Robinhood CEO Addresses SEC’s Wells Notice Regarding Crypto Operations


In the midst of navigating the intricate terrain of financial regulations, Vlad Tenev, the CEO of Robinhood, steps forward to confront the recent Wells Notice issued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the company’s cryptocurrency endeavors.

Tenev’s response to the SEC’s Wells Notice underscores Robinhood’s unwavering dedication to managing regulatory matters while staying true to its mission of democratizing finance.

SEC’s Notice to Robinhood

Last week, the SEC issued a Wells Notice to Robinhood, citing potential securities violations under Sections 15(a) and 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 at its cryptocurrency subsidiary. In a regulatory filing, the company disclosed that the Commission had issued investigative subpoenas pertaining to cryptocurrency listings, custody, and platform operations.

Robinhood’s filing stated:

“As previously disclosed, Robinhood Crypto, LLC (RHC) has received investigative subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding, among other topics, RHC’s cryptocurrency listings, custody of cryptocurrencies, and platform operations (the RHC Activities).”

This action by the SEC could lead to various outcomes, including a public administrative proceeding, a cease-and-desist proceeding, or civil injunctive actions, with potential remedies such as disgorgement, cease-and-desist orders, civil penalties, revocation, and activity limitations.

Despite Robinhood’s efforts to engage with the Commission on multiple occasions regarding its cryptocurrency operations, the SEC issued the Wells Notice.

CEO’s Response

In response to the notice, Robinhood’s CEO Vlad Tenev revealed that the company had met with the SEC over 16 times, expressing disappointment that these engagements did not yield desired outcomes. “We actually came in good faith to meet with the SEC and I think we met with them 16 times and, unfortunately, that was not reciprocated,” Tenev stated.

While uncertain about the reasons behind the SEC’s response, Tenev disclosed that the Commission had requested Robinhood to cease its engagement, indicating a lack of alignment with the company’s business objectives.

Furthermore, Tenev highlighted the SEC’s reluctance to adjust regulations to accommodate brokers accepting cryptocurrency assets, opting instead for enforcement-based regulation, which he found discouraging.

Company’s Commitment

Despite these challenges, Tenev reaffirmed Robinhood’s commitment to defending its position and prioritizing customer safety. He emphasized the growing importance of crypto assets globally and asserted that denying Americans exposure to them would be inappropriate.

In a post, Tenev reiterated Robinhood’s determination to safeguard its crypto platform and advocate for regulatory clarity in the US. The company is prepared to utilize all available resources to contest the SEC in court if necessary, while simultaneously fostering positive relationships with regulators.


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Bitcoin Maximalist and Toxic to our banking and monetary system. Separation of money and state is necessary just like the separation of religion and state in the past.

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