The firm’s former chief operating officer, Dave Ripley, will assume the role of CEO after it hires a new COO.
The news follows the shock announcement last week that Kraken founder Jesse Powell will be stepping down after more than a decade at the helm.
Ripley also stated that the exchange has no intentions of delisting any tokens that the SEC has unofficially deemed as securities, according to Reuters. Its decision not to play ball with the US regulator keeps the company on track with its libertarian ideals.
Ripley will take over at a turbulent time as crypto markets have plunged almost 70% since their all-time highs, and US regulators are tightening the screws.
They Are Not Securities
He added that the long list of coins listed on Kraken is not securities, despite what SEC Chair Gary Gensler claims. The exchange offers 203 coins and tokens and 634 pairs, according to CoinGecko.
They would only consider registration if another token appears “that becomes interesting and also happens to simultaneously be a security,” according to Ripley. A security is defined as an ‘investment contract’ akin to a stock or shares, whereas crypto assets behave more like commodities.
The SEC is currently investigating leading exchange Coinbase for similar issues regarding the listing of securities.
He said there were not “any tokens out there that are securities that we’re interested in listing” before confirming that the firm is looking into opportunities in the mergers and acquisitions sector.
Kraken has largely survived the crypto rout and contagion that caused multiple bankruptcies for the likes of Celsius and Voyager Digital, among others. It is considering acquisitions that improve its product portfolio, which includes a planned nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace and banking services for institutional clients.
Kraken is also under investigation for sanctions violations as it allowed Iranian users to access the platform.
9 Million Users
Kraken’s 24-hour volume is currently around $275 million, according to CoinGecko. This ranks it outside of the top 30 centralized exchanges by daily trade volume but has a reported nine million customer base. The BTC/USD pair is its most active, with around 14% of the total volume.
Crypto markets are down during the Monday morning Asian trading session, having lost just under 1% on the day, with total market capitalization dropping to $966 billion (on CoinGecko).
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