Robinhood Lays Off 9% Workforce, Shares drop

Robinhood is laying off 9% of its full-time workforce, CEO Vlad Tenev announced, as the shares of the company’s stock hit a new low. - 2022-04-27T152102.229.jpg

Tenev, in a blog post, said that the lay-offs came after a headcount growth that “led to some duplicate roles and job functions, and more layers and complexity than are optimal.”

According to Reuters, the online trading platform had 3,400 employees, so around 300 people may be affected by the cut.

Since the beginning of 202, Robinhood has witnessed an increase in its employees from 700 to 3,800.

Regardless of the lay-off, Robinhood claims that its financial position is strong. Tenev announced that the company has over $6 billion in cash on its balance sheet.

Tenev said, “after carefully considering all these factors, we determined that making these reductions to Robinhood’s staff is the right decision to improve efficiency, increase our velocity, and ensure that we are responsive to the changing needs of our customers.”

Following the news of the lay-off, shares of the company’s stock closed at $10 on Tuesday, the lowest price since Robinhood went public in July 2021.

Robinhood’s layoff announcement comes days before the company is expected to report its Q1 2022 financial performance.

The company posted a $423 million net loss for its last quarter.

In one of its major recent crypto developments, Robinhood officially rolled out its long-awaited cryptocurrency wallet in early April, providing access to more than 2 million customers on the waiting list for the digital product.

The release of the wallet shows the company’s commitment to the crypto space, Robinhood said. Robinhood’s wallet will allow users to experience crypto interaction outside the company’s trading platform, such as buying non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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Robinhood Announces Planning to Buy British Crypto Platform Ziglu

Nasdaq-listed commission-free stock trading platform, Robinhood has signed an agreement to acquire a UK-based electronic money institution and crypto-assets firm Ziglu.


As announced by the company, the deal is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

“Ziglu and Robinhood share a common set of goals, working to reduce the barriers to entry for a new generation of investors, and we’re excited to pursue that mission together,” said Mark Hipperson, Founder, and CEO of Ziglu.  “As part of Robinhood, we’ll supercharge Robinhood’s expansion across Europe and bring better access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers.”

Ziglu grants UK customers the opportunity to buy 11 different digital assets and provides additional services like ‘Boost’ in which users can earn a yield on their digital assets. As a regulated platform in the United Kingdom, Ziglu allows its customers to make payments using a debit card, and move and spend money, even abroad, without fees.

Robinhood’s acquisition of Ziglu aims to expand its global footprint as the platform can quickly help it reach more users in the UK and Europe on a larger scale. The commission-free services Robinhood offers a better transaction experience on Ziglu come off as a convenient convergence that aligns both companies.

Robinhood plans to draw on the expertise of the Ziglu staff to meet its growth agenda, and while it said immediate changes will not be felt by the users of the crypto platform, it said the Robinhood culture will rub off on the company in the longer term.

“Ziglu’s impressive team of deeply experienced financial services and crypto experts will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts,” said Vlad Tenev, CEO and Co-Founder of Robinhood Markets. “Together with the Ziglu team, we’ll work to leverage the best of both companies, exploring new ways to innovate and break down barriers for customers across the UK and Europe.”

Robinhood is known for taking advantage of market trends to showcase its own innovation, a move that was made obvious when it introduced new features for Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies in the wake of the Gamestop saga.

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Robinhood Rolls Out Tokens Offerings, Adding SOL, SHIB, MATIC & COMP

To meet customer requests for a broader selection of cryptocurrencies, American financial services company Robinhood has listed Shiba Inu (SHIB), Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), and Compound (COMP).

Upon listing, Shiba Inu surged by more than 20%, increasing its market capitalization by $1.2 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.  

Source: CoinMarketCap

The listing comes nearly a week after the company officially rolled out its long-awaited cryptocurrency wallet, providing access to more than 2 million customers. 

Steve Quirk, Robinhood’s chief brokerage officer, pointed out that the latest move showcases the firm’s commitment to the crypto space. He added:

“We’re excited to add more choices for our customers as we work to make Robinhood the best place to invest in crypto. As a safety-first company, we have a rigorous framework in place to help us evaluate assets for listing, and we remain committed to providing a safe and educational crypto platform.”

As an algorithmic and autonomous interest rate protocol meant to develop open financial applications, Robinhood saw it fit to add Compound to meet customer needs.

Furthermore, Solana prompts processing speeds to nearly 65,000 transactions per second by merging proof-of-history and proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms.

By adding the new cryptocurrencies, Robinhood seeks to revamp its dwindling crypto trading revenue. For instance, according to Bloomberg, cryptocurrencies generated about $48 million in transaction-based revenue for Robinhood in the fourth quarter of last year – a 79% drop from the $233 million reported in the second quarter.

Furthermore, the company intends to incorporate the Bitcoin Lightning Network for faster BTC transactions. 

Shopify, a global e-commerce giant, recently inked a deal with digital payments platform Strike to enable Bitcoin lightning payments, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Robinhood’s Top Crypto Executive Announces Departure

Crypto executive Christine Brown, who was overseeing Robinhood’s cryptocurrency initiatives is leaving the brokerage firm, she confirmed via her Twitter account. - 2022-03-30T165440.720.jpg

Brown had spent five years at the company after leaving Google in 2017.

“After 5 amazing years at RobinhoodApp, I’m moving on to start something new,” Brown tweeted.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Brown is starting a crypto startup. However, further details about her company are yet to be revealed. “As for what’s next, I’m excited to be staying in the crypto space—more from me soon!” Brown said in her Twitter thread.

“I joined RH (short for Robinhood) when it was under 100 people — before we even offered a crypto product. Watching us grow through IPO and serving more than 22 million users has been the greatest professional experience of my life,” her tweet continued.

At Robinhood, she helped build a “self-clearing firm, standing up a Product Operations team, and supporting scaling crypto business.”

Robinhood’s chief operating officer Gretchen Howard further confirmed her departure in a statement with The Block saying “We’re so grateful to Christine for her contributions to Robinhood over the past five years – from leading our self-clearing initiative to scaling the Robinhood Crypto team. We’re excited to follow her entrepreneurial journey going forward.”

Meanwhile, two other ex-Robinhood employees have launched Atlantic Money, a money transfer service, to solve challenges that suers experience while transferring money globally, Blockchain.News reported.

Neeraj Baid and Patrick Kavanagh describe Atlantic Money as the world’s first fixed-fee money transfer service that promises to be a better deal than other foreign exchange (FX) services and pitch itself as a second-generation challenger to Wise, PayPal, and Revolut, the report added.

The Block reported that Robinhood first began providing crypto services in 2018. However, the company has seen a decline in its crypto activity in the last quarter of 2021, even though the excitement surrounding the crypto industry helped Robinhood gather more users.

In January, Robinhood’s crypto wallet went live and allowed its first 1,000 users to make crypto withdrawals, Blockchain.News reported. While in November last year, Robinhood Markets had announced that 1.6 million people were on the waitlist for its cryptocurrency wallet.

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US crypto lobbying expenditure doubles in 2021: Here are the biggest spenders

Cryptocurrency advocates in the United States have been increasingly putting efforts to support the industry, with crypto lobbying spending growing significantly in recent years.

Crypto-related lobbying expenditure in the U.S. totaled at $4.9 million in 2021, more than doubling from $2.3 million in the previous year, according to a new study by the crypto analytics startup The study is based on lobbying tracking data obtained from research and government transparency group Open Secrets.

According to Cryptohead’s findings, the total lobbying expenditure over the past five years amounted to more than $9.5 million. Back in 2017, the total spending on crypto lobbying equaled as low as $200,000.

Crypto lobbying expenditure since 2017. Source:

As Cryptohead estimated the U.S. crypto industry’s lobbying expenditure at roughly $5 million, some analysts suggest that the industry is spending way more on things like political initiatives. According to a report by Americans for Financial Reform, Wall Street executives, their employees and trade associations invested nearly $3 billion into political initiatives during the 2020 election cycle.

According to the report, Ripple Labs, the developer of the open-source protocol and remittance system Ripple, is the biggest-spending crypto company in the United States over the past five years, with lobbying expenses totaling nearly $2 million.

Ripple Labs is “possibly the most influential crypto company in the USA when it comes to affecting government policy and regulation,” the study notes. As previously reported, Ripple Labs has been under a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission since late 2020, with regulators alleging that the firm was involved in a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering of XRP.

Other big industry lobbyists include crypto-friendly stock trading app Robinhood, the industry’s advocates group Blockchain Association, Coinbase crypto exchange and blockchain platform According to the data, Coinbase was the biggest-spending lobbying blockchain company in 2021, with expenses totaling at over $1.3 million.

The biggest-spending blockchain lobbyists since 2017. Source: Cryptohead

The crypto industry’s increased spending on lobbying efforts apparently comes in response to the crypto market attracting more attention from U.S. regulators.

In September 2021, the SEC threatened to sue Coinbase over its crypto yield program Lend, which the regulator considered a security. The firm was eventually forced to cancel the Lend product. Previously, the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ordered Robinhood to pay roughly $70 million in fines for “widespread and significant harm” to its users and “systemic supervisory failures” starting as early as September 2016.