Weekly Roundup

Millennial Traders: According to a new report by Apex Fintech Solutions, millennials were the most active traders in Q4 of 2022. As a group, millennials executed nearly 56 million trades which is 1.4x the number of trades made by Gen X.

Robinhood’s Investigation: The SEC is taking a hard look at Robinhood’s crypto offerings. According to the SEC filing, an investigative subpoena was issued regarding Robinhood’s crypto products and services not long after FTX filed for bankruptcy in November.

Advocacy Campaign: The Digital Currency Trader’s Alliance (DCTA) has its eyes on Gary Gensler. The advocacy group recently launched an advertising campaign pushing retail investors to lobby their representatives to act against Gensler’s regulation strategy. Gensler has been widely criticized for using a ‘regulation by enforcement’ strategy, which critics claim harms retail investors.

SEC Speaks: The SEC declined to speak at this year’s SEC Speaks conference, so the event is being canceled. The conference is an annual event where Wall Street lawyers and regulators gather to discuss the SEC’s rulemaking and enforcement record. The SEC cited lack of time and fear of giving the appearance that private lawyers can buy access to senior regulators as the reasons for declining.

Crypto Rollbacks: Visa and Mastercard are pushing back the launch of certain crypto products, citing recent high-profile crypto industry collapses as the reason why the payment giants slammed on their brakes. A Visa spokesperson said that the recent failures in the crypto sector highlight the lengthy journey the crypto industry has ahead of it before crypto becomes an accepted mainstream offering.

In the Mix: This Week’s Top FinTech Thought Leader

  • Alex Mooney, US Representative (R- WV), commented on the SEC’s agenda and regulatory actions in a Washington Times op-ed, accusing the agency of valuing activists over investors. Mooney views the SEC as responsible for protecting investors, facilitating capital formation, and making decisions for the greater good of the markets. The representative called out ‘activist investors’ for pressuring the agency to make decisions on behalf of societal issues, like climate change, instead of the markets.

  • Perianne Boring, Chamber of Digital Commerce founder, is attempting to halt a case issued by the SEC against a Coinbase employee for alleged insider trading. According to Boring, if the SEC’s case is successful, it will set a dangerous precedent that many digital assets should be treated as securities. “We see this action as seriously concerning and would have significant ramifications for the entire digital asset industry,” Boring stated.

  • George Kaloudis, CoinDesk columnist, criticized the discourse surrounding Gensler’s suggestion that all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are securities. “It’s not like commodities are immune from market manipulation or anything like that (just ask gold and silver),” Kaloudis wrote. “Nothing would change about what that asset fundamentally is whether he calls it a security or not,” he continued.

  • Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO, emphasized that he doesn’t think the SEC should regulate stablecoins. Recently, Gary Gensler has been scrutinizing the stablecoin sector, suggesting that stablecoins should be treated as securities. Allaire iterated that “there is a reason why everywhere in the world, including the US, the government is specifically saying payment stablecoins are a payment system and banking regulator activity.”