Jesse Powell – CEO of Kraken – explained on Friday why his exchange decided to list Terra 2.0 despite the collapse of the original chain. Many in the crypto community showed skepticism of the move, given Terra’s loss of credibility over the past month.
Listing Isn’t Endorsement
When questioned about the listing, Powell explained that he primarily went forward with it due to “client demand.” He argued that exchanges like Kraken must stay competitive by ensuring that all major tokens can be traded in one place.
“Not supporting 1 coin people demand could cost you the entire account,” he said. “Listing isn’t an endorsement.”
Kraken was one of many exchanges to announce a listing for Terra 2.0 on the day of its airdrop. Other major platforms included Binance, KuCoin, FTX, and Bitfinex, among many smaller alternatives.
Some found the move extra surprising coming from Powell, however, who has shown strong agreement with the Bitcoin community on ethical issues in the past. Surrounding Terra, many Bitcoiners such as CoinMetrics co-founder Nic Carter were loud critics of its stablecoin model both before and after its collapse.
Carter was the first to question Powell about the move. After Powell’s response, MIM podcast host Brad Mills continued the discussion, claiming that Powell’s listing “erodes reputation with Bitcoiners.”
Powell justified the move by claiming to be as “asset agnostic” as possible, helping to facilitate price discovery rather than “pick winners and losers” in the market.
He did, however, note that Kraken has a “bar” for listing cryptos, that less than 2% of tokens successfully pass. Terra 2.0 meets his threshold, as he doesn’t believe it has the same security flaws as its first rendition.
“I agree it’d make a good topic for an Intelligence report,” he added.
Powell’s Past Stances
Powell stood firmly with Bitcoiners in his decision to not list BSV – a Bitcoin fork created by a man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto. The man, named Craig Wright, has launched numerous lawsuits against those that denied his identity as Bitcoin’s creator.
Powell said he was sued in 2020 for not naming BSV as “BTC” at Kraken, but chose to keep it delisted anyways.
The CEO was also supportive of the Bitcoin community movement to fund Canada’s freedom convoy protests in February. He warned donors at the time to remove their coins from his exchange, or else he’d be forced by the Canadian government to freeze their accounts.
In April, Kraken became one of the first major crypto exchanges to support lightning network Bitcoin transactions, enabling faster and cheaper deposits and withdrawals.
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