Bhatt and Tenev the co-CEO's of Robinhood initially dismissed Bitcoin, but as the currency raced towards $17k in December they told their150 employees to drop, not sleep and build it into the app.
When Robinhood announced trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum, another cryptocurrency, to the public on Jan. 25, it did so with its usual youthful exuberance. An email sent to users opened with “Don’t Sleep” in neon green type. “We’re seeing a dramatic increase in consumer demand for this,” Bhatt said in a phone interview the day before the launch. “For many users, cryptocurrencies are going to be their first foray into investing, and we want to be there.” The pitch worked. Robinhood shot up 150 spots in Apple’s App Store, resuming its position comfortably ahead of Coinbase, which had fallen since its big day in December.