Robinhood rolls out crypto wallets with plans to support Lightning Network

    09 Apr 2022
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    Stock and cryptocurrency trading app Robinhood announced at the Bitcoin 2022 conference today that it’s making plans to add the Bitcoin Lightning Network to its platform for speedier BTC transactions. It also shared that eligible users from its beta waitlist can now send and receive crypto through its crypto wallet feature.

    Robinhood announced the addition of cryptocurrency investments to its platform in January 2018. But, much to the chagrin of Bitcoiners, the app didn’t include the option to withdraw assets from the platform.

    Robinhood announced an alpha version of its proprietary cryptocurrency wallet in September 2021 and the beta version on January 3, 2022 (otherwise known as “Proof Of Keys Day”). With one million users signing up in less than 30 days to access the wallet, it’s clear that Robinhood customers want access to the private keys corresponding to the cryptocurrency they purchase through the platform.

    Lightning is a layer-2 network built on top of Bitcoin that allows for faster, low-fee transactions.

    Through its wallet feature on its app, Robinhood joins the growing number of tech and finance companies using the Lightning Network for fast Bitcoin transactions. Kraken announced an integration this month, the country of El Salvador uses it for Bitcoin transactions, and Twitter relies on Lightning via payments company Strike for its mobile tipping feature.

    Robinhood’s announcement comes over six months after it shared plans to fully develop a wallet feature that would allow its users to deposit and withdraw crypto assets. The feature quickly acquired a long waitlist, with more than 2 million people requesting access. Robinhood released its crypto wallet beta back in January, allowing select users to transfer Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

    Before then, Robinhood customers could only buy and sell crypto, with the app keeping custody of it. Users couldn’t transfer it out to spend it or make trades on decentralized platforms. Now, users who signed up for the waitlist can buy, sell, and move their crypto assets off of Robinhood.

    According to its website, Robinhood’s “corporate wallets secure all of its customers’ coins, so we don’t provide customers with the private keys to those wallets.” For those looking to have greater control over their crypto and truly “be their own bank,” it’s now possible to move assets off of Robinhood to a software wallet, like MetaMask, or a hardware wallet, such as Ledger or Trezor.

    Currently, there are 16 cryptocurrencies available to trade on Robinhood app including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple, Stellar, Monero, etc.

    Robinhood reported $48 million worth of transaction-based revenue from crypto in the fourth quarter of 2021, a roughly 6% drop compared to $51 million in the third quarter. In addition, the share price of Robinhood (HOOD) on the Nasdaq has declined since the firm went public in July 2021, falling from an all-time high price of $70.39 on Aug. 4 to $12.17 at the time of publication – a drop of more than 82%.

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