Last Updated: 22 September 2022
Jesse Powell to step down as CEO of crypto exchange Kraken.
Powell is the co-founder of the US exchange. Founded in 2011, Kraken was one of the first bitcoin exchanges to be included in Bloomberg’s price indexes.
The Wall Street Journal writes that CEO Powell will step down as CEO. He will still remain chairman of the board, however. Also, the usually relatively invisible yet outspoken founder will continue to work on product development.
Kraken’s current chief operating officer Dave Ripley will take over as CEO from the moment a replacement for his position is found.
Powell confirmed the news on his Twitter account.
#JesPoS seemed like less work. @krakenfx is in excellent hands with @DavidLRipley. I'll continue to be highly engaged as Chairman. Big thanks to the team for trusting me, our investors for taking a chance, and all my industry peers on the front lines. 🙇🏼♂️https://t.co/CtqlNsBoF6
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) September 21, 2022
Powell came under fire several times in the past year thanks to statements. In June, he criticised “woke activists” within his company. He told his unhappy employees they had better quit, leading to a socio-political debate.
A month later, Kraken came to the centre of a US Treasury investigation. There were allegedly users from Iran active on the platform, which in turn and violation of international sanctions.
According to Powell, the controversies were not the reason for his decision to be CEO-off. By his own admission, he had announced this move internally more than a year ago. What is the reason for his move, though? Boredom.
“As the company has grown bigger, it has just become more exhausting for me and less fun,” he says.
Earlier this year, Kraken got a routing number in the state of Wyoming, where it previously got a bank charter. They are thus moving from the crypto industry increasingly towards traditional banking.
Yet on the bitcoin front, Kraken is also busy. This year, for instance, they integrated the lightning network for cheap and faster payments.