CEO Jesse Powell Says Kraken Exchange Could Go Public Next Year

CEO Jesse Powell Says Kraken Exchange Could Go Public Next Year

Jesse Powell, Chief Executive Officer of crypto exchange Kraken, has confirmed that the firm plans to go public next year.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Powell said the exchange’s initial public offering (IPO) could happen anytime between 12 to 18 months.

Kraken Could Become Second US-based Crypto Firm To Go Public

When it happens, Kraken would become the second US-based crypto firm to go public after Coinbase. Coinbase went public through a direct listing on the Nasdaq Stock exchange in April with a valuation of around $65 billion at the time.

According to Powell, Kraken is already going through the rigors of becoming a publicly traded company. Although he declined to give the firm’s target valuation, he said their valuation would reflect their success in bringing crypto to the world. Powell’s words,

“We’re on a mission achieving to bring crypto to the world, and our valuation hopefully will be a reflection of our success in that mission.”

This is not the first time news of Kraken’s IPO plans would be revealed. In March, a Fox Business reporter, Charles Gasparino, claimed that the company was looking at going public through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) or an initial public offering (IPO).

However, a Kraken spokesperson said the company was “too big” to go public via a merger. With the SPAC and direct listing route probably off the table, Powell’s announcement means Kraken may pursue an initial public offering.

Speaking further during the interview, when asked if people are trading differently after the recent sell-off, Powell said that the people selling are mostly newer to the market.

According to him, the old investors that have been holding for a long time are still accumulating. He said that the new investors who are yet to understand the market are not willing to hold onto their assets.

Powell added that people who came into crypto for the quick gains leave once the price drops, while those who truly understand the fundamentals remain.

Kraken Expanding Services

With more than 6 million clients in almost 190 countries, Kraken is one of the five largest crypto exchanges in the world.

The firm has done remarkably well this year as it continues to boost crypto adoption. According to Powell, the firm got more sign-ups this year than in any other year.

Kraken also expanded the reach of its services by launching its mobile app for both iOS and Android users in Europe and the United States.

Earlier this year, reports had it that the San Francisco-based exchange was in talks to raise a new funding round to boost its valuation to surpass $20 billion.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Crypto Exchanges Kraken, Bitfinex, and KuCoin Exploring India for Entry: Report

Crypto Exchanges Kraken, Bitfinex, and KuCoin Exploring India for Entry: Report

After cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, U.S.-based Kraken, Hong Kong-based Bitfinex, and rival KuCoin are actively exploring ways to set up in India, reported Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.

Despite the uncertainty around the country’s regulatory stance on crypto, India has reportedly 15 million crypto investors in India, holding over 100 billion rupees ($1.37 billion).

Binance acquired the Indian crypto startup Wazirx in 2019, and Coinbase also announced plans for a back office in India. Now, these crypto exchanges are looking to enter a young nation of 1.35 billion people.

“These companies have already begun talks to understand the Indian market and the entry points better,” one source directly involved was quoted as saying.

While one exchange has already begun its due diligence for an Indian firm it was considering acquiring, the others were still in initial states and weighing their options. Founder of digital bank Cashaa, Kumar Gaurav, said,

“The Indian market is huge, and it is only starting to grow; if there was more policy certainty by now, Indian consumers would have been spoilt for choice in terms of exchanges because everyone wants to be here.”

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Author: AnTy

IRS Authorized to Get Records from Kraken for US Taxpayers Transacting at least $20k In Crypto

IRS Authorized to Get Records from Kraken for US Taxpayers Transacting at least $20k In Crypto

This summon approval is an “important step” to ensure crypto owners follow the tax laws, says Acting Assistant Attorney General.

A federal court in the Northern District of California has authorized the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to serve a John Doe summons on the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, seeking information about U.S. taxpayers who have used crypto, said the Department of Justice.

The IRS is seeking information about taxpayers who conducted at least $20,000 in transactions in crypto between 2016 and 2020.

According to the court’s order, the summons seeks information related to the IRS’s “investigation of an ascertainable group or class of persons” that the agency said it has a reasonable basis to believe may have failed to comply with its laws.

The IRS has directed Kraken to provide them with records identifying these U.S. taxpayers along with other documents relating to their crypto transactions.

“Gathering the information in the summons approved today is an important step to ensure cryptocurrency owners are following the tax laws,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Those who transact with cryptocurrency must meet their tax obligations like any other taxpayer.”

The official statement from DOJ further goes on to note that because transactions in digital assets can be difficult to trace and also have an inherently pseudo-anonymous aspect, “taxpayers may be using them to hide taxable income from the IRS.”

On April 1, 2021, IRS was also granted the order to serve a similar John Doe summons on Circle.

“There is no excuse for taxpayers continuing to fail to report the income earned and taxes due from virtual currency transactions,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. This summons, according to him, will help them uncover those who are “trying to skirt reporting and avoid paying their fair share.”

However, DOJ does not allege that Kraken has engaged in any wrongdoing, clarified the agency.

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Author: AnTy

Judge Declines IRS Request for Customer Information from Kraken Exchange

Judge Declines IRS Request for Customer Information from Kraken Exchange

IRS requests for “John Doe Summons” from Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, but the judge declines the summons stating the request is “too broad.” Circle had received a similar request too.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking to obtain customer records from San Francisco-based crypto exchange, Kraken, from 2016 to 2020, in a ‘request to obtain information’ filing. The filing requests Kraken to release information on all U.S. taxpayers who held at least $20,000 on the exchange at any point in the past five years.

The IRS successfully sent out a similar request, a so-called John Doe summons, to Circle on Thursday to release U.S. client information. The authority explains the information will help identify Americans who have failed to report their taxes correctly.

The John Doe summons has become common as regulators seek to pick out taxpayers who do not report crypto taxes. The IRS uses John Doe summons as a tool to conduct investigations on unregistered taxpayers to know their names or identify the taxpayer. However, a judge only accepts these summons when it is probable that a group of people has evaded tax and broken tax laws and such information is not accessible by any means.

However, Judge Spero declined the IRS request to a John Doe summon stating the regulator’s request is “overbroad,” asking them to refile the case with a narrower ask. In a statement, Judge Spero stated IRS “must specifically address why each category of information sought is narrowly tailored to the IRS’s investigative needs.” The IRS will need to review basic account information and transaction histories to get more invasive and all-encompassing information about the Kraken clients.

The narrowed version should be filed in the courts by April 14, the court order further reads.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ether Crashes to $700 on Kraken; High Network Activity Leads to Withdrawal Delay & Suspension

Ether Crashes to $700 on Kraken; High Network Activity Leads to Withdrawal Delay & Suspension

In Monday’s crypto carnage, the market provided a hefty discount that people have been calling out for some time now, with the digital assets rallying hard.

The overall cryptocurrency market lost $240 billion, but since then, it has gained some $86 billion back as the prices of cryptocurrencies make a recovery.

While Bitcoin went under the $50,000 level, Ethereum went under $1,550. But what has been interesting and for some devastating, the price of Ether went to $700 on Kraken.

The cryptocurrency exchange had some wild price action on Ether as after such a discounted opportunity, it went back right above $1,700 and caught up with other exchanges soon after.

This hasn’t even been a one-time thing as popular crypto personality, CryptoCobain, tweeted, “People trading on Kraken are masochistic. Once per month they get completely fucked by the matching engine.”

While for leveraged traders, it was a disaster, this also turned out to be a perfect opportunity for spot buyers.

“Unbelievable, my fishing ETH orders below $1.2k have been filled on Kraken,” tweeted one trader, who is extremely bullish on Ether and has long been calling out for a $10,000 price target for the second-largest cryptocurrency in this cycle.

On top of the deep red market, this much price volatility sent the gas prices on the network soaring. This made trading on-chain nearly impossible, let alone allowing traders to front-run.

Exchanges were already struggling with too much activity, with Kraken reporting, “Due to heavy traffic you might experience some connectivity issues. We are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Then, this congestion due to demand spikes on the Ethereum network led to delays with ETH and ERC20 token withdrawals.

Besides Bitstamp, Binance, as usual, felt the heat and suspended withdrawals.

“Binance has temporarily suspended withdrawals of ETH and Ethereum-based tokens due to high network congestion. Rest assured funds are SAFU, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused,” informed the leading spot exchange.

For now, things are slowly coming back to normal, ETH is currently around $1,750, and Bitcoin is back above $53,500.

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Author: AnTy

Nexus Mutual Now Covers Binance, Coinbase, Gemini & Kraken Users Against Security Breaches

Nexus Mutual’s Insurance Now Covers Binance, Coinbase, Gemini & Kraken Users Against Security Breaches

Decentralized finance insurance protocol Nexus Mutual has updated the list of cryptocurrency exchanges that are eligible for incidence protection. The company’s services will now include customers of centralized exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, and Kraken.

More Custodians Welcome

The update, which was announced on Monday, will allow these exchanges’ customers to purchase protection against certain hacks or asset withdrawal issues.

It’s part of the Custody Cover initiative, and it provides compensation for users who lose over ten percent of their funds in the event of a security breach on any of the supported exchanges. Users can also claim cover if an exchange suspends withdrawals for over 90 days.

Nexus Mutual launched Custody Cover in December 2020 to provide insurance cover for centralized crypto. At the time, the company explained that it was branching out of DeFi to build its insurance marketplace. The company’s long term goal is to use blockchain to provide cover for companies and individuals within and outside the crypto space.

“We’re focused on the longevity of Nexus Mutual and want to become a marketplace that covers diverse risks both in and outside of the crypto space. We want to use the benefits of blockchain to protect all underserved communities and this is our first step in that direction.”

Custody Cover launched with support for six custodians – Celsius, BlockFi, Hodlnaut, Nexo, inLock, and Ledn.

With Custody Cover, Nexus Mutual is looking to solve the issue of overly high insurance coverage prices in the crypto space. While premiums for insurance vary based on the platform, numbers appear to be too high for everyday customers and traders.

A Spotlight on Custody

Nexus Mutual’s branching out into the centralized space is coming amid significant growth in the crypto custody space. In response to increased institutional crypto demand, custody providers have also done their bit to improve security.

Recently, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch conducted a survey showing increased Bitcoin activity from Wall Street players. The survey interviewed fund managers with $534 billion in assets under management. They found that institutions were increasingly trading in Bitcoin. Only the dollar and tech stocks saw more trades.

report from Fidelity Investments also revealed that a third of institutional investors now own crypto assets. This increased enthusiasm from investors means asset custodians need to ramp up their security infrastructure to protect against hacks and other mishaps. In a report, auditing giant KPMG explained that custodians’ top action will be to enable next-generation compliance and security measures.

The company recommends incorporating leading cryptographic techniques like sharding, multi-signature wallets, and multi-party computation. Essentially, cryptocurrency security will require input from both hardware and software solutions.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Kraken Users Have Staked Over $1 Billion in Cryptocurrencies

Kraken Users Have Staked Over $1 Billion in Cryptocurrencies

Top crypto exchange Kraken made a significant splash when it announced its Ethereum staking service last year. Since then, it has gotten a substantial amount of commitment from users.

This week, the exchange confirmed its customers have staked over $1 billion in assets on its crypto service, marking continued growth.

Kraken Users Love Them Some ETH

Citing data from Jeremy Welch, Kraken’s Vice President of Product, the exchange’s users have now staked about 45.5 million XTZ (worth about $120 million) and 58 million DOT (worth $580 million). This adds to the 307,904 ETH ($368.5 million) already being staked on the platform. Welch added that staking positions’ increased growth reflects investors’ and traders’ positive sentiment about cryptocurrencies.

The executive added that staking has also presented a paradigm shift in how people invest in cryptocurrencies. With the crypto asset class on a growth and maturity trajectory, investors are no longer satisfied with securing short-term gains. Many are getting more comfortable with locking their assets up for a long time because they believe the industry will keep growing.

As explained, Kraken launched its Ethereum 2.0 staking service in December 2020. In just four days, the exchange confirmed that it has seen over 100,000 ETH in deposits, with a value of $60 million at the time.

Everyone Wants to Get In on Ethereum 2.0 Staking

It’s easy to see why Kraken’s staking will draw so many investors. The exchange has impressive reward rates, with investors getting between five to seven percent based on network activity.

However, the exchange isn’t alone in the Ethereum 2.0 staking business. Binance, the industry’s largest exchange, launched its staking service in December, with investors getting between 5 and 20 percent in annual percentage yields (APY). It also provided extra incentives for customers who complete its know-your-customer (KYC) identity verification process.

Coinbase also announced two months ago that it would launch Ethereum 2.0 staking in the early part of 2021. The exchange has yet to provide additional details, although it would most likely offer commissions in similar ranges to its competitors.

The increase in staking activity is also coming at a time when Ether is on a significant upsurge. The asset’s value has increased significantly over the past few weeks, rallying on the back of increased activity in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector and on the back of Bitcoin’s jump.

In a blog post, crypto exchange OKCoin also shared some insights n how the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade could drive the asset’s price higher. As many know, the upgrade will essentially transition Ether into the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. It will also provide additional benefits in terms of Ether’s transaction speed and costs.

As OKCoin explains, improvements in Ether’s functionality should lead to a greater demand for the asset. Ether’s price should continue to surge in the long run, leading to a boom for investors – and stakers.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bittrex Delisting Privacy Coins Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and DASH Without Any Explanation

Kraken CEO dispels any regulatory pressure, says market removal could be something business-specific. Meanwhile, these coins drop 17% to 23% while DASH argues its “privacy functionality is no greater than Bitcoin’s.”

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has announced the removal of privacy coins from its platform after removing XRP markets for its US customers. Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and DASH are the affected cryptocurrencies.

Starting Jan. 15, 2021, 23:00 UTC, BTC-XMR, ETH-XMR, USDT-XMR, BTC-ZEC, ETH-ZEC, USDT-ZEC, USD-ZEC, BTC-DASH, ETH-DASH, USDT-DASH, and USD-DASH would no more be available on the platform.

After this, Bittrex users would have up to 30 days, a period that may be shortened in “certain instances,” to withdraw any of these delisted tokens. The exchange states, after the withdrawal deadline, “there may be circumstances under which a user may not be able to withdraw a token due to events outside of Bittrex’s control.”

Up until now, only XRP XRP 5.48% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.23
$0.01 5.48%
Volume 5.09 b Change $0.01 Open $0.23 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 10.34 b
8 h Bittrex Delisting Privacy Coins Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and DASH Without Any Explanation 2 d eToro and CEX Suspend Trading for US Customers; Grayscale Buys 3.23 Million XRP 3 d Binance US, Genesis, & Abra Suspends XRP Support; Bittrex & Uphold Clarifies No Plan to Delist
trading and deposits were suspended and only for the US customers due to SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple and its two executives for allegedly selling unregistered securities, but now more cryptos are being targeted. Trader CryptoSqueeze noted,

“Privacy coins are the next on the target list. Bittrex might just be the beginning. This is gonna be a rough and uncertain year for alts.”

Bitcoin BTC 7.79% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 33,331.76
$2,596.54 7.79%
Volume 77.75 b Change $2,596.54 Open $33,331.76 Circulating 18.59 m Market Cap 619.63 b
7 h GBTC Added $1.6B in December But Grayscale Hasn’t Purchased Any BTC in Over a Week 8 h Bitcoin Smashes $34,810 as Market Sees Some ‘Serious and Prolonged Investor Activity’ 2 d Altcoins’ Market Cap Still 59% Off its Peak as Bitcoin Dominance Exceeds 70%
and Ethereum ETH 25.18% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 949.37
$239.05 25.18%
Volume 40.77 b Change $239.05 Open $949.37 Circulating 114.1 m Market Cap 108.33 b
2 d Altcoins’ Market Cap Still 59% Off its Peak as Bitcoin Dominance Exceeds 70% 4 d Bitcoin Going to $1 Million in the Next Decade Says Kraken CEO; Highlights ETH & DeFi 4 d Ethereum Is A ‘Huge Success Story’ But is ‘Undervalued’ in Terms of Institutional Buying
are free from any such uncertainties because they have been explicitly stated by regulators to not be a security because they are decentralized.

Meanwhile, Bittrex’s lack of explanation on their motive behind this decision has led the crypto twitter (CT) to speculate.

“Privacy is a constitutional right, not a crime,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound Finance who shares his disappointment on exchanges removing crypto assets with privacy-preserving features. “There’s no law or regulation requiring this, just DOJ’s opinion that privacy is “indicative of possible criminal conduct,’” he added.

According to Josh Swihart, SVP of Growth at Electric Coin Company, the creators of Zcash, there could be more than what meets the eye here. He pointed out how US-based crypto exchanges Gemini and Coinbase recently added additional support for ZEC.

Meanwhile, other crypto exchanges clarified that there isn’t any regulatory pressure to delist these privacy-focused cryptos.

“Haven’t heard of anything on the regulatory side. Presumably, it’s something specific to their business,” said Jesse Powell, co-founder, and CEO of crypto exchange Kraken. He also shared that these cryptos meanwhile are not supported by Kraken in Australia because of being “banned by local fiat funding rails” and that they are working on the alternatives.

For now, the damage has been done to these cryptos price-wise as they performed poorly following the delisting news.

XMR dropped over 11% in the last seven days and is currently trading around $138, DASH lost 17% of its value in the last seven days and is now trading at $89 and after a 13% drop, ZEC is now keeping around $58.

Some believe XMR, DASH, ZEC’s loss can be Litecoin’s gain which is working on bringing privacy to the network. Ever since Bitcoin bulls went crazy in Oct., LTC also moved in tandem, up 183% in the last three months to climb the levels not seen since June 2019.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase and Kraken Vows to Fight FinCEN’s New Proposed Crypto Regulation

Coinbase and Kraken Vows to Fight FinCEN’s New Proposed Crypto Regulation

Crypto exchanges believe these new rules can have “long-lasting, detrimental side effects” on the industry and further “wall off the poor from our financial system forever.”

Last week, the US announced its long-awaited wallet regulations just as Bitcoin rallied past its all-time high of $24,000.

FinCEN and the US Treasury put forth the new rules, requiring banks and money service businesses to verify customers’ identity, keep records, and submit reports. While initially feared to target private wallets, these new rules are mostly geared at centralized institutions — exchanges and lending businesses.

This week, San Francisco-based Coinbase sent out a letter to Kenneth Blanco, Director, FinCEN, in which it says that these proposed rulemakings could have “long-lasting, detrimental side effects on the crypto ecosystem.”

“As a leader in the cryptocurrency industry, Coinbase routinely provides input, and formal comments as agencies consider and develop new regulations.”

Paul Grewal Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase

Grewal, who previously worked at Facebook as Vice President & Deputy General Counsel and before that worked in United States Magistrate Judge capacity, asked FinCEN to “reconsider its haste and provide the typical 60-day period for such significant proposed rulemaking.”

“There is no emergency here,” to bypass the required consultation with the public and treat the crypto industry differently from traditional finance, said Grewal.

Another crypto exchange, Kraken, shares its concern about the new rule, which it says will “wall off the poor from our financial system forever.”

The rule would further prohibit financial institutions from sending money to smart contracts, which are designed to eliminate the costly middlemen, said the exchange adding, “worse yet, FinCEN is trying to sneak the rule into law over the holiday season.”

FinCEN is trying to justify the proposed rule, which requires customers who wish to send digital currency to a recipient to report the latter’s name and physical address, by likening it to the “venerable” Currency Transaction Report (CTR). CTR has been applied to cash and coin (paper and metal) transactions for decades but even they “never required reporting information about the recipient.”

As such, “Kraken will fight to stop this.”

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Author: AnTy

Kraken to Integrate Lightning Network in 2021 for Faster & Cheaper Bitcoin Transactions

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken will be integrating the Lightning Network next year.

The day Bitcoin smashed through $20,000 to reach nearly $20,900, the same day Kraken announced that it would help its clients deposit and withdraw Bitcoin on Lightning Network, which is expected to be done by the first half of 2021.

This means instantly transferable Bitcoin at the lowest fees.

With the help of this integration, the cryptocurrency exchange will be able to scale to process millions of transactions per second,

“a leap forward enabling trades to be completed at a lower cost and with greater speed.”

However, Kraken says these features are just the beginning as it works towards shaping the “future of programmable payments with digital money.”

For the integration of the second layer of Bitcoin, Kraken will be hiring a team that will specifically focus on the Lightning Network, as part of the exchange’s “continuing effort to deliver the best possible experience for traders and investors.”

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Author: AnTy