Kraken’s incoming CEO: No plans to register with SEC

Dave Ripley says he doesn’t see a reason to register with the SEC as an exchange because Kraken does not offer securities to users.

The newly appointed CEO of crypto exchange Kraken has stated that he has no plans to register the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or delist any tokens that have been labeled by the SEC as securities.

In a Reuters report on Thursday, incoming CEO Dave Ripley said he doesn’t see a reason to register with the SEC as an exchange because it does not offer securities.

“There are not any tokens out there that are securities that we’re interested in listing,” he said.

However he did not rule out listing security tokens entirely, noting that “there could be some new token out there that becomes interesting and also happens to simultaneously be a security, in that case, we would potentially be interested in that path.”

Dave Ripley is set to succeed Jesse Powell as CEO after the Kraken co-founder decided to step down on Sept. 21 after 11 years in the top job, citing the huge growth of the company and the large drain on him to oversee it all. 

In the company statement announcing the change in leadership, Ripley said his goals going forward were “in lockstep” with Powell’s and also noted that Powell is planning “to stay very engaged with the company.”

Ripley’s statements on crypto assets appear to be in direct opposition to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler who recently made his thoughts on the status of crypto exchanges and tokens very clear.

In a Sept. 15 Senate Committee on Banking, Gensler reiterated his stance that most cryptocurrencies are securities and many intermediaries, such as exchanges, broker-dealers, and those with custodial functions, deal in securities and should be registered with the SEC “in some capacity.”

“Crypto intermediaries may need to one day register with both the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC),” and there are already dual registrants.

The SEC has already launched an investigation into Coinbase earlier this year for alleged trading of unregistered securities.

At the time, Michael Bacina, an Australian digital assets lawyer with Piper Alderman told Cointelegraph the case could have a “serious and chilling effect” on crypto exchanges and token projects, “whether or not an ultimate finding is the tokens are or are not securities.”

Related: CFTC and SEC propose amending reporting rules for large hedge funds on crypto exposure

Gensler has been a subject of heavy criticism this year both for his agency’s approach to crypto regulation and for its lack of action against “big fish” crypto exchanges.

In the past Kraken has come under fire from the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for allegedly allowing users based in Iran and other countries to buy and sell crypto, possibly violating U.S. sanctions.

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