First Mover Americas: Sam's Seeking to Keep Control of Robinhood Shares
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is seeking to keep control over $450 million in shares of trading app Robinhood Markets (HOOD). The 56 million shares, in principle owned by Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang through a holding company called Emergent Fidelity Technologies, are the subject of a complex legal battle that also includes bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi and the U.S. Department of Justice. In a filing with a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware, FTX said the shares were only nominally held by Emergent Fidelity and should be frozen until they can be divided up fairly among FTX creditors. Bankman-Fried opposed that idea in a court filing made Thursday, arguing that he and Wang had legitimately bought the shares using money borrowed from FTX’s trading arm, Alameda Research, and that the loan was documented.
Digital Currency Group, the cryptocurrency conglomerate whose Genesis Global Trading division announced more layoffs on Thursday, said it's shutting down its wealth-management division called HQ. "Due the state of the broader economic environment and prolonged crypto winter presenting significant headwinds to the industry, we made the decision to wind down HQ" as of Jan. 31, the company said in a statement. DCG is also the parent company of CoinDesk.
The price of tron, the 18th-largest token by market capitalization, tumbled Friday amid tensions stemming from crypto exchange Huobi as the broader crypto market held steady. Justin Sun, who is the founder of Tron, sits on Huobi’s advisory board. The exchange said Friday it will cut its headcount by 20% and also closed internal staff communication channels to quell a rebellion, according to reports on Twitter. TRX fell nearly 8% in the past 24 hours, data shows. Huobi’s native HT exchange tokens have lost as much as 11% in the past 24 hours. Tron’s troubles come amid the crypto winter and ahead of the U.S. jobs report for December, which is due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
Chart of the Day
- The chart compares the trading volume in the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) market with the year-over-year rate of change in U.S. personal income.
- Personal income boosted NFT trading volumes between October 2020 and October 2021.
- "NFTs, representing a high-risk sub-sector within a high-risk market, should be susceptible to the rate of change of personal income. Higher inflation and muted real wage growth have been the perfect cocktail for lower disposable income," Lewis Harland, portfolio manager at Decentral Park Capital, said in a 2022 review note.
- "This model implies that a low or negative personal income rate of change may hinder significant NFT adoption. We are unlikely to see new NFT monthly volumes ATHs (all-time highs) in 2023 if a global recession plays out," Harland added.
– Omkar Godbole