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You Can Now Trade Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash on Robinhood Crypto (techcrunch.com)
85 points by sahin-boydas 36 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments



Said it once before: do not link your bank account on RH with Plaid (i.e. bank login). Plaid is the API they use that includes access to your account balance and entire transaction history! (https://plaid.com/products/transactions/)

RH Privacy Policy: https://d2ue93q3u507c2.cloudfront.net/assets/robinhood/legal...


Hey! Co-founder of Plaid (plaid.com) here. RH does not pull your transaction history, RH is only using Plaid to authenticate your ACH accounts to make sure your actually the owner of the account and so you don't get over-drafted. They're using our auth and balance product, feel free to check out what information we return on our docs (http://plaid.com/docs).


But they could potentially use you for more and users don't have insight into whether or not they do or if it will change.


Agreed there is no transparency around which endpoints are being used. There needs to be a screen that shows what data you’re providing like FB or Google login before you link anything.


Even the account balance is information they would not normally have and something most people consider personal and private.


Nitpick: you’re → your.


I don't see what's specific to Plaid here. When you give your bank login information, that means they can see whatever is accessible via that login. You should always expect this no matter whom you're giving your login information to, or why.


Obviously if you are using a Mint-like application where it's clear you are sharing your transaction history then it should be expected, but on RH there is no obvious utility to sharing transaction data when linking a bank account only serves to transfer money in and out of a brokerage account.

As far as I can tell, a single Plaid token enables a developer to "turn on" any endpoint they offer without consent from the user, so even if RH does not pull transaction history now (I would like confirmation from them directly) they've obviously written their PP in a way that lets them flip a switch anytime they want without anyone knowing.

Plaid is an interesting company from a developer POV, but it's clear to me they've taken the early FB approach to their API and have extremely little control or visibility into what developers are doing with the data. They also do not show a confirmation screen with the data elements they're asking for from the customer before confirmation.

I hope they get their act together before we see them in the news because someone bought Plaid transaction data from millions of customers to target ads for the 2020 election. Purchase history on millions of voters would be incredibly powerful (even more so than likes IMO) as far as targeting goes.


Anybody worried about this should probably just open a checking account specifically for uses like this. We tend to talk about "your checking" account, as though you can only have one and it's somehow your official account. But, despite these weird notions we seem to have about them, checking accounts are just like any other consumer product.

You can have as many as you want with as many banks as you want; they've very easy to open online.

This shouldn't be a significant barrier for anybody on this forum.


Wow! I didn't realize that! Thanks for telling me. Very unfortunate given how much I value the service :(


that is scary!


Kudos to the product guys. They have figured out the demographic of their product with clinical precision. In Last 6 months, I have used RH app lot more than FB. Nothing is as addictive as using leverage to trade options and Crypto.


I have no comment on crypto but if you're "addictively" using leverage to trade options, I hope you're only playing with your throwaway money. You are practically bound to lose money to institutional investors when playing with options.


Agreed. I would urge caution, even if I am "pro crypto"

Only play with money you can afford to lose without even a sad face


I’d argue that if you’re playing with options on industries or companies you know well (not your employer though) you may even have an edge over institutional investors. Unfortunately it’s not possible to buy calls on pre-IPO companies though


> You are practically bound to lose money to institutional investors when playing with options.

Source? Explanation?


Do most non-institutional/non-professional traders even know how to price options other than some gut feel? Are they familiar with Black-Sholes and the Greeks? From my personal experience most of them don't. Plus to properly model these things requires quite a bit of research and calculations. At the hedge fund where I worked, there were well over 600 top of the line Xeon servers running to constantly pull in data and crunch the numbers. This was in the early 2000s. Things are probably even more lopsided now. Trading and finance are professions in the same sense software engineering is (there's quite a bit of overlap in skills too). Unless you're a professional who has the time and resources to do it, you're at a severe disadvantage and are going to lose in the long run.


One possibility is getting leverage via deep in the money options, which are very easy to price. But I guess that's not what most people are talking about.

But also, spreads are pretty tight for close dated near the money options. Just assume the price is right, pick a direction, and trade...


Sure, you'll make money 99.9% of the time but the time you don't, you'll be losing your money and then some.


But that has little to do with whether you have 600 xeons to run black sholes.


I don't know if you will lose money, but here is why I suspect you might:

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Are-Customers-Yachts-Street/dp/...


Every time I hear "democratize" financial system from a FinTech or blockchain "company" it immediately raises alarm bells. Usually it's a euphemism for democratizing investor exploitation.


The idea that venture-backed startups are going to "democratize" finance and wretch it from the hands of big banks is ridiculous.


Nobody invests, specifically in these coins. Everyone speculates, even in bonds :)


there is a fundamental difference between securities which have a claim on real assets and produce cashflows and those that don't


I completely agree, and that also does not make those securities "investments". Additionally, even someone who "invests" (literally "putting clothes onto") into an account at Ally bank for 1.4% interest per year or something is still speculating on a few things-- namely that Ally will remain solvent and that their security measures are sufficient enough to ensure you will get your money in and out without much problem.

Bitcoin certainly is more speculative than GE stock, but look at GE's stock performance and dividend performance. Anyone who thought they were investing into the long term value of a major American company was actually speculating as to whether or not a blue chip stock could produce cash flow and maintain the value of real assets, which, they couldn't do so as well as they did 20 years ago.


Obligatory RobinHood Tweet [2016]:

"Trade fast, die young." https://twitter.com/robinhoodapp/status/756262680537759744


I feel that at some point regulators will move on RobinHood for the way they push trading.


Why? Brokerages like etrade have pushed trading for decades.


What's important it's the way you push trading.

You are only allowed to advertise it in particular ways. Here, it feels like they glamorize YOLO trades (as they are popularly called)


Obligatory warning: don't trade more than you can afford to lose.

I can't see how making leveraged trading accessible to the large masses is beneficial to anyone other than the app makers and institutional investors.


I signed up for Robinhood earlier this year and provided all my personal info including SSN but was notified afterwards that cryptos were not available for trading in California.


I'm happy to see more adoption of Bitcoin Cash!


Hooray Litecoin...




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