On Thursday, Robinhood Markets announced that it had launched its crypto wallet for 2 million “eligible” users, marking a broad range of possibilities for digital asset transfers in the investments app.
Aparna Chennapragada, Chief Product Officer, broke the news at the Miami Bitcoin 2022 convention stage.
Before, only a few wallet beta testers could carry bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, and a few other coins back and forth from the Robinhood walled garden. But with this new feature, all users on the waiting list outside of unworkable regulatory regions Nevada, New York, and Hawaii can now do so.
Furthermore, she stated that Robinhood would provide more support for bitcoin transactions on the Lightning Network – among the few second-layer applications built on top of Bitcoin.
“For the larger community, this is a fantastic way” to enter bitcoin less expensively, and in a green way, she continued, further stating that BTC is the leading buy on the app.
Initially introduced in September, Robinhood’s crypto wallet shuns features such as self-custody: “Corporate wallets” manage consumers’ private keys, said a FAQ page; it read: those who desire to be their own bank can transfer their digital assets somewhere else.
However, it will not be an issue for the troves of day traders who got their initial taste of the crypto markets investing in Robinhood-carried DOGE. Currently, they can use up and send those meme coins – on basketball tickets or belt buckles, perchance.
Early last year, almost 10 million Robinhood users switched coins in one indication of the app’s crypto appeal, said the firm. Nearly three-year-old, Robinhood’s crypto trading practically has created an eruption of profit, making $48 million for the publicly-traded company last quarter.
“Wallets are just the first step we’re taking to connect our customers to the broader crypto ecosystem,” said CEO Vlad Tenev in a press release.
Yet, the multi-asset wallet of Robinhood still fails to convey its actual functionality. It cannot enter Ethereum-based services, unlike MetaMask. It cannot receive ERC-20 tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or any asset not included in Robinhood’s trading roster. Even tokens created by airdrops and forks won’t be accepted.