• Former Grayscale Compliance Chief Joins Robinhood

  • The company behind the popular financial app Robinhood has hired Grayscale’s former Compliance Chief for its crypto division.

    Benjamin Melnicki has joined Robinhood Markets Inc.’s growing crypto division. Melnicki’s new role focuses on regulatory compliance in light of lawmakers’ continued scrutiny of digital assets.

    This new Robinhood hire comes just a few days after the announcement of Robinhood’s beta crypto features. The features were discovered in an iPhone beta version of the Robinhood app. A hidden image in the software code reveals a waitlist for users interested in the crypto wallet. Furthermore, the embedded code hints have crypto transfer capabilities.

    More comprehensive crypto features are a long-awaited move from Robinhood, following several hints throughout the year. As a result, Melnicki’s new addition is part of this expansion. He oversaw compliance at Grayscale Investments before joining Robinhood. Melnicki previously led regulatory affairs for the Americas at Ripple Labs.

    As previously stated, the new position is concerned with regulatory compliance. Earlier this summer, Robinhood was fined for alleged cybersecurity and anti-money laundering violations. This was in addition to a $70 million fine from FINRA. With new regulations looming over the crypto industry in the United States, Melnicki’s role is critical to Robinhood’s latest venture.

    Rules that are about to be implemented

    The new hire is responsible for ensuring compliance with crypto-industry regulations. This comes at a critical juncture in the crypto space worldwide, but particularly in the United States.

    Crypto regulation and tax provisions are currently in limbo in the United States. The big news out of the Senate this summer came in the form of a bipartisan bill. In reference to the crypto space, the definition broadened the term “broker.” If the wording is left unchanged, most in the industry, from exchanges to individuals, are in the same tax reporting bracket.

    Despite opposition, the bill advanced to the House.

    Cryptocurrency regulations are also a hot topic at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gary Gensler, the chairman, stated that crypto platforms require regulations in order to survive. He then outlined a possible regulatory roadmap for the industry. Nonetheless, US lawmakers plan to issue a ruling for the industry by the end of the month.

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