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Kraken CEO Blasts Attorney General Schneiderman

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has pushed back against a request for information from New York’s AG’s office.

In a Twitter post, Powell blasted the attorney general’s office for being anti-business.

“Then I realized we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet,” he said.

“Ordinarily, we’re happy to help government understand our business, however, this is not the way to go about it.”

Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the US does not currently operate in New York. The state requires exchanges to acquire a BitLicense.

Powell said complying with the request, in the form of questionnaires would be expensive. “The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap!” he wrote on his Twitter page.

Terse Statement

In a terse statement, Powell complained about New York’s state ’s overzealousness when it comes to business.

The AG’s stone-deaf response shows just how bad the disconnect really is. Not only are they apparently experts in what legitimate businesses desire, they are also experts in what’s important to consumers,” he wrote.

Having the kind of requested information ‘on-hand’ is not the same as having the resource to compile it neatly to fit the framework of the request within 2 weeks, he said.


The attorney general’s office this week requested information from 13 cryptocurrency exchanges. The questionnaire covers areas such as trade policies, anti-money laundering and security controls to protect customers. The 34-page document also includes questions about measures taken to fight market manipulation as well as operations of bots.

The move is seen as a prelude to wider regulation to an industry that has captured the imagination of many and attracted billions in the process.

Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

“Our Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative sets out to change that, promoting the accountability and transparency in the virtual currency marketplace that investors and consumers deserve,” a statement from the AGs office said.

Only a few exchanges like Coinbase, bitFlyer and Circle operate in New York State having obtained the BitLicense.

In an apparent reply to Powell, Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for the AGs office said: “legitimate entities generally like to demonstrate to their investors that their money will be protected.”

“This is very basic information that any credible platform should have on hand and be willing to share with their investors,” she added.

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