The online GameStop booster, Keith Gill, who goes by Roaring Kitty, plans to tell the lawmakers that he reaped a profit on his investment because he did his homework, and not because he touted the stock to “unwitting investors,” according to his prepared remarks.
“I did not solicit anyone to buy or sell the stock for my own profit,” Gill says. “I had no information about GameStop except what was public.”
Expected to testify remotely at Thursday’s hearing are:
—Tenev, an early-thirties entrepreneur who started Robinhood in 2013 with a fellow Stanford University math student. Claiming 13 million users, the mobile app’s popularity has grown, fueled by a simplified trading format and first-stock-for-free inducement appealing to millennials. The Silicon Valley company is said to be looking to go public this year; the GameStop debacle has brought unwanted attention.
With its mission “to democratize finance for all,” Robinhood offers commission-free trading. Critics say its users pay in another, more hidden way, because Robinhood provides the data on stocks they’re buying and selling to big Wall Street firms. And the firms pay companies like Robinhood to send their customers’ orders to them for execution.
Tenev is certain to be asked whether Robinhood’s abrupt freeze on individual users buying GameStop shares was done at the behest of Wall Street titan Citadel — its biggest trading partner — or other major firms.
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