Robinhood has launched a beta for its “Web3 wallet” to 10,000 waitlisted iOS users. The company teased this product this early year after making an earlier crypto wallet more widely available. Unlike its existing crypto wallets, the Web3 wallet isn’t just for storing cryptocurrencies that can be traded on financial platforms – it can also be used for “seamless access to the decentralized web”. middle”, like Robinhood Press Release put it. The wallet will also allow people to trade cryptocurrencies without paying any fees.
The Web3 wallet also differs from the company’s other crypto wallets in that it is self-custodial, meaning you are responsible for keeping the keys to it safe. In practical terms, that gives you a little more control over your crypto, but it also means that if you forget your password, there’s nothing Robinhood can do to help.
Obviously it’s still very early days for wallets; for one, it won’t support viewing NFTs or connecting to the NFT marketplace until public release. However, even if you can connect the beta wallet to OpenSea, you will be a bit limited in what you can do with it. Robinhood says that for the time being, it will work “exclusively” with the Polygon blockchain instead of the more popular Ethereum blockchain. To put Ethereum dominance in perspective, DappRadar Report that there were nearly 384,000 OpenSea transactions on the blockchain in the past week; meanwhile, there are only 82 transactions on the Polygon chain. (Note: not 82 thousand, only 82). It should be noted that going with a non-Ethereum chain is not automatically a bad choice – Solana just surpassed it in sales for the first timealthough it has not consistently beaten Ethereum.
Robinhood says that it will eventually add support for other blockchains. For now, beta users will be able to fund their wallets with the USDC stablecoin, trade cryptocurrencies, “earn crypto rewards” and connect to decentralized apps, which Robinhood says will enable allows you to make a profit. (Again, though, you’ll be limited to dApps built on top of the Polygon chain.) In theory, you could use it with decentralized apps that do other things, but.. Honestly, both Robinhood and the wider Web3 community focus mainly on the money side, so it’s very brand-driven for profitable apps – mostly working by investing or trade deposited cryptocurrencies – to gain profit here.
The concept of income yield, or interest, has received a lot of regulatory scrutiny lately, with several states sue a cryptocurrency company for allegedly providing a for-profit product without authorization and the SEC ask BlockFi to pay $100 million in fines because of its interest accounts. However, Robinhood says that you can connect your product to similar apps and actually provide one of those services are two different things.