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Is Robinhood really democratizing finance?


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acastro_210201_1777_robinhood_0003.0.jpg Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Robinhood is scheduled to price its stock today before trading begins tomorrow, and yesterday, it disclosed a new investigation: the finance industry’s self-regulator is checking to see whether founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt should be registered with them. Currently, the co-founders aren’t.

Is this a big deal? Maybe, I don’t know. I don’t work at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an organization you may remember from the historic fine it leveled against Robinhood — $70 million — for, among other things, the outages that took place in March 2020. (About $12 million went to the people who were harmed, and the rest went to FINRA because that’s Wall Street, baby.) I am somewhat less concerned with FINRA’s...

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