Robinhood Crypto Wallets Moving To Beta Stage - Make Or Break Time?
About four months ago, Robinhood stocks and crypto trading platform announced their intentions of integrating real crypto wallets. If you have used Robinhood or have heard about it, you may know that currently Robinhood only allows trading small amount of crypto assets like BTC, ETH, LTC, DOGE, etc. But also buying crypto assets on this platforms doesn't mean ownership of actual coins, because there are no crypto wallets that would allow users to send or receive crypto assets to or from external crypto wallets.
The amount of crypto assets traded on the platform and the lack of real crypto wallets didn't make this platform appealing for many crypto enthusiasts. However, it did provide some benefits for those who just wanted to participate in trading crypto assets and wanted to have some crypto exposure for their investments. Just like Robinhood Stocks and Options, Robinhood Crypto provided zero fee trades.
When Robinhood first came up with this idea of zero fee trades, it was truly revolutionary. It made many brokerages to lower or completely remove trading fees. Things were looking good for Robinhood until the infamous freezing of meme stocks like GameStop happened. Not only this freezing of trades action happened with meme stocks but also with meme coins like Doge coin.
We forget that Robinhood wasn't the only platform that was involved in freezing these trades. Other major platforms did the same thing. Even one of Robinhood's competitors WeBull did the exact same thing. However, it seems like Robinhood was the only one whose reputation was damaged, some would say to the extend of beyond repair.
I do have a Robinhood account and trade there from time to time. While the freeze didn't affect me personally, I was also among the crowd of disappointed users. Robinhood stood out as something different compared to other players in the space, they did have great idea and a message of democratizing trading, making it easy and accessible to as many people as possible. They were successful in these efforts.
But what they did was against everything they stood for. This, lack of transparency and the other deals of receiving payments for order flow really exposed Robinhood as something different then they have been claiming to be from the beginning of their journey.
Robinhood went public last year and its stocks are trading under $HOOD ticker symbol. This stock has been performing very poorly. Currently it trades around $15. 52-week high price was $85, and 52-week low price is $14.80. So, currently it is trading at its lowest prices. Three month ago when I wrote about Robinhood's crypto wallet plans, company's market cap was around $36 billion. Now it is only $13 billion.
By comparison, Coinbase's stock $COIN has been holding relatively well around $250, and only recently dropped below $250 due to bitcoin and crypto prices dropping overall.
I believe in second chances and do think Robinhood deserves one too. After all, they did have an original idea that benefited people and were successful in causing changes in the trading industry. What they do from now on will define if they are truly worthy the name Robinhood or if they are just like rest of the cash grab kind companies.
For this reason, I was excited to see Robinhood shifting full focus to crypto not only for trading purposes but to crypto technologies. You need to understand the technology to be able to make wallets, keep them secure, and easy to use. Another reason, I would like to see them succeed in implementing crypto wallets is, I would like to see Robinhood or some other company to create a real competition to Coinbase. I think Coinbase has lost its ways, if they had them in the first place. Competition is always good and a win for customers.
There is a great potential for Robinhood to turn things around, redeem themselves and earn back the respect from their users. It is especially more important now. Because there is more competition for Robinhood itself. Their zero fee stock trading is unique anymore. Other brokerages also provide that now. But also there are more new apps emerging that are in direct competition with Robinhood. One of them is WeBull. Another one, I just heard about recently is MooMoo. I have not used either of them yet. I remember WeBull used to offer free stocks for those who sign up to their platform. MooMoo is offering even better deals now. They are offering 5 free stocks, each worth $3-$3,500 for opening account there.
So, what Robinhood offers and their technology is not new or unique anymore. They need to act fast and find their edge. That's why crypto wallet implementation can be the thing they need to back on track and remain relevant. Question is can they do it? Is this a make or break moment for the company? I tend to believe so. Let me know what you think.
Since they first announced their intention of implementing crypto wallets, Robinhood started a waitlist for those who would be interested in participating and using crypto wallets. This waitlist has grown to almost 2 million people now. They recently announced that now they are moving from Alpha stage to Beta in implementing crypto wallets. Considering it was only about four months ago they just announced these intentions, I think it's moving at a decent speed, and hopefully crypto wallets will become available for everybody on Robinhood soon. Feel free to read Robinhood's WenWallets? Goodby Alpha, Hello Beta blog post for details on this progress.
According to the announcement it does look like they are planning to build wallets that will connect to the blockchains and since it is not an easy task, they want to do it right. Alpha stage gave them an opportunity to get feedbacks from those who participated and it seems they are listening to their users now. Emphasis is being put into more educational content to make it easier for new users to understand crypto terminology and events like network fees, transaction ID, etc. The app itself will have features to guide users through, so that they understand what they are doing. But also they will be producing educational articles on these topics.
They understand that each network uses different blockchain technologies and different wallet addresses, and planning to have wallet addresses for each supported coin. Additional security like multi-factor authentication will be included in-app to make sure the true owners of the accounts are initiating transfers to avoid potential risk of users losing funds.
Great news or confirmation is that, even with new crypto wallets implementation, crypto trading on Robinhood will remain commission-free. But they do realize there will be on-chain transaction fees and different for each network. Users will have to pay the these transaction fees, and this information will be displayed in a simple and understandable manner, including information like how long it make take for the transfers to happen.
The beta stage will start in mid-January and thousands of users will be invited to participate. It looks like things are moving smooth and at a decent speed. If Beta stage is a success, crypto wallets on Robinhood will become available for everybody. I remain cautiously optimistic. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.
Posted Using LeoFinance Beta