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Stock and cryptocurrency trading app Robinhood announced at the Bitcoin 2022 conference today that it’s making plans to add the Bitcoin Lightning Network to its platform for speedier BTC transactions. It also shared that eligible users from its beta crypto waitlist can now send and receive crypto through its crypto wallet feature.
Through its wallet feature on its app, Robinhood joins the growing number of tech and finance companies using the Lightning Network for fast Bitcoin transactions. Kraken announced an integration this month, the country of El Salvador uses it for Bitcoin transactions, and Twitter relies on Lightning via payments company Strike for its mobile tipping feature.
Robinhood’s announcement comes over six months after it shared plans to fully develop a wallet feature that would allow for its users to deposit and withdraw crypto assets. The feature quickly acquired a long waitlist, with more than 2 million people requesting access. Robinhood released its crypto wallet beta back in January, allowing select users to transfer Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.
Before then, Robinhood customers could only buy and sell crypto, with the app keeping custody of it. Users couldn't transfer it out in order to spend it or make trades on decentralized platforms. Now, users who signed up for the waitlist have the ability to buy, sell, and move their crypto assets off of Robinhood.
Per its website, Robinhood’s “corporate wallets secure all of [its] customers’ coins, so we don’t provide customers with the private keys to those wallets.” For those looking to have greater control over their crypto and truly “be their own bank,” it’s now possible to move assets off of Robinhood to a software wallet, like MetaMask, or a hardware wallet, such as Ledger or Trezor.
Robinhood currently offers trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV. In a statement, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said that adding crypto deposits and withdrawals “are just the first steps” that the company is taking into crypto.