Robinhood is down but not out. Once the most popular point in fintech, the buying and selling app’s share price is at a sickly $9 and its revenue forecast is dismal, but it carries on to innovate. The latest case in point is a new self-custody crypto wallet, which introduced in beta on Tuesday and offers customers a way to prowl the environment of DeFi and World wide web3 all even though paying out no gasoline service fees.
The wallet is now offered to only 10,000 buyers who joined a waitlist, but Robinhood’s products crew gave me a tour of the new company on Monday. The wallet has a handful of curious functions that I’ll explain down below, but also has a modern and consumer-pleasant structure that is extended been 1 of the company’s hallmarks. This incorporates a resource to entry one’s private essential using iCloud—a aspect that may well horrify some crypto purists, but will be deeply appreciated by regular buyers.
Where the product—called simply Robinhood Wallet—feels odd is that it’s create entirely on Polygon, the common Layer 2 assistance for Ethereum, and does not let the wallet consumer transact on Ethereum itself. This design and style determination is comprehensible due to the fact Polygon is much more cost-effective and faster than Ethereum, and it is what enables Robinhood people to discover World wide web3 devoid of gasoline charges. But it also feels limiting, in particular as Robinhood Wallet does not assistance Bitcoin or Dogecoin or other tokens incompatible with the Polygon community.
Meanwhile, Robinhood’s no-cost featuring came about many thanks to an arrangement with decentralized exchange 0x that will see the latter facilitate the no-fuel-rate buying and selling. The upside is that Robinhood Wallet users will not have to deal with the clunky approach of attaining and investing MATIC tokens (utilized to fork out for fuel on Polygon) but, the moment all over again, the determination to perform all transactions as a result of a single, designated trade doesn’t specifically come to feel like the entire crypto knowledge.
If the new wallet proves a hit, none of this will issue much as Robinhood will have succeeded in introducing some of its hundreds of thousands of buyers to some thing resembling a World wide web3 knowledge. But if its constraints make it a flop, Robinhood Wallet will establish to be yet another expansive distraction for a corporation in desperate will need of a turnaround. It will also insert grist to rumors that FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, who took a 7.6% stake in Robinhood this summer months, is making ready to gobble up the total company.
Jeff John Roberts
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