jesse powell kraken

The co-founder of the pure-play crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, is stepping down from his long-held role of Chief Executive Officer at the company as he is reportedly aiming to spend most of his time in other company-related activities.

According to a blog post published by Kraken earlier today, the exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Dave Ripley, will take over the CEO position. Ripley joined the firm after it acquired crypto wallet Gildera – a company he co-founded and led.

“Dave’s proven leadership and experience give me great confidence that he’s the ideal successor and the best person to lead Kraken through its next era of growth”, stated the Board of Directors of Kraken in regards to Ripley’s appointment.

Powell led Kraken to become one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, serving over 9 million clients and boasting trading volumes of more than $200 billion every quarter.

“I look forward to spending more of my time on the company’s products, user experience and broader industry advocacy”, Powell commented in regards to his departure.

Powell Encouraged an “Anti-Woke” Culture Within Kraken

The former CEO of Kraken has also been known for making controversial comments in regards to gender equality and diversity. In a Twitter thread published in June this year, Powell voiced his opinions about how “woke” culture was affecting his company’s productivity.

“Most people don’t care and just want to work, but they can’t be productive while triggered people keep dragging them in to debates and therapy sessions”, the CEO tweeted back then. In addition, he encouraged those who were against his views to leave the company and “take the cash”.

Kraken later on published an official blog post in which the company emphasized its cultural beliefs. In this post, Kraken affirmed that it will never ask its employees to adopt a certain political ideology as a requirement to work at the firm.

In addition, they acknowledged that people will get offended from time to time in any highly diverse workplace and commented that the ideal Krakenite is “thick-skinned and well intentioned”.

Kraken is Being Investigated by the US Treasury Department

Meanwhile, Kraken is reportedly under investigation by the US Treasury Department for suspected violations of the country’s sanctions against Iran as the exchange allegedly allowed residents of the Middle East nation to make transactions within its platform.

Kraken declined to comment on these reports as its policy is to avoid making public remarks about its discussions with regulators, the company’s Chief Legal Officer stated. On various occasions, the former CEO of Kraken also stated that he would be willing to challenge some regulations he considers unfair including international sanctions.

Regulators have been scrutinizing the activities of crypto exchanges recently from many different standpoints. Just days ago, a group of US Senators asked five different exchanges how they were combatting crypto fraud after a report from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pointed to $1 billion worth of crypto assets stolen by criminals from Abril 2021 to March 2022.

Moreover, several legislations have been introduced and states within the US have started to create registries for crypto firms amid the wave of insolvencies that have taken place during the recent crypto winter.

The newly appointed CEO Ripley will be assuming leadership at a point when macroeconomic conditions are causing a sharp decline in the valuation of high-risk assets including cryptocurrencies.

This has caused trading volumes to decline and have reduced the amount of assets under custody for all exchanges in the space. Moreover, some crypto firms have succumbed to incidents such as the debacle of the Terra ecosystem and the bankruptcy of crypto lending platforms and hedge funds such as the Celsius Network and Three Arrows Capital.

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