Long Beach (CoinChapter): Crypto exchange Kraken is considering going public through a direct listing in 2022. The decision is motivated at least partly due to seeing record trading volumes and new clients amidst the Bitcoin surge.
In an interview with CNBC, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said the firm benefitted significantly from Bitcoin’s March rally. “For us, any volatility is good but it’s always better when it’s on the way up,” Powell said. “The first quarter just completely blew away the entirety of last year. We beat last year’s numbers by the end of February. The whole market has really just exploded.”
Kraken saw four times as many new users in the first quarter of 2021 than it did in the second half of 2020. Furthermore, spot trading volumes in the first quarter were 1.5 times higher than in all of last year, reaching a record level of $160 billion.
Kraken is already set to go public next week in a direct listing that could value it at as much as $100 billion. Now Powell says a stock market debut could come in 2022. “We’re looking at being able to go public sometime next year,” he said. “It would probably be a direct listing, similar to Coinbase.”
Kraken in talks with investors for new round of funding
Furthermore, Kraken is currently in talks with investors for a new round of funding. This could potentially value it at $20 billion. “We have been in some talks to do another round,” Powell added. “We’ve kind of been delaying a bit to see where the Coinbase valuation comes in at. I suspect that the price is gonna pump much higher than it has been trading at.”
Powell continued, “We’re not in a rush to raise capital. The reason to do it would just be to bring on some more strategic investors who can help us with geographic expansion and growth.”
The Kraken CEO also spoke on the rise of NFTs. He believes the rise of NFTs led to an increased interest in altcoins as well, particularly Ethereum. “A lot of NFTs are created on Ethereum, a lot of these platforms operate on Ethereum.”
Jesse Powell also mentioned the likes of Flow and Filecoin as digital currencies that others are turning to.