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Kraken’s Jesse Powell on why he’s stepping down as CEO of crypto exchange TechCrunch


Jesse Powell is walking The Wall Street Journal reported last month from his role as CEO at US-based crypto exchange Kraken. Co-founded by Powell and Thanh Luu in 2011, Kraken is currently the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, according to CoinMarketCap.

It’s an important inflection point for the company, was valued at $10 billion earlier this summer and has been rumored to be considering going public. We’ve invited Powell to join us on this Tuesday episode of Chain reaction to discuss some of the movies that had taken place before he left and talk about what’s next for the company under its new CEO, Dave Ripley.

News of Powell’s resignation came shortly after a report from the New York Times revealed he sent controversial messages to employees about his views on race and gender. Time also reported that Kraken is being investigated by the US Treasury Department over allegations that it violated sanctions rules by allowing users in Iran to transact on its platform.

Under Powell, Kraken has been vocal about its “cryptocurrency” values, releasing a manifesto outlining its liberal ideology and giving employees the option to withdraw orders and leave the company if they disagree with those values. Some employees accepted the offer, although the majority chose to stay on the exchange.

Powell covered these topics and shared more about his post-CEO plans in the episode, which you can hear in full here:

Chain reaction launches every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00pm PDT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast and Spotify to keep up with the action.

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