Is Robinhood Available in Europe? Alternatives & Similar trading App also in UK

Robinhood Europe
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The popular broker RobinHood is available in Europe right now but only for crypto investors.

Robinhood is also available in the UK with full services.

Let’s see why Robinhood is not completely available in Europe and when it will arrive.


TLDR summary:

  • Robinhood’s stock trading services are not yet available in Europe, and there’s uncertainty regarding the timeline for their launch.
  • Since 2023, Robinhood has been accessible in the UK, offering its services to British investors.
  • Despite the absence of stock trading, many European investors can utilize the Robinhood Crypto platform for cryptocurrency trading.
robinhood open account europe
Source: my Robinhood app

Why Robinhood is not available in Europe?

Robinhood, the famous no-fee trading app, hasn’t made its way to the European market yet, beside the Robinhood Crypto project.

Why?

Let’s cut through the jargon and get to the point.

Why Robinhood is not available in Europe? or Why is Robinhood not available in Europe?

Regulatory Red Tape

In the US, Robinhood’s known for its fee-free trades. But across the pond, things aren’t so simple. Europe has strict rules, like MiFID II, to keep financial markets fair and safe. To comply, Robinhood would need a major overhaul, which isn’t cheap or easy.

Navigating the Maze

Europe’s financial rules vary by country.

Every country has it’s down regulations, Germany, France, The netherlands, Portugal, they are all different.

So, to operate everywhere in Europe , Robinhood would need licenses from each national regulator. That’s a bureaucratic nightmare and they are not ready yet.

Still, they have entered the UK market that is big and profitable, so the next step might be sono other large or favorable European country.

Tough Competition

Europe already has plenty of brokerage firms offering similar services. To stand out, Robinhood would need a killer strategy, and that’s not a guarantee.

For now, Robinhood’s staying put in the US. European regulations, tangled bureaucracy, and fierce competition make expansion tricky. But who knows? Things might change in the future.


Robinhood Crypto is already here now (in Europe)

According to the most recent updates, Robinhood Crypto has extended its offerings to Europe, particularly targeting the European Union.

Robinhood Crypto is already in Europe

This signifies that nations within the EU, such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, among others, can now utilize Robinhood’s platform for cryptocurrency trading.

As you can imagine, the introduction of its Crypto platform in Europe represents a notable advancement in the company’s worldwide growth endeavors, granting European traders the chance to engage in buy and sell crypto trading on the platform.


Will Robinhood be available in Europe?

So, yes, Robinhood is now available in Europe, but only for trading cryptocurrencies. The company launched its Robinhood Crypto app in the European Union in late 2023. This app lets users buy, sell, and hold over 25 cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.

Will Robinhood be available in Europe?

It’s no secret, Robinhood’s expansion into Europe is a big deal for them.

They chose the EU as their first international market because Europe has clear rules for cryptocurrencies, like the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework.

To attract European users, Robinhood offers generous perks like free Bitcoin for active traders and referrals. They also promise to be transparent by showing trading fees and not mixing customer money with their own, except for necessary things like paying fees.

However, Robinhood’s crypto trading is only available in certain parts of Europe for now. They plan to add more coins and features like transferring cryptocurrencies and earning rewards for learning about them in 2024.


What is the equivalent of Robinhood in Europe?

In Europe, there isn’t a direct equivalent to Robinhood at the moment. Robinhood’s platform is currently limited to cryptocurrency trading within the European Union.

What is the equivalent of Robinhood in Europe?

However, there are several alternative trading apps and brokers that offer similar features and services:

  1. Freedom24: Freedom24 is a notable option among European investors, offering commission-free investing in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It is regulated by European authorities, ensuring adherence to strict regulatory standards.
  2. Scalable Capital: Scalable Capital is another option for European investors, providing commission-free investing in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Like Freedom24, it is regulated to meet stringent standards.
  3. Trade Republic: Trade Republic is a popular choice in Europe, offering commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, and derivatives. It provides a user-friendly platform and is regulated by relevant authorities.
  4. DEGIRO: DEGIRO facilitates low-cost investing in stocks and ETFs. Although it charges transaction fees, it provides access to a broader range of American and some European options.
  5. Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers is regarded as the top overall trading platform in Europe. It grants access to most major markets, including options, stocks, bonds, and forex. However, it tends to have higher fees compared to other alternatives.

While these alternatives share similarities with Robinhood, such as commission-free trading and user-friendly interfaces, they may differ in terms of business models, regulatory frameworks, and available assets. European investors should conduct thorough research and check with their financial institution if in doubt.

What is the best Robinhood alternative in Europe now?

I consider Freedom24 the best alternative to Robin Hood in Europe at this moment.

As always, don’t trust me and perform your research.

Investments in securities and other financial instruments always involve the risk of loss of your capital. The forecast or past performance is no guarantee of future results. It is essential to do your own analysis before making any investment. Freedom24 is regulated by CySEC. 74% of the ETFs available at the Freedom24 platform generate passive income in the form of dividends.


Robinhood alternative on Reddit

Based on discussions on Reddit, some of the top alternatives to Robinhood in Europe are:

  1. Freedom24: Freedom24 emerges as a notable alternative in Europe, providing commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It aims to offer a user-friendly platform while adhering to regulatory standards.
  2. Interactive Brokers (IBKR): Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is highly regarded for its comprehensive offerings, providing access to various markets including options, stocks, bonds, and forex. While it may be more suitable for advanced users, some find the platform complex and not user-friendly.
  3. eToro: eToro is widely regarded as a leading alternative, offering commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. However, there are concerns among users about its reliability, as it’s sometimes unclear whether you’re buying a stock or a CFD.
  4. Revolut: Revolut is considered a viable alternative for European investors, as it operates in all EU countries. However, it currently lacks ETF offerings, and users are awaiting improvements such as the addition of quality ETFs and increased free transactions for free accounts.
  5. DEGIRO: DEGIRO is another popular alternative known for its low-cost trading in stocks and ETFs. While it does have transaction fees, it offers access to a wide range of American and some European options. However, some users find the fees for options trading to be high.

Ultimately, the choice of alternative depends on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and investment objectives. While Robinhood may be more user-friendly, especially for beginners, other brokers like Freedom24, Interactive Brokers (IBKR), and eToro offer more extensive features and adhere to stringent regulatory standards.


Why you can’t use Robinhood in Europe?

As I said, there are several significant reasons why European investors are unable to use Robinhood for trading stocks and ETFs.

Why you can't use Robinhood in Europe?

Hera are a few:

  1. Limited Availability: Robinhood is exclusively designed for cryptocurrency trading within the European Union. Although they introduced the Crypto app in 2023, allowing users to engage in cryptocurrency transactions, the platform does not support stock or ETF trading.
  2. Documentation Requirement: Robinhood mandates specific documentation verifying US citizenship to open an account. European investors are unable to bypass this requirement using VPNs or other means.
  3. Licensing Constraints: Robinhood has yet to secure appropriate licensing in most European Economic Area (EEA) countries. As a result, the scope of their services in these regions remains restricted.
  4. Regulatory Hurdles: The European Union’s securities laws, particularly concerning payment for order flow, pose challenges for Robinhood’s commission-free trading model for retail investors.
  5. Limited Expansion: While Robinhood intends to extend its brokerage services to the UK, it has not yet made these services available to European investors outside of cryptocurrency trading.

In summary, the absence of proper licensing, regulatory limitations, and a focus on cryptocurrency trading in Europe prevent Robinhood from offering stock and ETF trading services to European investors at present. Alternatives such as Freedom24, DEGIRO, and Interactive Brokers offer similar services and are accessible to European investors seeking diverse investment opportunities.


Is Robinhood available in the UK?

Robinhood has officially launched its services across the UK, revolutionizing the traditional fee models of brokerage firms. The platform enables users to engage in commission-free and FX fee-free trading, with the option to invest in over 6,000 international companies listed on US exchanges. It supports features like round-the-clock trading, zero minimum account balances, and instant access to market data.

Is Robinhood available in the UK?

Furthermore, UK customers have the advantage of earning a 5% annual equivalent rate on idle funds and benefit from substantial financial protection, including $2.25 million in FDIC insurance on uninvested cash.

This expansion into the UK market underscores Robinhood’s commitment to democratizing finance, making investment more accessible and economical while challenging established financial norms.


How can UK residents join the waiting list for Robinhood?

To enlist for early access to Robinhood in the UK, follow these simple steps:

  1. Navigate to the Robinhood UK website or download the Robinhood app on your iOS or Android device.
  2. Locate and click on the “Join the waitlist” button prominently displayed.
  3. Fill in your email address and any other necessary details to complete the sign-up process.
  4. Accelerate your access by referring friends to the waitlist, allowing you to jump the queue for early entry.

Once you’ve joined the waitlist, you’ll receive notifications regarding when you can sign up for early access to Robinhood in the UK. UK residents signing up can anticipate continuous access to US stocks and enjoy a 5% interest rate on cash, safeguarded up to $2.25 million by the SIPC.

screenshot from my robinhood app
Source: my Robinhood app

However, it’s essential to bear in mind that using Robinhood in the UK requires UK citizenship or permanent residency, excluding individuals located in specific sanctioned jurisdictions.


Payment for order flow: a controversial business model

The question is: How does RobinHood make money?

Robinhood’s business model heavily relies on payment for order flow (PFOF), a practice where customer orders are directed to market makers in exchange for a portion of the profits.

This approach has sparked controversy, with critics arguing that it introduces a conflict of interest between brokers and their clients.

Is that true?

Let’s find out!

Let’s see what the Robinhood CEO says about this issue.

Despite the scrutiny, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev maintains confidence in PFOF, asserting its permanence in the U.S. market, where it is legally regulated. Tenev defends the practice, citing its role in reducing commissions and making stock trading more accessible.

funders robin hood
Source:kron4. Robinhood founders

However, PFOF is prohibited in the U.K., where Robinhood has launched, and the European Union has implemented a kind of ban on the practice.

While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deliberated on banning PFOF due to concerns, it ultimately opted against it.

Given that PFOF is prohibited in the U.K., Robinhood is generating revenue through alternative avenues. These include securities lending, margin lending, interest earned on uninvested cash, and the premium features offered through its Robinhood Gold subscription service.

What is Robinhood PFOF?

Robinhood characterizes PFOF as “transaction-based revenue,” representing income generated from user trades. Nonetheless, regulatory skepticism towards PFOF has cast a shadow over Robinhood and the online brokerage industry.

Though the SEC is unlikely to outright ban PFOF, it may enact measures to diminish its profitability. Robinhood acknowledges that its commission-free model and gamification tactics may attract novice traders.

In essence, while Robinhood’s reliance on PFOF has contributed to its success, the practice remains contentious and faces regulatory uncertainty in various markets.


What countries is Robinhood available?


Robinhood is accessible in the following regions:

What countries is Robinhood available?
  1. United States: In the US, Robinhood provides trading services for stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies to its citizens.
  2. United Kingdom: As of 2023, Robinhood has expanded to the UK, offering commission-free trading for over 6,000 US-listed companies.
  3. European Union: In December 2023, Robinhood introduced its Robinhood Crypto app in the EU, enabling users to trade, purchase, and store over 25 different cryptocurrencies. However, the platform does not yet have the necessary licenses to offer stock and ETF trading across most EU countries.

Robinhood is currently unavailable in the following areas:

  1. Canada, Japan, South Africa, Israel.
  2. Countries under U.S. sanctions, including Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, and Sudan, due to regulations imposed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Note that European investors are not allowed to use a VPN to circumvent Robinhood’s requirements for US citizenship proof for account setup.


The announcement: Robinhood Crypto Europe is here

Robinhood has expanded its services in the European Union with the launch of the Robinhood Crypto app, enabling users to trade, buy, and hold over 25 different cryptocurrencies.

The app is accessible to all eligible iOS and Android users across the EU.

Overview of Robinhood Crypto Europe:

  • Eligibility: Users must be EU citizens and at least 18 years old to register.
  • Rewards Program: It is the only custodial crypto platform that rewards customers with a portion of their monthly trading volume in Bitcoin (BTC).
  • Sign-up Bonus: New customers can earn up to 1 BTC by signing up and trading a minimum of €10 in cryptocurrencies.
  • Referral Bonus: Existing users can receive up to 1 BTC for each successful referral.
  • Competitive Pricing: Robinhood Crypto Europe boasts being the most cost-effective crypto trading platform in the EU on average.
  • Enhanced User Experience: The app offers real-time price tracking, comprehensive charts, a variety of digital asset information, customizable watchlists, and the latest news updates directly within the application.

Robinhood’s decision to enter the EU market was influenced by the region’s robust crypto asset regulatory framework, particularly the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) standards. The company is planning to introduce additional tokens, enable crypto transfers, and offer staking and educational rewards by 2024 for its Robinhood users.


Crypto asset regulation for Robinhood in Europe

One of the pivotal regulations is the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework, which primarily addresses the oversight of stablecoins and is recognized globally as one of the most thorough systems for governing crypto assets.

Robinhood states that “The EU has crafted one of the most thorough regulatory frameworks for crypto assets worldwide, which is why we selected the region as the cornerstone for Robinhood Crypto’s global expansion strategy.” (crypto asset regulation)


So, what is Robinhood?

Robinhood is a financial services provider that enables commission-free access to the stock market and trading of stocks, dividend ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies via its mobile app and website.

Established in 2013, the company is based in Menlo Park, California.

Notable Features of Robinhood:

  • Commission-Free Trading: Users can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies without incurring commission fees.
  • Fractional Shares: Allows investors to purchase fractions of shares, making it accessible for those with limited capital.
  • Robinhood Gold: This premium service offers enhanced features such as access to detailed research reports, larger instant deposits, and margin trading.
  • Robinhood Crypto: Provides the ability to buy, sell, and hold more than 25 different cryptocurrencies. In short: Trading or holding crypto
  • User-Friendly Interface: The mobile app is tailored for ease of use, particularly for novice investors.

Robinhood also allowes option trading.


Robinhood Movie Dumb Money

The Robinhood saga inspired a Hollywood movie called “Dumb Money”:

DUMB MONEY - Official Trailer (HD)

The Robinhood saga (Gamestop and Dumb Money)

The story of Robinhood is fascinating as it blends innovation with controversy.

The saga (Gamestop and Dumb Money)

Founded in 2013 by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, former Stanford University students, Robinhood aimed to make financial markets accessible to everyone. They developed a simple and intuitive app that allowed commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, attracting many young people with its ease of use.

However, Robinhood’s rapid growth came with challenges.

The platform faced criticism for its revenue generation methods, particularly the practice of “payment for order flow,” and for the way it “gamifies” trading, which could encourage risky investments.

Controversies peaked during the GameStop trading phenomenon in 2021, highlighting issues such as trading halts and the platform’s response to extremely volatile market conditions.

These events raised important questions about how to balance making trading accessible with protecting investors.

Stock Market and Ongoing Controversies

The most significant criticism has centered around its revenue generation method, especially payment for order flow. This practice involved earning money by directing customer trade orders to specific firms, which raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.

Additionally, Robin hood faced intense scrutiny when it restricted trading on rapidly rising stocks like GameStop and AMC in early 2021, sparking debates over market manipulation and biases towards certain firms.

Expansion and Future Prospects

Despite these hurdles, Robinhood has continued to evolve, launching the Robinhood Crypto application and planning for broader national expansion. However, regulatory challenges have hindered its progress in markets like the EU and UK. Looking forward, Robinhood aims to introduce new features, enhancing the user experience and reinforcing its position as a comprehensive financial platform.


Robinhood Video Review

Why I Cancelled Robinhood

Conclusions

So, to wrap things up, Robinhood had some challenges when they first came to Europe, but now they’re offering a neat way to trade cryptocurrencies there.

Robinhood wants to make money stuff easy for everyone, and they’re still working hard to do that, even when things get tough. Oh, and speaking of similar options, you might want to check out Freedom24 it’s another website in Europe that’s quite similar to Robinhood in some way. Robinhood’s story teaches us that even when things are hard, we can keep going and find new ways to make things happen.


FAQ

Is Robinhood better than eToro?

According to sources from StockBrokers, Robinhood (84.5%) is considered better than eToro (76.7%) for active investors and options traders, with lower fees and a simpler interface, though eToro may be better for passive and beginner investors.

Will Robinhood expand to Europe?

Indeed, Robinhood has broadened its crypto trading offerings to include the European Union, where eligible users can now access over 25 cryptocurrencies. This expansion follows its initial successful launch in the UK.

What is the German equivalent of Robin hood?

In the German market, Freedom24 shines as a counterpart to the Robinhood broker model, providing a sleek trading platform and user-friendly interface. It serves investors in search of accessible and innovative investment opportunities.

Are there alternative to Robinhood in The Netherlands and in Portugal?

In the Netherlands and Portugal, investors seeking alternatives to the Robinhood trading platform may consider Freedom24 as a viable option. The range of investment products is similar to Robinhood’s offerings, providing Dutch and Portuguese investors with an accessible and innovative way to participate in financial markets.

Can I buy European stocks on Robinhood?

Indeed, European stocks are available for purchase on Robinhood, including options like the European Equity Fund (EEA) and other European stocks listed on U.S. exchanges as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).

Can I use Robinhood with VPN?

It’s not advisable to use a VPN with Robinhood, as doing so could breach their terms of service. Robinhood mandates users to verify their identity and residency, and trying to circumvent these requirements using a VPN might lead to the suspension or termination of your account. It’s recommended to use Robinhood from a location where it’s officially supported and to adhere to all legal and regulatory guidelines.

Can I use Robinhood if I’m not a US citizen?

US, UK, and EU citizens can open Robinhood accounts, with EU citizens able to access Robinhood Crypto specifically. However, non-US citizens without a valid US visa or permanent residency status are not eligible to use Robinhood’s specific services that are on offer in the US.

Will Robinhood expand to Europe?

Robinhood is indeed expanding to Europe. It has already launched its crypto trading services in the European Union, allowing EU citizens aged 18+ to trade over 25 cryptocurrencies on the platform. Additionally, Robinhood is planning to introduce its brokerage services, including stock and ETF trading, in the EU after it entered already the United Kingdom market last year.

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One thought on “Is Robinhood Available in Europe? Alternatives & Similar trading App also in UK

  1. Robin Trader says:

    I’ll wait for Robin Hood to come in Europe. I like the concept of free trading, even if I know that free doesn’t exist. Dumbmoney is a cool movie.

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