Kraken CEO talks state of crypto market, IPO, sustainability, and more

Kraken, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Europe and the fourth largest worldwide, is considering an initial public offering within 12-18 months, according to its co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell. Powell, who founded Kraken a decade ago, discussed with Bloomberg TV the company’s outlook and the broader cryptocurrency sector..

IPO ‘Prep work’

Recently, Kraken was negotiating new funding that, if raised, could lead its value to exceed $20 billion, according to Bloomberg’s sources. But its CEO confirmed in the Bloomberg interview it is “doing all the prep work” to list itself on a public stock exchange, at an unconfirmed valuation. The evolution from a private company to a public entity is part Powell’s vision. He explained:

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

Swing traders to blame for selloffs

Moving on to the topic of the recent weakness in cryptocurrencies, the Kraken CEO said the selloffs are due to “swing traders” that are not investing for the long-term and “don’t really understand the fundamentals.”. 

The people who are selling at these levels are people who have acquired these assets the last year, so it’s people who are swing traders, who are new to the market. Guys that have been holding for a long time continue to accumulate.

By contrast, long-term Bitcoin bulls like MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR) CEO Michael Saylor are “backing up the truck” and ready to accumulate Bitcoin “at any price.” Asked about waning interest in new coins, he flatly denied it, saying that new and amazing coins are emerging all the time.  

Kraken’s CEO is still bullish on Bitcoin, predicting it will rise to new heights in 2021. He went so far as to say one Bitcoin would be equivalent in value to a Lamborghini by the end of the year. But it might be a “Lambo with fewer options or a smaller engine.”

Bitcoin is ‘greener than people give it credit for’

Asked about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s comments regarding Bitcoin not being green enough, he said the digital currency was “a lot greener than people give it credit for.” While he did acknowledge Bitcoin still has room to improve its environmental impact and we could see “greener alternatives.”

It [Bitcoin] is a way to capture a lot of discarded and lost energy, it’s a way to bootstrap renewables. So I think it’s doing a lot actually for the renewable energy sector.

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