Kraken could go public within 18 months

CEO Jesse Powell shared that the platform is “making all preparations” for the IPO

Just two months after Coinbase went public through a direct listing on the Nasdaq under the ticker COIN, Kraken seems to want to follow in its footsteps by making “all the preparations” to become a publicly traded company, according to CEO Jesse Powell in an interview with Bloomberg TV yesterday.

San Francisco-based Kraken is the fourth largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume and was founded by Powell in 2011. The exchange offers trading in more than 50 different coins and was listed as one of the first crypto exchanges on Bloomberg Terminal. Powell hinted that Kraken could go public within the next 12 to 18 months.

Earlier this year, Kraken was rumored to be considering an IPO through a special purpose vehicle (SPAC) with a valuation of $ 10 billion. However, Powell dispelled that notion in a Bloomberg TV interview at the time, suggesting that the exchange would pursue a direct listing instead.

Back in February, Kraken was reportedly in talks with firms such as General Atlantic, Tribe Capital and Fidelity to raise capital, with speculation that the exchange would aim for a valuation of $20 billion.

Last month, Tribe Capital co-founder Arjun Sethi joined Kraken’s board as a non-executive director after Tribe invested heavily for several months and is now Kraken’s second-largest institutional investor behind Hummingbird Ventures.

Powell did not specify a target for evaluating Kraken during yesterday’s interview, but merely said: „We are on a mission to bring crypto to the world, and our assessment will hopefully be a reflection of our success in accomplishing that mission.“

One possible proof of this success is the growth of Kraken’s user base. With more than six million customers in almost 190 countries, the customer base continues to grow. Kraken reported more new registrations in the first two months of this year than in the whole of 2020.

The May crash has dampened trading volume somewhat, but Powell remains optimistic about a new Bitcoin all-time high. He told Bloomberg TV: „I said one Bitcoin, one Lambo by the end of the year. Maybe it will be a Lambo with fewer options or a smaller engine at this time, but we are still at a very high price level in my opinion.“

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