Robinhood Met With SEC 16 Times ‘In Good Faith’: CEO

Robinhood Bitcoin gID 7

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev revealed that the fintech firm had met with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 16 times in its efforts to register as a special purpose broker-dealer supporting crypto assets, prior to receiving a Wells Notice from the regulator.

Speaking on CNBC Last Call, Tenev said that the stock trading platform “came in good faith to meet with the SEC,” adding that, “I think we met with them 16 times—and unfortunately, that was not reciprocated.”

The Robinhood CEO added that the regulator “told us they didn’t want to keep meeting about it, and they didn’t see a path toward it,” noting that it was “hard to impute the reasoning” behind the SEC’s decision.

Tenev’s characterization of the SEC echoed that of Robinhood Markets’ Chief Legal, Compliance and Corporate Affairs Officer, Dan Gallagher, who in Congressional testimony last year noted that the firm had “over a dozen meetings and calls” with the regulator to discuss its crypto business and listings process over the course of a year and a half.

Robinhood Crypto receives SEC Wells Notice

Last week, Robinhood revealed that its digital assets arm, Robinhood Crypto, had received a Wells Notice from the SEC, notifying it that the regulator plans to move forward with a civil enforcement action or proceeding against the firm.

It comes as the SEC has ramped up its regulatory warnings issued toward U.S. crypto firms, with the regulator recently issuing Wells Notices to Ethereum software giant Consensys, and decentralized exchange (DEX) developer Uniswap Labs.

Speaking to CNBC Last Call, Tenev argued that the SEC had opted to pursue “regulation by enforcement,” despite having “the ability to change the rules to allow for brokers to accommodate crypto assets.”

“I didn’t want to have to get into this situation, but we have to defend ourselves and advocate for our customers,” Tenev said, adding that, “Crypto assets are becoming more and more important, and it would not be acceptable to us to not have Americans have access to them.”

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