Kraken’s Powell donates $1m to Trump to unite behind ‘only pro-crypto’ candidate

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The founder of crypto exchange Kraken says the Biden administration’s approach is “diminishing U.S. competitiveness” in the crypto market.

Jesse Powell, the founder and former chief executive of crypto exchange Kraken, has donated $1 million in Ethereum (ETH) to former President Donald Trump as presidential elections approach. In a Jun. 28 post on X, Powell implied his decision was driven in response to a hawkish attitude against the industry from Dem. Elizabeth Warren, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler.

The Kraken founder also emphasized that President Joe Biden’s administration “allowed a campaign of unchecked regulation by enforcement,” adding that this approach is “diminishing U.S. competitiveness as other major economies around the world advance clear rules to regulate digital assets.”

“I am excited to join other leaders from our community to unite behind the only pro-crypto major party candidate in the 2024 Presidential election so the United States can continue to remain a leader in blockchain technology.”

Jesse Powell

Kraken and the SEC have a long history of fierce battles amid the ambiguous regulatory framework for crypto in the U.S. In February 2023, Kraken settled with the SEC for $30 million over a staking feature offered to customers, which the SEC deemed as unregistered securities.

Despite this settlement, in November 2023, the SEC sued Kraken’s parent companies, Payward and Payward Ventures, for allegedly operating an unregistered online trading platform. The lawsuit alleges that Kraken has been operating illegally since 2018 as a securities exchange, broker, dealer, and clearing agency, earning hundreds of millions of dollars.

The SEC also claims that Kraken could mix its clients’ funds with its assets, potentially leading to losses on both sides. The court case is still pending.

Jesse Powell is the latest crypto executive to back the Republican presidential candidate. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini crypto exchange, have also each donated $1 million in Bitcoin (BTC) to Donald Trump and pledged to vote for him in November.

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