plan, because there are more use cases beyond just financial speculation.”
Brown also named his favorite NFT collectibles and gave his predictions for what’s next in the crowded NFT space, as well as the competition between exchanges like Coinbase and FTX and fintech apps like Robinhood, PayPal and Square.
Listen to the full GM podcast episode and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
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