Public.com Unveils Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Public.com Unveils Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Public.com — operated by Public Holdings Inc. — is launching crypto trading in the digital currency marketplace. Joining rivals such as Robinhood Markets Inc.

The investing platform, Public.com, came into the public limelight in 2019. Back then, investors on the platform traded only the US-listed stock and exchange-traded funds.

That said, Public.com doesn’t allow margin or options trading, which is potentially risky for individual investors. Robinhood, on the other hand, operates differently.

Beginning Thursday, Public.com will slowly unveil crypto offerings to most users, who will trade and even hold at least ten digital currencies including Cardano ADA token, Dogecoin, and Bitcoin. The investing platform will, however, leave New York residents out of the offering citing licensing issues in the state.

Public.com is a smaller competitor

The investing platform offering comes when most investors are buying and selling digital currencies — lured by the promise of potential massive gains.

Recently, Bitcoin prices soared to nearly $54,204. Altcoins also experienced an upsurge in prices this year. The same for Dogecoin, which steeply rose to about 4,800%.

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Stephen Sikes, Chief Operating Officer at Public.com, said a new generation of investors are emerging, and they’re (only) attracted to crypto as an asset class. “We also think…there’s some validity to including crypto within a broadly diversified portfolio”.

Compared to Fidelity Investments Inc. or Robinhood, Public.com is a small competitor trying to find a place in the increasingly crowded retail-investing space. And it boasts 90% of new individual investors. So far, Public.com has 1 million active members.

The platform encourages free trading to boost revenues

The investing platform’s social features allow users to follow other investors and share ideas, as it aims to protect its investors from “external forces”. Public.com, despite restricting margin and options trading, is a great platform during high volatility.

Last year, Public.com banned users from buying shares Hertz Global Holdings as their company stocks dipped dramatically. Since the meme-stock rally, Public.com included safety labels on their platform, warning investors of potential financial loss to GameStop Corp, stocks, and others — something they’ve done for more volatile businesses.

Public.com has since stopped the payment-for-order-flow practice, which allowed brokerages firms to route customer orders to trading firms in exchange for payments. 

Supporters of the payment-for-order-flow practice said it fosters free trading and allows individual investors to enjoy a better process for trading.

Unfortunately, Public.com ended the payment for order flow earlier this year. But has since introduced a model allowing users to tip the company. Because of the high volatility of cryptos, Public.com will also include volatility reminders on crypto pages.