Robinhood has announced a new wallet application that allows clients to access non-fungible token marketplaces, decentralized exchanges, and swap tokens in the embryonic world of web3.
The new wallet will be a distinct application from Robinhood’s existing stock and crypto platform, and will function similarly to other non-custodial wallets like MetaMask, the US brokerage revealed on Tuesday at the Permissionless bitcoin conference. Still, Robinhood is hopeful that the new app’s slick and straightforward design would make engaging with web3 sites easier for newcomers. The company intends to fully roll out the product to all of its users by the end of the year.
“At Robinhood, we believe that crypto is more than just an asset class. DeFi has the potential to be the operating system that powers the future of financial services, and we want to help people experience the full range of possibilities that these revolutionary technologies have to offer,” commented Vlad Tenev, co-founder and CEO of Robinhood. “With our web3 wallet, we’re building a product that will satisfy the most advanced DeFi believers while creating a secure on-ramp for those who are just starting out in crypto to go deeper into the ecosystem.”
Another benefit is that the company intends to cover gas costs, which might be prohibitively expensive during peak hours of activity.
To cover the gas costs, the firm will borrow a leaf from its stock playbook and rely on third-party liquidity providers to get the cheapest price on a specific swap. In the medium term, Robinhood does not intend to take a portion of the earnings because it is focusing on product market fit for the product.
“We’re making it not scary, easy to use,” said Robinhood’s crypto CTO Johann Kerbrat.
The move exemplifies a broader trend of corporations in the controlled crypto industry producing DeFi products. Coinbase unveiled its own service earlier this week, allowing consumers to access decentralized apps using its app.
Robinhood, which has been chastised for exposing inexperienced traders to complex financial products such as options, has stated that it will focus on teaching materials to help consumers get started with DeFi.
“We will give you access to everything, but we will show you warnings on things that are risky. But at the end of the day we are not making decisions for you.”