Kraken crypto exchange CEO says a global regulatory crackdown could happen as adoption of digital coins grows

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The bitcoin price has soared in 2021

Kraken crypto exchange CEO Jesse Powell said a global regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies could happen, particularly as adoption becomes more widespread and governments step in to lay down rules for the market.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Powell said he did not think regulations will be clear-cut anytime soon and there was a risk that tough rules could come into place that might hobble use of cryptocurrencies. “I think there could be some crackdown,” he said.

Powell said he hoped the US and other large economies would not take too narrow a view on cryptocurrencies and succumb to the pressures of preserving the existing global financial system.

“Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view”, Powell said. China is planning to launch a digital yuan, while the Federal Reserve is still in the early stages of examining in the possibility of a digital dollar.

Many international regulators, governments and institutional investors are wary of cryptocurrencies. Their key features, such as anonymity and self-governance are a key part of the attraction for users, but there are also questions around security and the use of bitcoin to fund illegal activities, such as money laundering.

Stricter regulations might aim to combat this. The US is for example considering investor identity checks if trades break a certain threshold, but “something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case” Powell said.

South Korea has recently tightened regulations further to prevent illicit crypto-funded activities, while India is considering an outright ban on possession and trading of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin’s high levels of volatility have also contributed towards some skepticism. Since the start of the year, it has traded at levels ranging from around $30,000 to a new record high of around $63,000 on Tuesday.

In March, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said high volatility was the key reason bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could not replace the dollar. Various governments are however working on central bank digital currencies, which would work similarly to cryptocurrencies, but be regulated and overseen by central banks and national regulatory bodies.

Kraken’s Powell said he believed any kind of ban on using cryptocurrencies might be too late and only serve to increase interest in digital assets. “It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency”, he said.

Last week, Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner Hester Pierce – whose nickname is “crypto mom” – said she saw no possibility for a governmental ban on bitcoin. She said even if it was forbidden, people would still carry on trading it.

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Coinbase rival Kraken could go public next year after a surge in bitcoin trading volumes

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Kraken co-founder and CEO, Jesse Powell.


Kraken is considering a stock market listing next year after the crypto exchange saw record bitcoin trading volume in the first quarter of 2021, CNBC reported on Thursday.

“We’re looking at being able to go public sometime next year,” Kraken CEO Jesse Powell told CNBC. “It would probably be a direct listing, similar to Coinbase.”

Kraken saw a massive boost from bitcoin hitting an all-time high of $61,725 in mid-March, Powell said, as a number of institutional investors piled into the space. He said any volatility is good for the company, but is even better when prices are going upwards.

Four times as many users signed up to Kraken in the first quarter than did in the second half of 2020, according to CNBC. Spot transaction volumes hit a record $160 billion in the same timeframe, or about 1.5 times higher than last year.

“The first quarter just completely blew away the entirety of last year,” Powell said, adding that the company beat last year’s numbers by the end of February and the whole market “really just exploded.” The total value of the cryptocurrency market exceeded $2 trillion this week after doubling in just two months.

Kraken is currently in talks with investors about another round of fundraising that could give it a valuation of $20 billion. The CEO said this is being delayed in order to evaluate how Coinbase’s IPO performs. But they aren’t in a rush to raise capital.

US rival Coinbase is set to go public on the Nasdaq next week at an expected valuation of $100 billion. The exchange reported preliminary revenues of about $1.8 billion for the first quarter and said it has 56 million verified users.

Companies that choose to go public via direct listings, like Spotify did in 2018, avoid paying hefty fees to investment banks that otherwise act as underwriters in a traditional IPO.

Instead, employees and investors convert their shares into stock that gets listed on a stock exchange. These can then be publicly purchased. Investors can then cash out without having to consider the lock-up period – the length of time after a traditional IPO during which shares cannot be sold by insiders.

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Ether is at a fork in the road and the cryptocurrency faces a key resistance level at $2,700, Kraken analysts say

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Ethereum’s cryptocurrency ether rose 35% in March, Kraken said.

Ethereum’s cryptocurrency ether is at a fork in the road and faces a big test in climbing above $2,700, according to analysts at crypto exchange Kraken.

Kraken analysts, led by Pete Humiston, said in a review of the market on Wednesday that ether had jumped 35% and outperformed bitcoin’s 30% gain in March.

Yet they said: “When looking at historical price action, ETH is at a bit of a fork in the road.” The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency stood at around $1,990 on Thursday morning.

Kraken said on Wednesday that chart analysis suggested ether’s next big level of resistance is around $2,700. If it passes this level, it could break into a higher band where the next resistance level is $5,000, the report suggested.

Yet the analysts added that there is a danger ether falls below the key support level of around $1,460, in which case it could drop into a lower trading band where the lower support level is $990.

However, cryptocurrencies’ wild volatility means movements are hard to predict and makes technical analysis difficult.

Kraken’s report also said that the second quarter has historically been a good one for ether, which is yet to see a negative return in the period.

Ether has shot up more than 1,000% over the last year as interest in cryptocurrencies has boomed. It touched an all-time high of around $2,150 earlier in April and has traded around $2,000 over the last week.

Developers on the Ethereum network are set to make major changes to the system in July. The alterations will change how transactions work and start to destroy ether coins, which some analysts have said could lead to the price soaring.

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban told the Unchained podcast on Tuesday that he was bullish on ether and the Ethereum network, thanks to its many applications, including non-fungible tokens and smart contracts.

Yet cryptocurrencies continue to divide the financial world. Economist Nouriel Roubini on Tuesday reiterated his charge that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile and difficult to use to be currencies, on Bloomberg TV.

He questioned that there was any value in bitcoin and called it a “self-fulfilling bubble.”

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Bitcoin is not overbought and could reach $75,000 before the current bull market ends, research from Kraken says

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Citi said bitcoin is at a “tipping point.”

  • Bitcoin is not yet in “overbought” territory and could reach $75,000 before the current bull cycle ends, Kraken says. 
  • According to historical price movements of bitcoin, the first quarter of 2021 could be met with massive gains for the token. 
  • Bitcoin is up 62% year-to-date as of Friday as it hovers just below $48,000.
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Bitcoin could gain much higher before the current bull market ends based on historical price movements, says a Kraken Intelligence market report published Friday.

Although bitcoin is quickly approaching resistance, it remains several tens of thousands of dollars away from entering into “overbought” territory, Kraken said. If bitcoin were to surpass $75,000 in the next few months, historical price action suggests bitcoin would then be close to the top of the cycle. 

The cryptocurrency has pulled back from its all-time high above $58,000 on February 21, but it still finished the month 37% higher. The coin is up 62% year-to-date as of Friday as it hovers just below $48,000.

According to Kraken, bitcoin is now trending in a manner most similar to the first quarter of 2013, bitcoin’s best first quarter on record. If the trend continues, the first quarter of 2021 “could be a historic quarter with a relatively outsized return.”

“By plotting a logarithmic growth curve that connects BTC’s prior market cycle tops (resistance) and bottoms (support) and by making assumptions about how severe BTC will correct upon hitting a cycle high, one will find that BTC likely has plenty of upside before entering a bear market,” the report says. 

The report comes as some investors voice concerns that bitcoin’s rapid acceleration is a clear sign the cryptocurrency is in a bubble waiting to burst. Michael Burry said the coin is a “speculative bubble that poses more risk than opportunity” in a tweet Monday that has now been deleted. 

On Wednesday Kraken CEO Jesse Powell told Bloomberg a $1 million as a price target within the next 10 years is “very reasonable.” 

 

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Bitcoin will eventually be a global currency – and a $1 million price target within the next 10 years is ‘very reasonable,’ Kraken CEO says

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Bitcoin will eventually be the world’s currency, because “you have to think it’s going to infinity,” Jesse Powell, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

He said that national currencies were “already showing extreme signs of weakness” and that people would soon start measuring the price of things in bitcoin.

“The true believers will tell you it’s going all the way to the moon, to Mars, and eventually it’ll be the world’s currency,” Powell said.

Kraken, based in San Francisco, is in talks to raise new funding that would double its valuation to over $10 billion, Bloomberg reported in late February.

The price of bitcoin fell on Thursday by 0.4%, to $50,175, but is up 70% year-to-date. The price slipped earlier this week after Gary Gensler, the nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, said at his confirmation hearing that making sure crypto markets are free of fraud and manipulation was a challenge. Gensler has been viewed as an advocate for cryptocurrencies, given his previous work and teachings on the subject at MIT.

“In the near term, people see it surpassing gold as a store of value, so I think $1 million as a price target within the next 10 years is very reasonable,” Powell said of bitcoin.

Bitcoin believers expect it to replace fiat money, and the market capitalization of all national currencies combined could make up its worth, Powell said.

Read more: UBS: Buy these 14 back-to-normal stocks now before a ‘sharp acceleration’ in consumer spending in Q2 as vaccinations pick up

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A lawyer who filed Sidney Powell’s Michigan election lawsuit says he shouldn’t be disbarred and was just ‘holding the fort’ for her

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Sidney Powell, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, November 19, 2020

  • Attorney Greg Rohl was instrumental in helping Sidney Powell file her Michigan election lawsuit.
  • Michigan’s governor and other elected officials are attempting to disbar Rohl as a result.
  • Rohl said despite filing the case, he did not make any changes, additions, or corrections to it.
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A local attorney who was instrumental in filing Sidney Powell’s Michigan lawsuit to throw out the state’s votes in the 2020 presidential election, said in a court filing he was just “holding the fort” for her and shouldn’t be sanctioned or disbarred.

Gregory Rohl, a trial attorney based in Novi, Michigan, wrote in a federal court affidavit that he was quarantined at home after having contracted COVID-19 when he was asked to assist Powell and attorney Lin Wood in filing the case. Rohl said in his affidavit he was approached at 6:30 p.m., and was told the filing deadline was at midnight.

Rohl’s filing comes just days after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, state Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson filed complaints seeking to disbar Powell, Rohl, and several attorneys who were involved in the frivolous lawsuit.

Powell, a Texas-based attorney, was unable to file the suit herself at the time as she did not have a license to practice in Michigan. Rohl was told that Powell was waiting to hear back about her pro hac vice application, a request for permission to work on the case when a lawyer does not have the legal authority to practice law in the area.

Despite what Rohl was told, court filings do not show Powell ever actually filed a formal pro hac vice application.

In his affidavit, Rohl said the filing contained over 100 exhibits and took over an hour to review. He said he is not a political person and “did not really care who won” the presidential election, but added that he found the affidavits associated with the case “compelling” and called the complaint “sound” in his view.

The affidavits, however, had already been reviewed and summarily rejected in a separate case by the Great Lakes Justice Center on behalf of two Republican poll watchers. The judge said that “no basis exists” within the affidavits to stop the certification of Michigan’s electoral results.

Rohl filed the lawsuit at 11:56 p.m., less than five minutes before his deadline. He said he made no additions, deletions, or corrections to the complaint or affidavits.

Read more: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a bar complaint against Sidney Powell, asking that she be stripped of her law license

Rohl argues he should not be disbarred as his involvement in the case became even more minuscule after District Judge Linda V. Parker waived the oral argument and held no evidentiary hearings. Once she dismissed the case, Rohl said he was told he was no longer needed as counsel.

Over 60 cases were filed across the US by Powell and other attorneys allied with the Trump administration in an attempt to challenge the election, but none of the lawsuits were successful in flipping the results of a single state, nor did they find any widespread evidence of fraud.

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