Robinhood To Add Bitcoin Gifting Feature: Report
Financial services platform Robinhood is working on a new feature to let its users send bitcoin to each other as a gift, code discovered in a beta version of its iPhone app showed, according to a report by Bloomberg.
“The code indicates that the feature will allow the sending of cryptocurrency via digital gift cards that can be accompanied by messages up to 180 characters in length,” per the report. “A user who sends a cryptocurrency gift will also be able to retract it anytime before it is accepted, according to the code.”
It’s unclear when the company may enable the new feature. Past code findings showed functions Robinhood was working on at the time and have not yet come to fruition. In September, code was found that hinted the company was testing a bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallet in its platform, which would allow users to withdraw their coins to a self-custody solution. But the waitlist for such a feature is already over 1.6 million users, and there’s no indication when it will be released.
The way the Robinhood trading app currently works, users buy and sell representations of BTC and any other cryptocurrency instead of the bitcoin itself — effectively an IOU. A customer can only be sure they have bitcoin once they transfer it to a wallet for which they control the private key.
Robinhood opened the waitlist for the withdrawing feature in September after repeatedly hinting that it would enable such components over the past year. Since its launch, the waitlist has gathered much interest, showing customers’ desire to take ownership of their bitcoin.
A feature to send bitcoin as a gift might see similarly high interest from users. However, the company’s track record of delayed additions and its lack of comments on the code leak make the function unlikely to be released soon.
“The gifting feature would be an escalation of Robinhood’s work with cryptocurrencies,” the report said. “Other future features revealed by code include spare change investing and the ability to receive direct deposits early.”