Can Robinhood's new Polygon-based crypto wallet catch on?

Robinhood is down but not out. Once the hottest thing in fintech, the trading app's share price is at a sickly $9 and its revenue forecast is dismal, but it continues to innovate.

The latest example is Robinhood's new self-custody crypto wallet, which launched in beta on Tuesday and offers users a way to prowl the world of DeFi and Web3 all while paying no gas fees.

The wallet is currently available only to 10,000 customers who joined a waitlist, but Robinhood's product team gave me a tour of the new service on Monday.

The wallet has a few curious features that I'll describe below, but also has a sleek and user-friendly design that's long been one of the company's hallmarks.

This includes a tool to access one's private key using iCloud—a feature that might horrify some crypto purists, but will be deeply appreciated by ordinary users.

Where the product—called simply Robinhood Wallet—feels odd is that it's build entirely on Polygon, the popular Layer 2 service for Ethereum, and does not let the wallet user transact on Ethereum itself.