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Robinhood to let users hold their own crypto and NFTs as start-up reaches for growth beyond stock trading


Vlad Tenev, CEO and co-founder Robinhood Markets, Inc., is displayed on a screen during his company’s IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in Times Square in New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

RobinhoodI am handing keys over to customers’ crypto. 

Robinhood, a trading and investment company, announced Tuesday that it would allow users to store and manage their own cryptocurrency and NFTs through a standalone app. Robinhood has made a move to the digital assets space in an effort to expand its reach beyond stock trading. Its stock dropped more than 70% last July, after it was IPO.

Robinhood is now in direct competition with a new app CoinbaseMetaMask and other start-ups. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, said his company’s app was the best-known mobile self custody wallet. in a tweet Monday.

The question of who holds or “custodies” someone’s cryptocurrency is becoming a controversial topic in the industry. This has led to the popular phrase “not your keys and not your coins.” Some people fear that having assets stored on an exchange could make them more susceptible to hacks or censorship. 

Robinhood was a top-ranked company on the CNBC Disruptor 50 List last year. Its unique offering of commission-free stock trading made it a household name. The pandemic saw Robinhood’s popularity and value rise as new generations of traders joined the ranks. After restricting Robinhood, it became the heart of the meme-stock saga. trading in GameStop, the highly-shorted name Reddit traders boughtIn defiance of Wall Street short sellers.

Trade business slowing significantlyThis is a decrease of 43% from last year. Robinhood saw a 43% drop in revenue over the past three months, ending March 31. This is compared to a year earlier. The shares plunged by more than 70% in the year since its August public debut, and now stand at more than 75% of their all-time record. 

Robinhood is constantly adding new features and products to its cryptocurrency product line in an effort increase revenue and user growth. Robinhood added an extended feature in March. stock trading hours. Robinhood introduced an earlier version of crypto wallets earlier in April to customers. This will continue to be accessible within the Robinhood core app.

Robinhood indicated that the new wallet will launch with a waitlist, and it will also be international.

Users will be able to access NFT markets and other “decentralized” stock trading platforms through the app. Users will be able to earn yield on different platforms, and have access to a variety of cryptocurrency assets via other exchanges.

The app will not charge any network fees. In fact, some instances of Ethereum or bitcoin fees can be as high as $70. Robinhood spokeswoman said that the cryptocurrency product would rely on third party liquidity providers to “compete” for customer transactions, so as to offset network fees.

Robinhood derives most of its income from transaction fees through its core trading business. This is a practice in the brokerage industry called payment for orders flow.

Reporting by Jesse Pound, CNBC.