Jesse Powell did not hold back in his criticism of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as it pursued legal action against his cryptocurrency exchange, referring to the regulatory body as the “top decelerator” in the country.
Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell strongly disapproved of the SEC’s lawsuit alleging securities law violations against his crypto exchange. Taking to X (formerly Twitter) on November 21, Powell labeled the regulator as the “USA’s top decelerator,” a term commonly used in the tech industry to denounce those hindering progress.
Despite previously settling for a $30 million payment from Kraken in February, Powell also asserted that the SEC seemed dissatisfied and was once again pursuing legal action.
In a subsequent post, Powell delivered a clear message to Kraken and other crypto enterprises, cautioning them to exit the “US warzone” to evade costly legal confrontations. He stated that the $30 million settlement bought only a temporary reprieve, as the SEC was likely to return for more, emphasizing the financial and temporal burdens of engaging in a protracted legal battle.
The SEC had initially charged Kraken with “failing to register the offer and sale of their crypto-asset staking-as-a-service program.” As part of the settlement earlier in the year, Kraken agreed to pay $30 million and cease offering crypto-staking products and services to U.S. customers.
Powell’s sharp critique followed a November 20 lawsuit from the SEC, which accused Kraken of multiple securities law violations—the SEC alleged that Kraken had failed to register as a securities broker and had commingled customer and corporate funds.
In response, a spokesperson for Kraken denied listing unregistered securities, describing the lawsuit as “disappointing” and asserting the company’s intention to defend its position in court. In a subsequent blog post on November 20, Kraken refuted the SEC’s commingling accusations, characterizing them as mere expenditure of fees already earned and clarifying that the regulator did not allege any misappropriation of user funds.