Robinhood’s cryptocurrency wallet, which allows users to spend and exchange certain digital currencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum, is being made available to “all eligible customers” on its waiting list, the company said. society. That’s over two million people, although the company warns that the wallet won’t be available in Hawaii, Nevada or New York due to “local regulations”. The wallet was initially launched as a limited test last year.
Although Robinhood allowed customers to buy cryptocurrency on its platform, you couldn’t easily spend the cryptocurrency – it just stays in your account as a speculative asset until you decide to sell it. In contrast, Robinhood says its wallet gives customers “full access to their crypto” and the ability to “participate in the crypto ecosystem – tipping on social media, paying for NFTs and more” at no cost. of withdrawal.
Robinhood is best known as a stock trading platform and played a big role in last year’s meme stock frenzy, but says buying cryptocurrency is increasingly popular with people. its users. “Bitcoin is actually the most recurring purchase for our customers, more so than most stocks you think of,” said Aparna Chennapragada, the company’s chief product officer, on stage at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. But Bloomberg notes that its revenue from cryptocurrency transactions has been volatile, dropping 79% between the second and fourth quarters of last year.
Its cryptocurrency wallet supports QR codes to send crypto, and includes address validation and mandatory two-factor authentication for security. But unlike some other wallets, Robinhood’s is custodial, meaning the company is ultimately responsible for the keys that can unlock it. Many reviewers balk at the idea that end users don’t have full control over their private keys, but custodial wallets are useful for anyone worried about losing access to their funds by misplacing their account information. identification.
There are also other limitations to the functionality of the Robinhood crypto wallet to be aware of. A company FAQ clarifies that sending an NFT to a Robinhood address can result in its loss, and in September last year the company said it would not let customers buy shares directly with the cryptocurrency.
In addition to rolling out its wallet for people on the waitlist, Robinhood also announced that it will add support for the Bitcoin Lightning Network “in the near future.” Once launched, it should offer customers a faster and cheaper way to transfer Bitcoin by having these transfers happen “off-chain”.