Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, has taken aim at regulators.

Kraken recently reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in which it agreed to stop offering staking services or programmes to US clients.

It also agreed to pay $30 million in disgorgement, prejudgement interest and civil penalties. 

Powell, who last September announced a decision to eventually step down as CEO and become chairman due to a lack of “fun” in the “draining” role, posited his theory on Twitter.

“I have a theory,” he wrote. “Regulators let the bad guys get big and blow up because it serves their agenda: destroy capital/resources in crypto ecosystem; burn people, deter adoption; give air cover to attack good actors.

“The bad guys are actually on-side. Good guys are the enemy. If the bad guys can run long enough without blowing up, they might just kill the good guys for you.”

Powell has said that regulators ignored their warnings about scams and fraud and that trying to do the right thing blew up in their faces.

“Bad guys operate with huge competitive advantages. They suck up users, revenue and venture capital that would otherwise have gone to good guys,” he added.

“BG can always be jailed later.”

This is likely a reference to Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges later this year following the collapse of FTX.

UK companies see ‘big potential’ in Saudi Arabia

Powell came under fire last year for criticising “woke activists” within the company while Kraken was investigated by the US Treasury Department for allegedly allowing Iranian users to use the platform in violation of international sanctions.

Kraken’s website states that its services are not available to users in Iran.

Over the past 11 years, Kraken has evolved from a bitcoin exchange into a crypto platform offering a suite of trading tools and educational resources, staking services, futures trading and an OTC desk.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Omar Zaki, the CEO of decentralised finance infrastructure platform Composable Finance, has defended himself and the company against allegations of financial improprieties made by its former CTO. Karel Kubat resigned after claiming the firm had not provided financial statements to him or the community. He said he suspects that Zaki was involved in the raising of Series A funds in violation of a cease-and-desist mandate from the Securities and Exchange Commission and that he was deeply involved in alleged rug-pull project Bribe.

Sunday saw 106,000 of NFT sales, with sales per user and volume per user both hitting a 90-day high. This can be credited to the launch of the Blur NFT marketplace, which a few days ago was claiming more than half of total sales, more than 80% of total volume and 40% of total unique users.

Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, told the Simply Bitcoin YouTube channel that the cryptocurrency fixes broken democracies and fights government corruption by limiting its power to control its people.

In Crypto: Tim Berners-Lee labels cryptocurrency ‘dangerous’

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 22,600 coins is at $1.13 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 1.3% increase in the last 24 hours.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.