Robinhood begins testing digital currency wallet as user demand ratchets up

Robinhood gearing up to launch digital currency wallet as user demand ratchets up

Trading app Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD) is preparing to roll out a new digital currency wallet service, alongside functionality that would allow digital currency transfers through its platform, in a move that is expected to excite a user base already clamoring for greater digital currency support.

The brokerage app has initiated support for wallet and digital currency transfer functionality within its app, including a hidden image showing a waiting list page for users to sign up to its digital currency wallet, Bloomberg first reported. There are also several lines of code referring to digital currency transfers contained within the app.

On Wednesday, the trading app confirmed that “crypto wallets are coming” to its platform. The wallet will allow users to move their digital currency holdings in and out of the app “in a few taps” as well as send digital currency to other wallet addresses and even receive supported digital currencies into the user’s Robinhood account. There is a waitlist for customers who want to get first access to the wallet.

Leaked news of the possible digital currency wallet deployment sent share prices skywards, with Robinhood shares trading up 2.1% off the back of the revelation. While the rise was subsequently pinned back, it represents a total increase of 7.1% since the firm’s IPO back in July.

The wallet service would allow Robinhood customers, who are already able to buy and sell digital currencies, to store their assets in a single wallet on the platform. In keeping with a number of other platforms to launch their own wallets, such as Coinbase and Gemini, the app will allow Robinhood users greater flexibility over the management of their digital assets.

Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood, has previously said developing a digital currency wallet was something the company was exploring in some depth, fueled by increasing demand from the app’s customers.

“It’s something that our teams are working on. The ability to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies is tricky to do with scale, and we want to make sure it’s done correctly and properly,” Tenev said.

There remains no indication of a timeline for a full rollout, and for the time being, Robinhood executives are remaining tight-lipped. However, it looks as though the likelihood of the company rolling out a crypto wallet of its own in the coming months is increasing.

Robinhood has been a significant beneficiary of digital currency trading, accounting for as much as 41% of its revenue posted in the last quarter. Some 62% of its trading volumes come through Dogecoin, essentially a joke cryptocurrency, which has been responsible for much of the value traded through its books.

Digital currency more broadly has been a massive boon for the trading app, providing much of the company’s revenue growth in recent months since its less than spectacular stock market debut.

Software developer Steve Moser uncovered hidden clues within code on the Robinhood app, which could indicate the direction of travel for the app regarding its digital currency functionality.

Details within the code reveal that the new features are part of an ‘alpha program’, which users will need to enroll into to gain access to the functionality—including through providing supporting ID and some other steps. A message within the app encourages users to “complete the steps to start sending and receiving crypto.”

Clues in code have previously indicated upcoming features for Robinhood, with features reported in July as indicating forthcoming volatility protections and recurring digital currency orders coming into effect in recent days.

Other features have also been forewarned in the same way, including early-deposit options for checking accounts and spare change investing. With Robinhood developers busy working on these features behind the scenes, it is possible to infer on similar timelines that a rollout could be slated for later in the year.

If this presents any benchmark of what is to come, Robinhood users can expect the enhanced digital currency functionalities to be rolled out over the coming months, in a move that could be set to cement its place as a market leader for retail digital currency investment and trading.

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