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Robinhood's Big Gamble

Weekly Recap: Robinhood doubles down, GME reverses gains
David C David C Jun 8, 20243 min read
Robinhood's Big Gamble

1️⃣ Robinhood to acquire Bitstamp

On Thursday, Robinhood announced it was set to acquire Bitstamp in a potential $200M deal to double down on crypto and expand its presence globally. The acquisition not only aims to bring in Bitstamp’s retail customers in the EU, UK, U.S., and Asia, but also its institutional customers — expanding Robinhood’s offerings to a whole new investor class.

Founded in 2011, Bitstamp is the oldest crypto exchange with over 50 global licenses, supporting over 85 tradable assets.  Against the backdrop of ongoing legal issues with the SEC, Robinhood's acquisition of Bitstamp showcases their commitment to crypto and their anticipation of further high demand. 

2️⃣ BTC flirts with new highs

While Bitcoin set new records this week, a new all-time high was not one of them. Instead, BTC futures positions reached a new record as open interest (OI) surpassed $37.7B. The surge in OI coincides with record inflows into spot bitcoin ETFs that brought Bitcoin from $68.5K to $71K, as BlackRock’s IBIT displaced GBTC as the largest ETF. On the back of seemingly strong employment market data, Bitcoin slipped on Friday to fall below $70K. Yet, the market remains hopeful as multiple countries have begun cutting rates, with Canada and the ECB leading the way.

3️⃣ Roaring Kitty back on livestream

GameStop had a rollercoaster of a week, jumping from ~$26 on Wednesday to ~$65 on Thursday after their champion, Keith Gill, also known as "Roaring Kitty," posted a livestream scheduled for Friday. Earlier in the week, Gill had posted a screenshot on Reddit showing a portfolio ballooning to $586M, including GameStop stock holdings and 120K call options, and a tweet of a green Uno reverse card, igniting hopes for another short squeeze. However, on Friday, GameStop announced the issuance of 75M shares during earnings, reversing the rally, a drop compounded by Gill's first live stream since 2021 ending as a let-down, dropping GME back to ~$28. 

4️⃣ Coinbase launches Smart Wallets

Onchain Summer has arrived with Coinbase's new "smart wallet," designed to ease onboarding and enable gasless transactions. The wallet allows new users to create accounts in 15 seconds and use Face ID, Google Chrome profile, fingerprint, or Yubikey instead of seed phrases. Further, it allows them to pull from self-custodial wallets and Coinbase account balances to treat "insufficient balance" errors. However, since developers can sponsor transaction costs via paymaster integrations, enabling gasless operations across most EVM networks like Base, Ethereum, and Polygon, smart wallet users may not run into “no funds” errors often 😉.

5️⃣ NYSE competitor to launch in Texas

Crypto’s favorite asset manager, BlackRock, and market maker Citadel Securities have backed a firm launching a new national stock exchange in Texas. Having secured approximately $120M in funding, the Texas Stock Exchange (TXSE) intends to file registration with the SEC by the end of 2024. This move offers an alternative for crypto companies looking to go public, like Kraken, in a pro-crypto state. The TXSE will focus on securing ETF listings, providing more competition for the NYSE and Nasdaq, which could lead to lower fees for companies. The news comes as the SEC recently approved spot Ether ETFs in the United States, with a forecast of launching possibly as soon as the end of June.

David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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