Leading commission-free trading platform Robinhood has released its first Web3 wallet, which would be non-custodial- meaning users will have sole authority over the private keys which are in encrypted storage.
Prior to the announcement, on 16 May, Robinhood send out a teaser that came with a 30-sec video showing a bunch of apes lying around with bored expressions, suddenly coming across a giant screen that appears to transform them into a multi-planetary species.
Netizens were confused as to what the platform was up to.
Finally, on the next day, the exchange’s official Twitter handle along with the CEO of Robinhood Vladimir Tenev announced that it was building a self-custodial wallet. It 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 extend 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.
Robinhood’s new non-custodial wallet would compete with Metamask, Coinbase
Even though, custodial wallets, like the one that Robinhood released earlier in 2022, 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 crypto enthusiasts, the phrase “not your keys, not your coins” has become a popular criticism of custodial wallets. Proponents argue that one who holds the private key should have full control of their digital assets.
The addition of Robinhood’s new non-custodial wallet might allow it to serve both kinds of customers.
The California-based fintech firm further stated that 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 waitlist. A full launch is planned for sometime before the end of the year.
The new app puts Robinhood in a highly competitive market dominated by start-up giant MetaMask with the latest entrant being Coinbase which recently came out with its own self-custody wallet.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong proudly declared his firm’s product as the most downloaded, mobile self-custody wallet in the U.S. in a tweet Monday.