In the news
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Kraken acquires the popular charting and trading platform Cryptowatch - used by thousands of traders to chart over 150 markets in real-time and trade up to 22 digital assets through a highly user-friendly interface. Cryptowatch has seen rapid growth in the past two years, increasing its active user-base by 700%. Kraken clients immediately benefit from the acquisition with an upgraded charting and trading interface.
Kraken launches support for trading Monero (XMR). Monero is one of the leading cryptocurrencies that has seen huge 40x market cap growth in 2016 and trades with high volume and liquidity. Monero is built on the core principles of privacy, decentralization, open development, scaleability, and fungibility.
Kraken announces the winners of its $1M investment challenge. In partnership with The Economist, Kraken asked MBA programs from around the world the following question: You have $1M to invest across bitcoin and ether. You cannot touch your investment for the next 5 years. How much of that $1M do you invest in each? Why? Each of the thirteen participating teams produced both a 5 minute video and a detailed, analytical paper explaining their answer and reasoning.
Kraken acquires the award-winning wallet funding service Glidera. Chicago-based Glidera is the world's first non-custodial buying and selling service for wallets that has grown quickly since its launch in 2015 to integrate with over 10 of the top bitcoin wallets. Kraken fueled rapid growth in 2016 through landmark M&A deals acquiring the 3 major bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter, Cavirtex and Clevercoin. The acquisition of Glidera in 2017 reinforces Kraken's commitment to mutually beneficial consolidation in the digital asset space and marks the brand's first step towards a global ecosystem of complementary services clustered around its core exchange business. Kraken announced that Glidera will be rebranded under the name Kraken Direct.
In Kraken's $1M investment challenge, most MBA teams recommend an approximately two-thirds investment in bitcoin with the remaining third in ether. Kraken, in partnership with The Economist, asked MBA programs from around the world the following question: You have $1M to invest across bitcoin and ether. You cannot touch your investment for the next 5 years. How much of that $1M do you invest in each? Why? Each of the thirteen participating teams produced both a 5 minute video and a detailed, analytical paper explaining their answer and reasoning.
Kraken launches Zcash (ZEC) trading. Perhaps the most hotly anticipated digital asset of 2016, Zcash has a highly regarded development team and investment from major VC firms (Pantera, Fenbushi, and The Digital Currency Group) and Bitcoin VIPs (Roger Ver, Erik Voorhees, Barry Silbert, and Li Xiaolai). Zcash offers complete transaction privacy. While transactions can be seen on the blockchain, the sender, recipient, and amount of the transaction can remain private. The payment details can be revealed to others, but only if users give them the transaction view key.
Kraken, in partnership with The Economist, asked MBA programs from around the world the following question: You have $1M to invest across bitcoin and ether. You cannot touch your investment for the next 5 years. How much of that $1M do you invest in each? Why? Each of the thirteen participating teams produced both a 5 minute video and a detailed, analytical paper explaining their answer and reasoning.
Kraken launches Augur (REP) trading. Built on Ethereum, Augur is a decentralized global platform for prediction markets. Augur allows anyone to create, trade or monitor prediction markets on any topic. Augur's digital token is Reputation (REP).
Kraken supports ether classic trading. Ether classic is the token of the Ethereum Classic network, which resulted from an Ethereum hard fork and has a significant community of users.
Less than six months after acquiring bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex Kraken acquires CleverCoin, one of the first Netherlands-based bitcoin exchanges. The addition of CleverCoin cements Kraken's position as the undisputed leading exchange in Europe with the arrival of thousands of new clients, while other geographic markets experience record growth.
Kraken becomes the first exchange to offer clients ether (ETH) dark pool trading. The dark pool allows clients to discreetly place large ether orders without publicly exposing their buying or selling interest. The news comes in the wake of rapid growth in ether popularity, with price rising approximately 10x in the past 5 months. Kraken also offers dark pool trading for bitcoin, which launched in June of 2015.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell tells the story behind Kraken becoming one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world.
Kraken announces an investment from Money Partners Group in their Series B round of financing that will enhance Kraken's global presence. Tokyo-based Money Partners Group is listed on the 1st Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and holds a current market cap of over 260 million USD. One of the largest foreign exchange brokerages in Japan, Money Partners Group offers services in FX, securities trading and CFD to its network of over 270,000 client accounts. Money Partners Group also announces a business alliance with Kraken to offer bitcoin trading, bitcoin settlement service, and blockchain-based derivative trading to its clients.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powel is considered one of the top names in blockchain technology for his leading role in the bitcoin space, including the orchestration of one of the biggest M&A deals as Kraken acquires major exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex.
Kraken reports a 2x increase in new accounts in the wake of its acquisition of major bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex and expansion to 37 US states plus Washington DC.
Kraken shares an update from the MtGox trustee showing significant progress in processing creditor claims. Out of 9,863 claimants who filed Bitcoin-only claims 7,952 have been approved. 12,583,717,791 JPY in bitcoin has been approved to creditors, with 27,547,026,403 JPY in bitcoin on hold. The trustee is currently in possession of over 202,163 bitcoin, currently worth over 84 million USD. Kraken was selected in November 2014 by the MtGox trustee after extensive and objective review to assist MtGox creditors in investigating missing Bitcoin, filing claims, and distributing remaining assets.
Kraken announces a multi-million dollar agreement with SBI Investment, one of Japan's leading and most respected venture capital firms, to invest in and lead the Series B round of financing in Kraken. SBI Investment is the venture capital arm of SBI Holdings, the world's first Internet-based financial conglomerate.
Kraken announces the acquisition of major exchanges Coinsetter and Cavirtex. NYC-based Coinsetter, founded in 2012, is one of America's most prominent national bitcoin exchanges, and Cavirtex, founded in 2011, is Canada's first bitcoin exchange with the highest historical trading volume. In a related deal, Kraken announces a partnership with American payment provider SynapsePay to allow rapid, low-fee domestic USD deposits and withdrawals to individual and institutional clients in 37 US states and Washington DC. Together these developments set the stage for an immediate and significant expansion into prime North American markets.
Kraken announces a new partnership with BitGo to offer instant bitcoin transfers through the new BitGo Instant service.
Kraken partners with BitGo to integrate BitGo's multi-sig vault wallet system and robust security management controls with the exchange. Kraken had previously employed a custom off-chain, multi-party signing system with off-site components - providing many of the same security benefits as the BitGo integration. However, when it came time to rebuild the old system, going with BitGo's ready-made alternative made more sense by freeing up valuable resources internally, and providing greater transparency and comfort to Kraken clients.
Kraken reduces trade fees and moves to a maker taker model. This change comes by popular demand, since many clients asked for a maker taker model with reduced fees overall.
CEO Jesse Powell discusses bitcoin trading and Kraken Bitcoin Exchange with Dale Pinkert of FXStreet.
Kraken opens in Canada with trading between bitcoin and the Canadian dollar. Canadian clients can now gain direct access to the bitcoin market, without being hit by conversion fees to other currencies along the way. Service in Canada is provided in partnership with Calgary-based payment processor, Vogogo Inc. Through the partnership with Vogogo, Kraken will be offering both Interac and EFT payments in Canadian dollars.
Kraken becomes one of the few exchanges offering a bitcoin dark pool. The Kraken dark pool is an order book not visible to the rest of the market. Each trader only knows their own orders. Traders can anonymously place large buy or sell orders without revealing their interest to other traders. Typically, outsized orders, when seen by other traders will cause the market to move unfavorably, making it more difficult to fill the order at the desired price. This unfavorable price movement may be avoided in a dark pool.
Investment Bank top manager Howard Bernstein is assuming the role of Chief Compliance Officer at Kraken. Bernstein brings 20 years of experience in compliance solutions for investment banks and trading firms. Prior to Kraken, Bernstein was the Chief Compliance Officer at Merriman Capital, Inc., a publicly-held investment bank, where he designed and implemented a completely new compliance program to meet SEC and FINRA requirements and also drafted and implemented the firm's current AML program. "We are working toward being able to operate legally in the United States," Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said. "Unlike most other services, we've chosen to stay out of the U.S. until we have the necessary licenses, which has put us at a substantial competitive disadvantage. We're looking forward to entering our home market.
Kraken announces the beta launch of margin trading, becoming one of the few exchanges allowing clients to trade bitcoins on margin. Margin trading with up to 3x leverage is available long or short, meaning that clients can gain up to 3x the underlying move in bitcoin price and profit in both up and down markets. Traders pay their normal trade fee on the opening and closing volume of margin positions, and an extra fee of 0.05% every 24 hours to keep the position open.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell explains the value of Bitcoin for retail merchants at the 2015 EHI Kartenkongress (Card Congress). Held annually in Bonn, Germany, the EHI Kartenkongress has long been the top conference for payments experts in commerce. Kraken's participation in the conference highlights the growth in Bitcoin as part of the boom in mobile payments and e-commerce. The payments experts at the conference learned about the compelling benefits to merchants accepting Bitcoin, including zero charge-back risk, low transaction cost, fast processing times, and ready access to global markets. "Fortunately, retailers still have the chance to be part of this development and participate in a future market that has already created such a high value in the digital world," Jesse said.
LeapRate speaks to Kraken CEO Jesse Powell in order to gain his perspective on Bitcoin security and where the digital currency industry is going from here.
Kraken starts accepting MtGox Creditor claims and offers up to $1 million in free trade volume per creditor for claiming funds through Kraken. The claim and payout service through Kraken is available in all areas of operation, including all US states. As announced in November, Kraken was selected by the MtGox trustee after extensive and objective review to assist MtGox creditors in investigating missing Bitcoin, filing claims, and distributing remaining assets. "We see our involvement in this process as an opportunity to restore faith in the community by showing what we need more of in the Bitcoin space – trusted leadership," said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell discusses a wide variety of topics on decentral Talk Live, including the history of Kraken, Kraken's role in assisting MtGox creditors, areas of operation, the partnership with Fidor bank, cryptographic proof of reserves, Kraken security features, and more.
Kraken launches a brand-new site design, making the site simpler and more intuitive to navigate. A new video, company timeline, team page, and other new content gives a more extensive introduction to Kraken and its many advantages.
Kraken, along with 9 other leading Bitcoin companies, participates in 'The World of Bitcoin' at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Attendees are able to open new exchange accounts and meet professionals from Kraken and other Bitcoin companies in person.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is interviewed by noted Bitcoin expert Trace Mayer in Episode 124 of the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast. Trace Mayer and Jesse Powell discuss Kraken's role in distributing funds to MtGox creditors, Kraken's proof-of-reserves audit in spring 2014, advanced security features available on Kraken and the risks for many exchanges that accept customers illegally. Listen to the full podcast on the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast site:
Jamie McCormick, author of the popular site BitcoinsinIreland, reports on his positive experience with Kraken as part of a review series of four exchanges. He discusses Bitcoin deposits, trading Bitcoin for EUR and EUR SEPA withdrawals. McCormick notes the fast execution and low fees with Kraken. He concludes that "of the four exchanges I'm reviewing as part of this series, Kraken was by far the quickest and most easy to get using."
Kraken is selected to support the investigation of missing Bitcoin and the distribution of remaining assets to MtGox creditors. This decision comes after an extensive evaluation process where multiple companies are considered and thoroughly vetted. Kraken is chosen for reasons including its proven track record of stable exchange operation and reliable customer support, and possesses the skill and expertise required to properly carry out an investigation of the lost Bitcoin and the distribution of assets to creditors.
For the second year in a row, Kraken participates in Money 2020, a payments and financial services conference held annually in Las Vegas. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell speaks in a panel on the "Bitcoin Basics" hosted by noted Bitcoin expert Trace Mayer. The full video of the panel is available on Youtube (Jesse starts speaking around 7:20):
Kraken is collaborating with German BaFin-regulated bank Fidor to create the world's first cryptocurrency bank. The aim of the open initiative is to set up a fully regulated and licensed financial services entity and to pool financial services from different providers in the industry. "We are extremely excited about the opportunity to deepen our partnership with Fidor, to leverage the experience we've gained working together over the past year, and to benefit the broader crypto-currency community, industry and ecosystem," said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.
Kraken announces the launch of trading between Bitcoin and Japanese yen. The new trading option coincides with the launch of domestic JPY funding. Kraken now offers comprehensive support for Japanese speakers, with a fully translated Japanese version of the site and Japanese-speaking support agents to assist clients. "We look forward to bringing our expertise and service to Japan, where we will fulfill the overdue need for an exchange that puts its clients' interests first and is dedicated to building relationships based on trust," said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.
Kraken launches a partnership with PayCash, a Luxembourg-based leader in innovative EU focused payment solutions, to provide both US dollar (USD) and British pound (GBP) funding to its clients. These new funding options coincide with the launch of Bitcoin-pound (XBT/GBP) trading (Bitcoin-USD trading was already available on the exchange). "We have spent eight months looking for a strong partner, one with compliance capabilities, regulatory oversight, payments expertise and a technology focus," said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell. "We have now found the right partner in PayCash."
The new Kraken iOS app is available on the iTunes App Store. The app allows clients to view their current balances, manage orders, monitor current market conditions, check candlestick charts, and stay up-to-date with the latest Bitcoin news. Trading is now available in a later version of the app.
Those who join bitcoin startups early will have the greatest opportunity in creating real change and may receive a windfall.
Kraken Advisor and former COO Michael Gronager says that those who join Bitcoin startups early will have the greatest opportunity for making a large impact and receiving a large profit. "Bitcoin has some issues that need to be resolved in order to unlock the potential for its mainstream use as a payment and ledger technology. The startups will be vastly rewarded for doing so."
In an article about New York's proposed digital currency regulation, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell expresses his concerns over plans to treat digital currencies in the exact same manner as other financial instruments. Jesse thinks that such a move is most likely going to harm users and businesses alike. "If we're talking about decentralised digital currencies, like Bitcoin, the most common approach I've seen is to attempt to fit it into an existing legal framework, ie, to regulate it equally alongside other existing similar financial instruments." "I would expect a fresh take at a legal framework around decentralised digital currencies to be much more relaxed and pro consumer choice."
Kraken plays an important role in guiding Bitcoin regulation in Japan. Kraken executives, including Managing Director in Japan, Ayako Miyaguchi, are part of a group of businesses that advise Japanese member of parliament Mineyuki Fukuda and his IT committee on forming the Japan Authority of Digital Assets (JADA). JADA is the first Bitcoin regulatory body with government backing.
Regulatory uncertainty keeps many Wall street investors from entering the cryptocurrency space. Creating US-based exchanges under federal regulatory oversight is going to remove the single biggest hurdle to Wall Street interest in Bitcoin. Kraken is one of the leading exchanges working to lift "the fog hanging over Bitcoin."
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell shares candid views on the origin and business strategy of his leading exchange.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell discusses the origins of Kraken, his 2011 realization that Bitcoin can solve problems in the trading of virtual goods, his past mining projects, the Kraken business strategy and his resignation from the board of Ripple Labs.
Kraken takes first place in the CoinTelegraph Exchange Awards. The awards are based on an extensive review of all the major exchanges. Kraken is especially noted for its outstanding security, usability, support, selection of advanced order types, and low fees.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell and Managing Director in Japan Ayako Miyaguchi are featured in an article about the growing interest in Bitcoin among Japanese politicians. Parliament member Mineyuki Fukuda met with the Kraken team to get a perspective on appropriate Bitcoin policy from industry leaders.
Kraken is chosen by Tim Swanson, a well-known Bitcoin expert, as one of the ten most promising startups working with blockchain technology. "The [Kraken] team is managed by a group of talented early adopters including Jesse Powell who has stuck with the community through thick and thin," said Tim.
Responding to a large and growing client demand, Bloomberg launches with Bitcoin prices for the over 320,000 users of its industry-leading terminal for multi-asset data, news and analytics. At launch, Kraken holds the honor of being the only exchange providing complete Bitcoin market data to the terminal, including the volume and order book data that traders rely on. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell suggests that Kraken is chosen for the work they've done building a stable and compliant exchange. "I think they probably chose to go with people who would be around, who weren't going to be facing either regulatory or criminal problems." Jesse said that the integration with Bloomberg's terminals might be a significant source of referrals for Kraken. The move by Bloomberg shows their commitment to innovation, market transparency, and adding value for customers.
Kraken is among the companies highlighted in an article about the soaring rate of investment in Bitcoin companies. Kraken recently completed a $5 million Series A round of investment.
Kraken receives an "A" rating in a review from the popular Bitcoin site TheBlogChain. Kraken is especially praised for its security features, scoring 11/10 in this category. The review concludes, "Kraken is an exemplary institution that the rest of the Bitcoin world should look up to. On top of being one of the first exchanges to pass an independent audit, they've consistently shown themselves to be leaders on security practices, particularly in the realm of security services offered to users."
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is a featured panelist in a discussion at CoinSummit of the best way forward for Bitcoin exchanges after the demise of MtGox. Jesse discussed regulation, security, and the need for independent evaluation, "like a Consumer Reports or a Bitcoin Better Business Bureau."
Kraken raises $5 million in its series A investment round. The round is led by Hummingbird Ventures. Other investors include Trace Mayer and Barry Silbert. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said that the investment capital would be used to strengthen Kraken's position in the digital currency space, including an expansion of their robust compliance strategy, forging strong bank partnerships, and improving customer support.
Kraken passes the world's first ever cryptographically verifiable "proof of reserves" audit. The audit is carried out by Stefan Thomas, who verified that the total amount of bitcoins held by Kraken exceed the amount required to cover the balances held by customers. The process is the first to effectively implement a variation of the "Merkle Tree" audit method proposed by Greg Maxwell. The method allows individual customers to cryptographically verify that their balance at the time of the audit is included in the audit. Kraken said in a statement that the audit is merely a first step toward more publicly verifiable accounting practices and plans improvements for future audits. Kraken is honored for its achievement with special promotion for two weeks on Bitcoinity.org, a popular website for Bitcoin market data. "Kraken is getting the shout out for being the first exchange to take some serious steps towards proving their Bitcoin solvency. Their solution...is not perfect but it's better than what any other exchange has done so far," said the creator of Bitcoinity.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell shares his personal insights on the demise of MtGox in a post to his blog. Jesse expresses his anger and sympathy for the great loss suffered by the Bitcoin community. "Clearly, we need to be more demanding as a community of our wallets and exchanges. Regulators have been kind enough to not enforce against unlicensed Bitcoin businesses, allowing the industry to flourish, but that means the onus is on us to keep our custodians honest," Jesse said. Jesse also describes some of his encounters with MtGox CEO Mark Karpelés, and offers his own theory of the scenario that led to MtGox's troubles. Jesse's post draws a lot of attention from the media, including WIRED, who seek him out for further comment.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell joins CEOs from other leading Bitcoin companies to issue a joint statement on the demise of MtGox. The statement pointed out that MtGox was a bad and unrepresentative actor in a thriving new industry with hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies. The statement promises to take a leading role in providing transparent assurance that customer funds are properly held.
Kraken is one of the few exchanges unaffected by the "transaction malleability" that requires many exchanges to temporarily halt operations. Kraken is unaffected because its developers considered the risk of transaction malleability from the beginning and built robust accounting procedures into the exchange. Transaction malleability refers to a technical feature of the Bitcoin protocol that allows the ID of a transaction to be changed under certain limited conditions. Changing the transaction ID has legitimate uses, but can lead to a serious vulnerability if the transaction ID is used to track transactions, as some exchanges do.
Kraken Advisor and former COO Michael Gronager is featured in an article about a fatal flaw Kraken discovered in the Namecoin protocol. Michael said he discovered the flaw while doing the diligence that Kraken always performs on any digital currency before it's allowed for trading on Kraken. "At Kraken, we give all assets we include thorough scrutiny - we don't want to trade in an asset where its value could disappear overnight. So it was in the process of checking Namecoin...that I found the issues."
Kraken forms an exclusive partnership with Fidor Bank. Fidor is Germany's first Web 2.0 online bank and is regulated by the German Financial Supervisory Agency BaFin. The partnership is the first of its kind and represents a new level of security for Kraken users, and a new level of legitimacy for Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Remarking on the partnership, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said, "In Fidor Bank we've found our ideal partner, a forward-thinking financial institution that's fully on board with our stated goal of combining the predictability and stability of traditional banking relationships with the social and economic benefits of the new digital currencies. We're thrilled to be able to offer these services to customers in the EU, and hope to offer more services globally soon."
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell is featured in an article about Jumio's new technology called Face Match. Face Match uses facial recognition technology to verify that the person holding a credit or ID card is the same as the person in the picture on the card. Face Match thus provides an extra authentication factor to detect attempts to use stolen or manipulated credentials. Jesse commented on the new technology, saying, "given this new level of fraud protection, we are able to safeguard the transactions conducted on the Bitcoin platform, while increasing ease of use for end user customers at the same time."
Kraken becomes the first exchange to switch to the proposed ISO 4217 standard currency code for Bitcoin (XBT). Other exchanges are expected to follow in time.
Kraken launches with trading between euros, bitcoins, and litecoins. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said that Kraken is able to service most jurisdictions at launch, but in order to accommodate regulatory requirements, some jurisdictions would have limited services or no services. Restricted jurisdictions include high AML risk countries, such as Afghanistan and Iran, that Kraken has no plans to service. In other jurisdictions Kraken currently offers no services, such as most US states and Germany, but plans to offer services in each jurisdiction after its regulatory compliance strategy has been finalized in the jurisdiction. Kraken can service a few US states at launch with digital currency to digital currency trading, and fewer US states with digital currency to national currency trading. Emphasizing Kraken's commitment to regulatory compliance, Jesse said, "We're not just trying to slide under the radar and get away with it."
Prior to launch, Kraken is listed among Bitcoin's most important companies in an article on Upstart Business Journal.