Robinhood’s crypto business explodes in the first quarter despite GameStop controversy

The popular trading app offers commission-free trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

Robinhood, a popular trading app targeting millennials and other inexperienced investors, has become a major hub for cryptocurrencies, offering further evidence that digital assets are garnering mainstream appeal. 

The company reported Thursday that 9.5 million users traded digital assets on its platform during the first quarter of 2021 – a six-fold increase from the previous quarter.

Robinhood provides commission-free trading for several major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). It provides real-time market data for nearly a dozen more digital assets.

That Robinhood’s crypto business is on the rise is hardly surprising given the size and growth rate of the crypto market over the past six months. The combined value of all cryptos reaching $2 trillion in early April, having doubled in just three months.

A huge chunk of those gains was catalyzed by Bitcoin’s nearly twofold increase since January. As Bitcoin’s gains moderated, altcoins have taken over. Cryptos not named Bitcoin now account for roughly 45% of the overall market, according to CoinMarketCap data.

But 2021 hasn’t been entirely positive for Robinhood. The company was embroiled in controversy after deciding to suspend trading of GameStop and other stocks that had grown in popularity among retail traders. As a result, public opinion of the company tanked, forcing its executives to rethink their plans for a public listing.

Despite the controversy, Robinhood is moving ahead with its initial public offering, according to paperwork it filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission last month. Although the company didn’t specify when its IPO would take place, it confirmed that the offering would go ahead “after the SEC contemplates its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

Robinhood joins crypto-focused exchanges Coinbase and Kraken in reporting stellar first-quarter results. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Kraken appears poised to follow in Coinbase and Robinhood’s footsteps in pursuit of a public offering, perhaps as early as next year.

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LBRY fires back at SEC over ‘aggressive and disastrous’ securities complaint

LBRY is in the SEC’s firing line for selling unregistered securities. It claims the case could set a precedent that would affect much of the industry.

Blockchain company LBRY, Inc. has hit back at the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying a complaint filed against it threatens much of the crypto industry because it would define most tokens as securities. 

The SEC has been looking into the blockchain-based publishing platform LBRY, Inc. as part of a three-year investigation that started in May 2018.

According to the complaint filed by the SEC, the platform is alleged to have sold unregistered securities across multiple avenues including to institutional investors and platform users between 2016 and 2020.

The regulator is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the company from selling more tokens, disgorgement of all funds received with interest, and to pay an undisclosed amount in civil penalties.

LBRY developed a decentralized video sharing platform called Odysee that allows viewers to “earn cryptocurrency for watching videos” and for creators to earn LBRY Credits for their work. Since 2016, 13 million LBC tokens were sold for $5 million in Bitcoin. A press release from the SEC states the total amount raised was $11 million, including USD and services from purchasers who participated in its offering.

According to LBRY, while it did not conduct an initial coin offering (ICO) and the SEC is not alleging fraud, its attempts to settle have been rejected by the Commission:

“The SEC declined to offer any terms that would have made it viable for U.S. citizens to exchange tokens or to allow LBRY Inc to continue to operate. We were willing to give them a pound of flesh, but they were only interested in our head.”

Despite already spending “more than $1 million on legal fees” and the momentous effort of “several thousand hours of team members’ time” during the investigation, the company is not backing down, stating: “The SEC is advancing an aggressive and disastrous new standard that would make almost all blockchain tokens securities.”

“Classifying all actively-developed blockchain tokens as securities will be a bureaucratic nightmare for United States residents and businesses operating in the US.”

A petition on its website “helplbrysavecrypto.com” with more than 6,700 signatures to date calls on “the SEC to drop this case and establish clear standards for the cryptocurrency industry in the United States.”

LBRY claims that when it asked the SEC how it could operate legally, it was told that the regulatory body could not advise on that and could only say that they were breaking the law.

However the firm stated that should the SEC succeed in shutting down LBRY, Inc., the LBRY platform and ecosystem will remain unaffected as it is fully decentralized with “hundreds of people across six continents,” most of which are not LBRY employees, contributing to the network in 2020.

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Stone Ridge’s Open-End Mutual Fund to Invest in Bitcoin — SEC Filing Opens the Door for Other Mutual Funds to Add BTC

Stone Ridge's Open-End Mutual Fund to Invest in Bitcoin — SEC Filing Opens the Door for Other Mutual Funds to Add BTCAsset management firm Stone Ridge has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its open-end mutual fund to invest in bitcoin. “This is a big deal. Stone Ridge filing opens the door for every mutual fund to add bitcoin,” said a fellow asset manager. Stone Ridge Wants Its Mutual Fund to Invest […]
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US Authorities Take Action to Shut Down Crypto Trading Platform Allegedly Defrauding Thousands of Investors

US Authorities Take Action to Shut Down Crypto Trading Platform Allegedly Defrauding Thousands of InvestorsThe New York attorney general and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have filed charges against a cryptocurrency trading platform that allegedly defrauded thousands of investors out of over a million dollars. US Regulators Allege Coinseed Operates Illegal Crypto Trading Platform New York Attorney General Letitia James took legal action Wednesday to shut down […]
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