Robinhood has signed a deal to acquire UK-based electronic money institution and crypto asset firm Ziglu.

Ziglu allows customers to make transactions with eleven different cryptocurrencies, earn yield via Boost products, and move and spend money aboard without fees.

In the short term, nothing will happen for Ziglu customers. However, soon the platform will be integrated into Robinhood, bringing the brand into the UK and Europe.

“Ziglu and Robinhood share a common set of goals, working to reduce the barriers to entry for a new generation of investors, and we’re excited to pursue that mission together,” said Mark Hipperson, founder and CEO of Ziglu.

“As part of Robinhood, we’ll supercharge Robinhood’s expansion across Europe and bring better access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers.”

“Ziglu’s impressive team of deeply experienced financial services and crypto experts will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts,” said Vlad Tenev, CEO and co-founder of Robinhood Markets. “Together with the Ziglu team, we’ll work to leverage the best of both companies, exploring new ways to innovate and break down barriers for customers across the UK and Europe.”

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Crypto in Russia

In retrospect, it was only a matter of time before Viktor Fischer would have to weigh in on Russia’s war in Ukraine. After all, his venture capital firm Rockaway Blockchain Fund counts several cryptocurrency exchanges amongst its portfolio companies. Regulators around the world have warned that cryptocurrency exchanges could be used by Russian oligarchs to skirt the unprecedented sanctions imposed in retaliation of Vladimir Putin’s war. However, Fischer thinks this fear is unfounded.

“It’s very difficult to evade sanctions via bitcoin or blockchain because everything is traceable,” the Rockaway Blockchain Fund managing partner tells Verdict. “You can actually trace the transactions all the way back to when the person entered or exited the blockchain through KYC [or] AML. So we actually know which transactions are illicit.”

KYC and AML stands for “know-your-customer” and “anti-money laundering,” respectively. The terms describe the processes financial services firms like banks, credit card companies and cryptocurrency exchanges must take in order to prevent their services being used by criminals.