Robinhood sees crypto, order flow payment risks in filing update

‘The regulatory landscape involving cryptocurrencies is constantly evolving and is subject to change’.
Image: Gabby Jones, Bloomberg

Robinhood Markets Inc. said that regulatory intervention in cryptocurrency trading, and in a payment arrangement between brokerages and trading firms, could pose risks to its business.

The Menlo Park, California-based brokerage cited the risks Friday in an amended filing, seeking to speed up approval for a previously announced shareholder stock sale. The firm pointed to comments by Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler on recent projects the agency is undertaking, including reviewing a system called payment for order flow that accounts for a significant slice of Robinhood’s revenue, and evaluating digital currency markets.

“The regulatory landscape involving cryptocurrencies is constantly evolving and is subject to change,” Robinhood said in the amended filing.

The firm also noted that crypto trades made up a 41% share of its revenue in the second quarter, a period when investment in digital currencies swelled. Another key stream of revenue, payment for order flow on stock and options trades, could also come under fire by the SEC, Robinhood said, citing a Gensler interview in August.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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