Robinhood Offers Update on Crypto Wallet Feature, Announces Beta

In September, the trading app Robinhood announced that it would begin rolling out one of the most commonly-requested features: cryptocurrency wallets. While the platform added the ability for users to buy and sell select crypto assets in 2018, those assets weren’t able to be transferred to external wallets or used for payment. However, in a new blog post, the app clarified that very few users have been able to test the wallet feature so far — but that it hopes to enter a public beta sometime next month.

First, according to Robinhood, more than 1 million users joined the crypto wallets feature waitlist within 30 days of its opening this past September. To date, that figure has now topped 1.6 million. All the while, the app states that it’s been testing the feature with a very small group of customers as part of its Alpha program. During this time, the company says it sought feedback on the product and has continued to develop it.

In particular, the blog post notes some of the changes they’ve made to the offering at the request of testers, such as adding explanations for terms like “network fees” and “transaction ID.” Also notable is that, while Robinhood’s platform remains commission-free, the company points out that it’s working to provide better clarity in regards to network/gas fees that users will encounter when transferring assets to external sources.

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As for when the next step of the rollout will arrive, Robinhood writes that its Beta Program will begin in mid-January. At that time, “thousands” of customers from the waitlist will finally be able to experience the product for themselves. The app also teased that more information and updates will be available in the coming weeks.

The update on crypto wallets not only arrives just before the end of the year but also comes as Robinhood’s stock continues to falter. Despite a significant price surge that followed a lackluster debut, $HOOD has struggled in recent months. As of this writing, the company’s stock is trading just north of $17 per share — which is only slightly above its 52-week low of $16.88. In contrast, however, its 52-week high stands at $85.

It’s clear that Robinhood knows the demand for crypto wallets is high — and that the feature will likely prove to be a major part of their continued growth. At the same time, perhaps learning from some of their rushed rollouts of the past that came back to bite them, the app is taking its time to ensure that the product that ultimately reaches most users is one that meets expectations. Hopefully that hard work will pay off in the new year.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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