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Bitstamp

Bitstamp is a European  exchange founded in 2011. It is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange. It allows trading between , and other , such as USD, EUR, GBP, , Algorand, etc. Business operations are conducted from its registered headquarters in Luxembourg City, with a satellite office in Ljubljana. [1]

History

Bitstamp was founded in 2011 in Luxembourg by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak. When the company started, it was funded by only €1,000 and run between a single server and two laptops, and it was based in a garage. [8]

Having first applied for registration in 2014, Bitstamp was recognized by Luxembourg as a virtual currency exchange in 2016. , the specialist cryptocurrency and investment firm from San Francisco, is an investor in Bitstamp, according to Bitstamp's website. Bitstamp's chairman is Don Morehead, who is also chairman of Pantera. [8]

Overview

Headed by CEO Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, Bitstamp has been a proponent of regulation and compliance and is audited by EY, a Big Four accounting firm. It emphasizes security and claims to have “military-grade storage” of assets. It allows fiat deposits from users by SEPA (single euro payments area) transfer or international bank wire or with a credit card and can be accessed online or through a mobile app. While Bitstamp doesn’t charge fees for cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, it charges a fee for buying and selling crypto that varies depending on the amount and source (i.e. credit card transfer vs. fiat on the platform). [3]

In 2015, hackers stole nearly 19,000 from the exchange. A confidential document posted to Reddit revealed that hackers distributed files containing malware to targeted Bitstamp employees. The files included malicious scripts that automatically ran upon downloading the file, allowing attackers to compromise particular servers to perform the hack. In response, Bitstamp refunded affected users and subsequently implemented multi-sig wallets, increased security technology, and extended insurance coverage with Paragon International Insurance Brokers to cover employee theft, fraud, and other losses. Bitstamp also offers cold storage provided by BitGo and Copper.co. [2][3]

In April 2016, the Luxembourgish government granted a license to Bitstamp to be fully regulated in the EU as a payment institution, allowing it to do business in all 28 EU member states. [2]

In 2019, the exchange was granted a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services four years after it applied. That allows Bitstamp to offer its cryptocurrency trading pairs to residents in the state. [3]

Team

  • Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux - Global Chief Executive Officer
  • Stephen David Bearpark - Chief Financial Officer
  • Robert Zagotta - CEO, Bitstamp USA & Global Chief Commercial Officer, Bitstamp
  • Miha Miklič - Chief Technology Officer
  • Miha Vidmar - Chief Product Officer
  • Bernice Smith - Chief People Officer
  • James Sullivan - Group General Counsel[4]

Acquisition by Robinhood

On June 6, 2024, Robinhood Markets, Inc. (“Robinhood”) announced it entered into an agreement to acquire Bitstamp Ltd. (“Bitstamp”), a global cryptocurrency exchange. [6][7]

Acquiring a global exchange will significantly accelerate Robinhood Crypto’s expansion worldwide. Bitstamp holds over 50 active licenses and registrations globally and will bring in customers across the EU, UK, US and Asia to Robinhood. - the press release stated

The acquisition aims to establish Robinhood’s first institutional business. Bitstamp is trusted by institutional clients for its reliable trade execution, deep order books, and industry-leading API connectivity. With Bitstamp’s institutional offerings, including the white-label solution Bitstamp-as-a-service, institutional lending, and , Robinhood will gain established relationships, infrastructure, and leading products. Bitstamp’s core spot exchange, featuring over 85 tradable assets, along with its staking and lending products, will enhance Robinhood's crypto offerings. [6]

“As the world’s longest running cryptocurrency exchange, Bitstamp is known as one of the most-trusted and transparent crypto platforms worldwide. Bringing Bitstamp's platform and expertise into Robinhood’s ecosystem will give users an enhanced trading experience with a continuing commitment to compliance, security, and customer-centricity.” - said JB Graftieaux, CEO of Bitstamp. [6]

Robinhood expects the final deal consideration to be approximately $200 million in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first half of 2025. Barclays Capital Inc. served as the exclusive financial advisor to Robinhood. LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Bitstamp. [6][7]

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Bitstamp

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June 10, 2024

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