Robinhood Plans ‘Web 3’ Crypto Wallet for DeFi Traders, NFT Buyers

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Trading firm Robinhood (HOOD) plans to roll out a new crypto wallet focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) for customers who want to participate in the crypto economy by the end of 2022.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev teased the “Web 3 crypto wallet” at the Permissionless conference in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday. Its announcement follows last month’s launch of a more tightly controlled crypto wallet, which was basically a halfway house for users moving tokens in and out of their Robinhood brokerage accounts.

Users of the entirely separate Web 3 wallet will be able to lend, stake, yield farm and even buy non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – much as they might with a MetaMask wallet. Those capabilities do not exist in Robinhood’s earlier wallet. It was not immediately clear which blockchain the custodial wallet intends to support.

Robinhood’s upcoming wallet – it begins testing in the summer, with a waitlist now open – is slated for direct competition with Coinbase’s (COIN) own offering, with expanded features announced Monday. Both investing giants are making it easier for their crypto-trading customers to actually deploy assets into DeFi without leaving their wallet ecosystems. Doing so could end up goosing DeFi protocols with a raft of new users.

While Coinbase’s Web 3 wallet is integrated, Robinhood’s is not. Robinhood Crypto Chief Technology Officer Johann Kerbrat said the new wallet will specifically cater to users who seek “advanced use cases” of crypto.

“We see this new product as a kind of brother for Web 3,” Kerbrat told CoinDesk in a phone interview prior to Tenev’s keynote. He said the team is “building this product as effectively a browser.”

The wallet will allow users to purchase and store NFTs, earn yield on assets, and access a host of tokens not currently available on Robinhood.

“We want to give [users] the last piece missing to access the Web 3 space,” said Kerbrat.

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