Robinhood Buys Overseas Crypto Exchange Bitstamp; Proselytizing To The Masses

bringing it to the masses

Rep. French Hill (R, AR), who is vice chair of House Financial Services Committee, appeared on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” yesterday and discussed the latest digital assets legislation including CBDCs and the “Financial Innovation and Technology Act for the 21st Century Act” -or, FIT 21.

Rep. Hill told the hosts, “…the private sector should lead here. Private sector stablecoins using the dollar as the backing – which is another bill we have in Congress that’s pending – will be the gateway to a digital asset future where the Dollar continues to lead the world in tokenized transactions for payments.”

He continued, “And so a dollar-backed stablecoin bill, plus a nationwide privacy bill, plus FIT 21 create the kind of ecosystem, I think, that’s perfect for innovators here, to bring money here, bring technology here and, as I say, give consumers choice.” See a bit more of the interview.

moving/expanding overseas

U.S. financial services company Robinhood has upped the ante for its crypto strategy in spite of receiving a Wells Notice from the SEC over cryptocurrency traded on its platform just a month ago.

Yesterday, the company announced its large purchase ever: a $200 million acquisition of crypto exchange Bitstamp whose jurisdictions of interest are mainly outside the U.S. According to a company release: “This acquisition will bring Bitstamp’s globally-scaled crypto exchange to Robinhood, with retail and institutional customers across the EU, UK, US and Asia. This strategic combination better positions Robinhood to expand outside of the US and will bring a trusted and reputable institutional business to Robinhood.” Read more.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the news, “Robinhood has been focused on becoming more than just a trading app for newbie stock and options investors. The brokerage rolled out retirement accounts last year, launched a credit card in March and is planning to add such features as futures trading later this year.” Read more.

Sen. Gillibrand

Senate Finance is the place to be for the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act (RFIA) which is assigned to the Senate Finance Committee as well as Senate Banking in the 118th Congress. See S.2281.

RFIA co-sponsor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) tells Politico’s Eleanor Mueller she’ll “be encouraging” Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D, OR) to markup “parts” of RFIA in this Congress. “It’s already been assigned to Finance, because it has tax provisions,” says the New York Senator.

Read more from Politico (subscription) on Senate Dem appetite for digital assets.

what you should know: FIT 21, Lummis-Gillibrand, Senate Ag – there are three different efforts swirling currently for a digital assets regulatory framework. Marrying the Senate efforts with the House efforts will be “the rub.” And a successful conclusion (i.e. law) doesn’t seem possible until next Congress at the earliest given the election and compressed calendar ahead.

new co-sponsors

The “Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology Act”  or “CLARITY Act [H.R.6307]  from Rep. Zach Nunn (R, IA) has added Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D, PA) to a list of seven Members who are co-sponsors. The bill looks to create a strategy for defending “against the economic and national security risks posed by foreign adversarial blockchain networks…” Read the text.

what you should know: Rep. Houlahan voted “for” FIT 21 and the House resolution rescinding SAB 121. In the wake of those two votes, perhaps this is the leading of a “wave” where Republicans add digital asset-friendly Democrats to certain digital asset bills.


Saudi Central Bank joins mBridge as cross-border CBDC project with China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the UAE opens up further – 

op-ed: protecting privacy

In an op-ed on CoinDesk, DeFi Education Fund counsel, Amanda Tuminelli, and Blockchain Association counsel, Marisa Coppel, worry aloud about the violation of privacy due to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission implementation the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT).

Explaining the CAT, the duo says,  “SEC registered broker-dealers, exchanges and alternative trading systems now have to collect and report trade information related to every U.S. trade as well as the personal information of every U.S. retail brokerage customer.”

They see a violation of privacy that the Constitution should protect. Read more.

SEC losses

Another court loss by the SEC – this time having to do with the regulator overstepping its authority to impose disclosures on hedge funds and private equity for their fees was characterized as “a significant setback in the regulator’s clampdown on the private-funds industry.” Read more in Bloomberg.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R, MN) said on X on Wednesday, “How many court losses has [SEC Chair Gary Gensler] had now?”

what you should know: The self-destruction in the SEC’s case against DEBT Box which arguably caused the agency to shut down its Utah office was another in a growing string of losses.

op-ed: good faith regulator

Skybridge Capital leader Anthony Scaramucci, a former member of the Trump Administration, has had enough of the current Administration’s crypto regime and thinks its time for a change.

In an op-ed titled, “It’s time to end the SEC’s war on crypto,” on Blockworks, Scaramucci writes, “We need a good faith regulator to get in the room with the adults in the crypto industry. We need to move past untethered regulatory obstruction. Goodbye Gary Gensler, hello honest reform.” Read it.

still more tips

Trillion-Dollar Asset Manager Franklin Templeton Explores New Crypto [Altcoin] Fund (subscription) – The Information

AI’s Insatiable Data-Center Demand Makes Crypto Miners Targets – Bloomberg

Three United Kingdom Nationals Charged In Connection With “Evolved Apes” NFT Scam –