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New York Like an ‘Abusive, Controlling Ex’: Kraken CEO Jesse Powell

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:42 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:42 PM

Jesse Powell, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, has lobbed another bomb at the state of New York in regard to the latter’s stance toward the crypto industry and Kraken in particular.

Writing on Twitter, Powell compared New York’s crypto regulators to an abusive ex-partner who continues to stalk the company even though it left the state several years ago.

He said :

“NY is that abusive, controlling ex you broke up with 3 years ago but they keep stalking you, throwing shade on your new relationships, unable to accept that you have happily moved on and are better off without them. #getoverit”

Powell was responding to a new report published by the New York attorney general’s office (OAG), which alleges that Kraken and two other cryptocurrency exchanges may be operating in the state unlawfully. The agency said that it had referred this information to the state’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), who oversees cryptocurrency trading in New York.

Like many cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken left New York after the state adopted its controversial “BitLicense” regulatory framework. Nevertheless, the report alleged that the exchange may be illegally serving New York traders.

Moreover, Kraken received a questionnaire as part of the OAG’s probe, and, unlike several other exchanges that received questionnaires and quietly chose not to respond, loudly protested the “audacity” of the investigation.

As CCN.com reported, Powell called the probe “insulting” and criticized other exchanges for “kowtowing” to the OAG’s demands, adding in subsequent statements published on the Kraken website that regulators need to show “basic respect” to the industry.

Powell also argued that cryptocurrency traders are not overly-concerned with market manipulation, remarks that the OAG seized on in its report, calling the exchange operator’s stance “alarming.”

“The OAG could not review the practices and procedures of non-participating platforms (Binance, Gate.io, Huobi, and Kraken) concerning manipulative or abusive trading. However, the Kraken platform’s public response is alarming,” the OAG wrote in the report. “In announcing the company’s decision not to participate in the Initiative, Kraken declared that market manipulation “doesn’t matter to most crypto traders,” even while admitting that “scams are rampant” in the industry.”

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