A little over a month after Robinhood publicly released its first crypto wallet, the company has announced it’s working on a second. The new wallet will be non-custodial, giving users sole custody over the private keys necessary to control their money on the blockchain. That means users won’t be dependent on Robinhood if the system fails but will also risk losing their funds entirely if they misplace the private key.
Robinhood says the new wallet will be offered as a standalone app but hopes that it will “feature the same simple and accessible design” as its main service. The wallet will offer the ability to store and trade cryptocurrencies, including many not available through the main Robinhood app with “no network fees” and will support NFTs and DeFi (decentralized finance) protocols.
NOT YOUR KEYS, NOT YOUR COIN
Although Robinhood is best known as an equities trading platform connected with last year’s meme stock trading frenzy, cryptocurrency purchases have become an increasingly important part of its business. When announcing the general availability of its crypto wallet last month, the company said Bitcoin was the No. 1 recurring asset its users have been buying in 2022, CoinDesk reported at the time.
Prior to the launch of its first wallet, Robinhood allowed its users to buy and sell cryptocurrency on its platform but not to spend it, effectively only allowing it to be used as a speculative asset.
Custodial wallets, like the one that Robinhood released earlier this year, are commonly seen as offering a more user-friendly introduction to the world of crypto, where there’s less risk of losing assets because of mislaid credentials. But, among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the phrase “not your keys, not your coins” has become a popular criticism of custodial wallets, arguing you only have true control of your digital assets if you alone hold the private key. The addition of Robinhood’s new non-custodial wallet should allow it to serve both kinds of customer.
Robinhood says it’ll be launching its non-custodial wallet in beta “later this summer” and invites anyone interested in trying it out to sign up for its wait list. A full launch is planned for sometime before the end of the year.