One of the main market exchanges, krakenannounced that its co-founder Jesse Powell resigned as CEO. Powell founded the company in 2011 with Thanh Luuand is considered one of the pioneers in the crypto space.
According to the press release, the director of operations Dave Ripley will succeed Powell, while the latter will become chairman of the board. Ripley will assume his new role as CEO after hiring a new COO.
Powell, for his part, said he looked forward to spending more time “on company products, user experience, and issues relating to defending and promoting the crypto industry.”
“As the business got bigger, it got exhausting for me, less fun,” Powell said, as quoted by Bloomberg. “I still plan to remain very committed to the business” as a major shareholder and board member.
According to Bloomberg, Powell informed the company of his decision more than a year ago.
The statement adds that Ripley’s “proven leadership and experience” gives Powell confidence that the new CEO is “the ideal successor and the best person to lead Kraken through its next era of growth.”
Ripley was the COO of Kraken for six years and joined the exchange through the acquisition of Glidera, a crypto wallet funding service where he was co-founder and CEO. Kraken credits him with growing the exchange from 50 to over 3,000 employees, adding that, “under [sa] direction”, Kraken has made more than sixteen acquisitions and obtained “a significant number” of regulatory licenses and global partnerships.
Meanwhile, news outlets, such as The New York Times and Bloomberg, have shed light on disagreements between Mr Powell and Kraken employees, including this year’s dispute over his gender and race statements. . The company also shared a post about “Kraken culture,” and after what he perceived as a failed debate, Powell tweeted that Kraken was returning “to a culture of dictatorship”. Several employees then left the company.
Powell was quoted by Bloomberg as saying,
“My style is always to be very transparent and authentic. […] I think it worked very well. We had people who weren’t a good fit for the business, who were a distraction, and who are now gone. And then we also attracted a lot of other people.”
Powell’s role change isn’t the only one in the wake of the recent crypto market crash. The co-CEO ofAlameda Research, Sam Trabuccoits took of from this role, to occupy that of adviser, while Michael Saylorof MicroStrategystepped down as CEO.
Mr. Powell also told Bloomberg that Kraken is “positioning itself for an opportunity to go public,” but did not provide a specific timeline.
Since the start of the year, Kraken’s global market share among the top 15 exchanges in the market has fallen by around 32%, according to the data provider. CryptoCompare.
In July, Coinbase, Binance and Kraken held the top three spots for the second quarter of this year, according to the data provider’s ranking Kaikobased in Paris.
During the same period, Kraken was investigated for violations of US sanctions including allowing users in Iran to buy and sell cryptocurrency, The New York Times reported, citing anonymous people familiar with the case. L’Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department had been investigating Kraken since 2019 and was to impose a fine, according to the report.
In August, Kraken, Binance, Shape shift and bittylicious caused around 240,000 UK investors to lose £9.9 billion ($12 billion), when these exchanges delisted Bitcoin SV (BSV), according to Velitor Law, a law firm representing investors. The complaint was filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
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