Kraken Seeking European License, Shortlists Three Countries

Kraken Seeking European License, Shortlists Three Countries

August 25, 2021

United States-based crypto exchange Kraken is following the footsteps of rival Coinbase and is planning to expand its services in Europe. 

In an interview with German business daily The Handelsblatt, Kraken Co-Founder and CEO, Jesse Powell revealed that the crypto exchange is attempting to gain a European regulatory license and is planning to achieve it by the end of this year.

“We are working on a license in an EU country,” Powell told the publication.

Yet to Make the Final Decision

The San Francisco-headquartered exchange has started talks with multiple regulators on the continent. It has already shortlisted Malta, Luxembourg, or Ireland to be its European base, but has not made the final decision yet.

However, Powell ruled out Germany as Kraken’s European headquarters stating that the local regulatory requirements of Bafin are too difficult and restrictive, and it would be expensive for the company to run its business. On the other hand, Coinbase received its Bafin license in June.

Kraken is already regulated in the United Kingdom through its subsidiary Crypto Facilities, known as Kraken Futures. Though it has a limited presence in Europe, the crypto exchange can not use its Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) license in a European Economic Area for long after the closure of the Brexit deal last December.

According to Kraken, it operates in nearly 190 countries and has six million clients. Established in September 2013, it is the fifth-largest crypto exchange in terms of trade volumes.

Additionally, Kraken successfully held its status as one of the few crypto exchanges that had never been hacked. Meanwhile, the management of the exchange is considering taking the company public next year. Though details of the potential public listing are still scarce, the exchange revealed that it might look for direct listing opportunities as the company is too big to merge with a blank-check company.

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