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  • May 13, 2021

Exclusive: Kraken CEO Warns a Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies May Be Coming

 Exclusive: Kraken CEO Warns a Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies May Be Coming


Jess Powell, CEO of Kraken, the world’s fourth-largest digital currency exchange, warns that governments around the world may start to clamp down on the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. CNBC reports: “I think there could be some crackdown,” Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, told CNBC in an interview. Cryptocurrencies have surged in value lately, with bitcoin hitting a record high price of more than $61,000 last month. The world’s most valuable digital coin was last trading at around $60,105. […] Kraken’s chief thinks regulatory uncertainty around crypto isn’t going away anytime soon. A recent anti-money laundering rule proposed by the U.S. government would require people who hold their crypto in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more.

“Something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case, which was to just make financial services accessible to everyone,” Powell said. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have often been associated with illicit activities due to the fact that people transacting with it are pseudonymous — you can see where funds are being sent but not who sent or received them. “I hope that the U.S. and international regulators don’t take too much of a narrow view on this,” Powell said. “Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view.”

Kraken’s CEO said he feels the U.S. is more “shortsighted” than other nations and “susceptible” to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses — in other words, the banks — that “stand to lose from crypto becoming a big deal.” “I also think it might be too late,” Powell added. “Maybe the genie’s out of the bottle and just trying to ban it at this point would make it more attractive. It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency.”



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