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Robinhood is an innovative mobile application that has attracted widespread praise over time for its revolutionary stock trading approach. The app allows users to trade stocks, ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies without incurring traditional commission fees; its creation dates back to 2013 when Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt met while rooming together at Stanford University.

Initially, Robinhood was created as a commission-free trading platform for US stock market transactions to make trading accessible and remove barriers to entry for novice investors. Its founders recognized this need and named the app after the famous folklore hero Robin Hood who would steal from those with money and give to those less fortunate, symbolizing its goal of democratizing finance.

Robinhood made headlines in 2015 when they announced they were offering commission-free trading, making waves within the brokerage industry that relied heavily on commissions as a source of revenue. Robinhood's model allowed them to attract younger investors more accustomed to using mobile apps for financial transactions than with traditional brokers.

Robinhood made history again by becoming the first mainstream financial platform to offer commission-free trading of cryptocurrency - yet another significant advancement that challenged traditional finance industry practices that charged high fees for cryptocurrency trading.

Robinhood saw its popularity soar during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people turned to investing as a way of making money in times of economic downturn. User numbers skyrocketed exponentially while controversy swirled around it including the GameStop Saga where Robinhood temporarily suspended trading of that stock due to market instability.

Robinhood has significantly disrupted the traditional brokerage industry with its commission-free trading model and innovative approach to finance. Its goal of democratizing finance and making investing accessible for everyone has made it popular with novice investors, even while encountering controversy and regulatory hurdles - it now counts over 13 million users as of 2021!

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