News Roundup — Robinhood to acquire Bitstamp crypto exchange in $200 million deal

June 17, 2024

Major news stories this week;

  1. Robinhood to acquire Bitstamp crypto exchange in $200 million deal
  2. MicroStrategy plans $500M stock sale to buy more Bitcoin
  3. Crypto.com gains approval from Ireland’s central ban
  4. Terraform Labs and Do Kwon to Pay $4.5 Billion to Settle SEC Fraud Case
  5. Beyond the US-Saudi Petrodollar – Gold, Yuan, or Bitcoin?

Story Summaries;

  1. Popular stock trading app Robinhood is putting its money on digital currencies, announcing Thursday that it will acquire crypto exchange Bitstamp for about $200 million. The deal marks the trading platform's biggest-ever push into the digital assets industry, the company said in a statement Thursday, and will make it a competitor to larger crypto trading firms like Binance and Coinbase. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2025. The transaction comes as some of the country's biggest financial companies introduce products aimed at ordinary investors eager to put money in digital currencies. "The acquisition of Bitstamp is a major step in growing our crypto business. Bitstamp's highly trusted and long-standing global exchange has shown resilience through market cycles," Robinhood Crypto general manager Johann Kerbrat said in the statement. He added that the acquisition will allow Robinhood to grow its footprint internationally and acquire institutional customers.
  2. MicroStrategy has announced its intention to offer $500 million in convertible senior notes due in 2032. The private offering to qualified institutional buyers would adhere to Rule 144A of the Securities Act 1933 and is “subject to market conditions and other factors. The notes will be unsecured, senior obligations of MicroStrategy and will bear interest payable semi-annually in arrears on June 15 and December 15 of each year, beginning on December 15, 2024. The notes will mature on June 15, 2032, unless earlier repurchased, redeemed or converted in accordance with their terms.” According to a press release, the net proceeds will primarily be used to acquire additional Bitcoin and for “general corporate purposes.”
  3. The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has given a nod to another major cryptocurrency company, Crypto.com, as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). Crypto.com, one of the world’s largest crypto trading platforms, announced on June 11 that it had received VASP approval in Ireland. The approval allows Crypto.com to expand its offering in the country, including crypto-to-fiat exchanges and fiat wallets. Crypto.com’s president and chief operating officer, Eric Anziani, said the approval shows the company’s commitment to compliance and responsible innovation. “We are excited to broaden our offering in Ireland, enabling consumers to engage with the most comprehensive crypto product offering,” the exec added.
  4. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that Terraform Labs and its former CEO Do Kwon have agreed to pay around $4.5 billion as part of a massive settlement agreement, according to court documents filed last Wednesday. The company and individual behind the $40 billion collapse of UST and LUNA in 2022 were found liable on civil fraud charges last month. A Manhattan jury found that Kwon and Terraform Labs misled investors about the success and stability of the Terra blockchain before it imploded. As part of the agreement, Kwon and Terraform Labs would pay $4.5 billion back in ill-gotten gains (plus interest), alongside a $420 million civil penalty. They will also be prohibited from “engaging in crypto asset securities transactions” moving forward.
  5. In a landmark decision that could reshape global economic landscapes, Saudi Arabia opted not to renew its historic 80-year petrodollar agreement with the United States. This move not only concludes an era that began on June 8, 1974, but also signals potential shifts in global monetary dynamics and the role of the U.S. dollar. The petrodollar system was a critical element of U.S. global economic dominance, requiring oil purchases from Saudi Arabia to be denominated exclusively in U.S. dollars. This arrangement provided the dollar with immense global stability and demand. The termination of this deal, however, opens Saudi Arabia to trade oil using a variety of currencies, including the Euro, Yen, Yuan, and potentially digital currencies like Bitcoin.

And that’s all for last week’s news! Wishing you a great week ahead!

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