According to a statement released by Kraken on Wednesday, Mr. Powell will be succeeded by Dave Ripley, who is currently serving as the chief operational officer. Following the search for Mr. Ripley’s successor, the transfer is scheduled to take place within the next several months at the earliest. Mr. Powell will continue in his role as chairman at Kraken.
Mr. Powell, an early Bitcoin entrepreneur, has been at odds with Kraken workers ever since he posted incendiary statements about race and gender on the company’s Slack earlier this year. The messages were directed at Kraken employees. He strongly encouraged people who did not share his beliefs to resign from the organisation. Some did.
In addition to this, the United States Treasury Department is looking into allegations that Kraken violated sanctions imposed by the United States. According to a July story from The New York Times, the department is likely going to issue Kraken a fine.
Kraken said in a blog post that Mr. Ripley was selected after a “rigorous internal and external search” over the course of the previous year. Mr. Ripley joined the firm in 2016 after it had bought his start-up the previous year. According to the statement made by the firm, Mr. Powell intended to devote a greater portion of his time to “the company’s products, user experience, and wider industry advocacy.”
Kraken was one of the first major exchanges established in 2011 and was formed by Mr. Powell and Thanh Luu. The exchange allows investors to purchase and sell digital assets. According to CoinMarketCap, a statistics collector for the sector, Kraken was ultimately surpassed in size by Coinbase, which now holds the position of being the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. The previous year, Mr. Powell said that he was contemplating going public with the firm.
This spring was the beginning of the issue at Kraken, which started when Mr. Powell questioned the workers’ usage of preferred pronouns and participated in a long conversation about whether or not women are intrinsically less clever than males.
After hearing concerns from some of the company’s workers, Kraken’s CEO, Mr. Powell, issued a paper detailing the company’s culture and describing the libertarian ideals held by Kraken. He instructed the staff that they should resign their positions if they were in disagreement with the paper. In June, in reaction to articles published by The Times about the internal struggle at Kraken, he tweeted that he was taking the firm “back to dictatorship.”