Robinhood quietly tests crypto wallet as users demand it


(Bloomberg) – Robinhood Markets Inc. is testing new crypto wallet and cryptocurrency transfer features for its app, a long-awaited initiative that will make it easier for clients to send and receive digital currencies like Bitcoin.

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Evidence of the company’s work on such features emerged in a beta version of its iPhone app. The software includes a hidden image depicting a waitlist page for users who sign up for a crypto wallet feature. The app also contains a code that refers to cryptocurrency transfers.

With crypto wallets, consumers can use virtual currencies without having to convert them to dollars. They also offer customers a single place to store all their virtual currencies, protected by a private key.

Robinhood shares jumped 2.1% to $ 41.54 late in the day after Bloomberg reported on the test, before slashing gains. The stock has climbed 7.1% since an initial public offering in July.

While it is already possible for Robinhood clients to buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, this would be the first time they can manage all of their crypto holdings through a wallet in the application. Other companies, including Coinbase Global Inc. and Gemini Trust Co., already offer their own crypto wallets.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said adding crypto wallets was a priority for the company’s developers.

“This is something our teams are working on,” he said on a call following the release of the company’s second quarter results, noting that this feature is in particular demand among Dogecoin enthusiasts. “The ability to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrency is difficult to do with the scale, and we want to make sure it’s done correctly and correctly.”

He hasn’t revealed when such a launch would take place, but support and testing for his app suggests a start could be near. Lavinia Chirico, spokesperson for Robinhood, based in Menlo Park, Calif., Declined to comment.

Robinhood customers will also have the option to configure two-factor authentication to use the feature. The planned deals were discovered by software developer Steve Moser.

Virtual currency trading fueled Robinhood’s growth in the last reported quarter, accounting for approximately 41% of its net sales during the period. Of the roughly $ 233 million in revenue generated from cryptocurrency transactions, around 62% came from Dogecoin transactions alone, highlighting the important role digital currency trading has played for the new public company.

New cryptographic features are tested as part of an “alpha program”, according to information in the code. Users will need to enable sending and receiving crypto and the registration page will require identity verification. “Complete the steps to start sending and receiving cryptocurrency,” one post read.

The code hidden in beta versions of the Robinhood app was previously a harbinger of new features. In July, Bloomberg News reported a code indicating that the company was working on protection against price volatility and recurring orders for crypto purchases. Robinhood launched these features last week.

The code in Robinhood’s app also revealed plans for investing in aftermarket parts and an early deposit option for checking accounts.

(Updates with actions in the fourth paragraph.)

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com

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