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Kraken’s Defiant New CEO Won’t File With SEC

Kraken’s Defiant New CEO Won’t File With SEC

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Key takeaways

  • Incoming Kraken CEO Dave Ripley says his company has no plans to register with the SEC.
  • He insists Kraken does not list assets that are securities and says it has no plans to do so.
  • Ripley currently serves as Kraken’s COO. He succeeds Jesse Powell as CEO, as announced this week.

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Kraken’s incoming CEO says his exchange has no plans to register with the US SEC.

Kraken does not list securities

Kraken opposes SEC overreach.

On September 21, Kraken announced that its current CEO Jesse Powell is stepping down and will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Dave Ripley.

Since this announcement, Ripley has commented on Kraken’s compliance plans. According to Reuters, Ripley said there is no reason for Kraken to register with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ripley justified this by stating that Kraken does not trade in securities. He stated that “there are no tokens that are securities that we would be interested in listing.”

He admitted that if a token interests Kraken and it “happens to be a security at the same time,” Kraken might be “interested in that avenue.”

Ripley also said Kraken has no plans to remove tokens identified as securities in a separate case involving employees of rival Coinbase. Coinbase also denied that the assets in question were securities, stating that “none of the assets listed on our platform are securities.”

The SEC has historically not been definitive on whether cryptocurrencies are considered securities.

A statement by former SEC Director Jay Clayton in 2018 suggested that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities because they did not seek early public investments.

Other cryptocurrency assets, which often depend on early investments or token sales, are more likely to be securities. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said at an event at the Practicing Law Institute this month that the “vast majority” of cryptocurrencies are likely securities.

Both statements, though widely quoted, were made at public events – not in any official capacity. As such, the SEC can initiate investigations and bring charges against individuals and crypto-companies as it sees fit.

While the SEC has no apparent plans to investigate Kraken, Ripley’s statements could draw the regulator’s attention.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH and other cryptocurrencies.

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