Robinhood’s New Web3 Wallet—FTX Wins Voyager’s Assets
By Ian Kar
- This week Robinhood announced that the Beta version of their Web3 Wallet is now live. It is available to 10K users that joined a waitlist back in May, and the first blockchain supported by it is Polygon, but it is expected to become a multi-chain wallet in the future.
- Features available for the Beta include trading and swaps with no network fees, crypto rewards, custody and tracking of the user’s crypto portfolio, and connection to Dapps to earn yield. The main source of funding for the wallet is USDC. NFT storage and connection to no NFT marketplaces was announced as a feature to be included when the product becomes available to the general public.
- According to Robinhood’s announcement, the newly minted product already has a waitlist of over 1M users, and it is expected to roll-out the final version later this year. The trading platform listed USDC on their main app last week, anticipating the launch of the Beta, and has been making moves to expand their crypto products all year, such as the launch of their crypto wallet.
- The no-fee structure is on-brand with Robinhood’s business model, and it will be interesting to see if this effort succeeds in creating a seamless experience for users to access Web3 products.
- FTX managed to win the bid for Voyager Digital’s crypto assets, as part of the firm’s bankruptcy procedures. The price tag on Voyager’s total crypto bag was $1.42B, from which 1.31B came from current-market prices, and the extra 111M were negotiated as incremental value.
- This is a result of the Chapter 11 process filed by Voyager back in July, after the lending platform defaulted on a 15,250 BTC payment to Singapore based hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
- As you might remember, FTX has been aggressively trying to acquire distressed companies in the crypto space since the beginning of the economic downturn, including a bid for Voyager Digital that was rejected and described as a low-ball offer in an effort to take advantage of the circumstances. In the end, it seems like Sam Bankman-Fried wasn’t ready to let this one go.
- Cathie Woods announced the ARK Venture Fund on Tuesday, with the objective of investing in startups within all stages and publicly traded companies in a similar structure to the firm’s tech focused high growth ETFs. The fund will be run by a friend of FTT’s, Maximilian Friedrich (congrats Max!)
- What’s really interesting is that the fund will be available to retail investors, including individuals, with a minimum investment of just $500. This might represent an important milestone for the democratization of alternative investments, as Venture Capital funds have historically been available only to accredited investors, leaving out the majority of the population.
- However, the fund structure is not the traditional 2-20 that most VCs use. The ARK fund will charge a 2.75% management fee, along with other distribution and fees expected at 1.75%, and no carried interest. Their strategy is also unusual, as they plan to invest 70% of their capital on private companies and 30% on publicly traded firms, and continue to hold their stake in those that become public along the way.
- The fund will be available to investors through the investing app Titan, and is expected to reach 250M in assets under management during its first year, according to ARK. We’ll have to keep an eye on this new VC fund structure, and see how retail investors welcome this new alternative, although the current macroeconomic conditions might prove to be a strong obstacle to massive onboarding.