The under-fire American trading platform Robinhood said it will provide customers “the ability to deposit and withdraw” cryptoassets and has claimed that it has no crypto holdings – despite mounting suspicion that it could be one of the mysterious dogecoin (DOGE) whales who control vast amounts of the runaway token.
In a series of tweets, Robinhood wrote:
“So much interest in crypto! To be crystal clear, we fully intend to provide the ability to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies, including DOGE. Robinhood Crypto does NOT currently invest in cryptocurrency or use any customer cryptocurrency for our own benefit.”
The potential DOGE connection is key, as an increasing number of social media sleuths – including man-of-the-moment Elon Musk – think they have reason to believe that a wallet that holds almost 28% of the DOGE currently in circulation secretly belongs to Robinhood.
Per Bloomberg, Tom Robinson, the chief scientist and co-founder of the blockchain data tracker Elliptic, said of the wallet,
“It almost certainly belongs to Robinhood. The timings of its creation, and the creation of the addresses that it received funds from, match the timings of Robinhood’s support of dogecoin.”
Musk, meanwhile, has been wading into the argument with apparent relish.
In response to a dogecoiner’s demand for Robinhood to stop “dodging DOGE questions and hiding behind scripted answers” and a demand for “transparency,” Musk tweeted, “You’re right.”
And in reply to another DOGE aficionado who opined, “If the top whale wallet is Robinhood then I think dogecoin has a clear trajectory to the moon,” Musk wrote: “Sounds like it is.”
For now, however, it appears that Robinhood is intending to play its cards close to its chest, and will stick with responses like the below.
We are not alone. Just like other crypto platforms, for operational security reasons and to protect customer privacy, we will not confirm which addresses do or do not belong to us.
— Robinhood (@RobinhoodApp) February 17, 2021
Not everyone agrees with the theory that Robinhood is behind the wallet, however, with Redditors positing that the wallet may well belong to Musk himself – or a crypto exchange or an “early mining pool.”
Regardless, Robinhood appears set to push ahead with its crypto plans, although it did not set a date on the rollout of its new token-related services.
On social media, reaction was mixed. Some Redditors welcomed what they called “big” and “great news,” but others dismissed it as a “PR” stunt – with others still claiming they would not be taking their custom to Robinhood.
On Twitter, the mood was similarly uncertain.
Some welcomed the news as “bullish.” But others claimed that the damage to the company’s reputation was already too great in the wake of the GameStop share pump – and Robinhood’s much-maligned role in the affair, a matter that even Musk has quizzed the company’s CEO on.
We messed up stock trading. Where can we make some money? Answer: unregulated #bitcoin market
— T (@cantonrd) February 18, 2021
At the time of writing (09:28 UTC), DOGE, ranked 13th by market capitalization, trades at USD 0.0508 and is down by 6% in a day and 30% in a week. It rallied by 455% in a month and 1,768% in a year.