Jesse Powell, CEO of San Francisco cryptocurrency exchange platform Kraken, says he will not comply with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s recent request for information. Powell cites the move as an invasion of customer privacy and going beyond the appropriate means of gathering data.
“The resource diversion for this production is massive,” Powell declared. “This is going to completely blow up our roadmap. Then, I realized, we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago, and that we can dodge this bullet. Ordinarily, we’re happy to help government understand our business. However, this is not the way to go about it.”
Stay Out of Our Business!
Last Tuesday, Schneiderman’s office put in a request to 13 cryptocurrency exchanges to fill out a questionnaire by May 1st so staff members could better understand details pertaining to asset ownership, fees, trading suspensions, and potential money laundering. For the most part, companies ranging from Coinbase to Gemini to BitFlyer USA have shown support for the inquiry and complied with the request, but Powell is standing his ground.
“Kraken left New York because New York is hostile to crypto, and this questionnaire we received proves that New York is not only hostile to crypto; it is hostile to business,” he further exclaimed.
That Gosh Darn BitLicense
Since 2015, several cryptocurrency businesses – Kraken included – have exited the Big Apple due to the state’s enforcement of the BitLicense agreement, which some companies claim impose excessive and unfair fees on digital currency ventures and their customers. Enterprises in the cryptocurrency arena who wish to remain in New York and conduct business within its borders are required to garner the license and play by its rules. So far, companies like Ripple, itBit and Circle have taken the necessary steps.
“Legitimate entities generally like to demonstrate to their investors that their money will be protected,” says Attorney General spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick. When discussing the department’s questionnaire, she commented, “This is very basic information that any credible platform should have on hand and be willing to share with investors.”
Goodbye, Land of the Rising Sun
Kraken also made headlines this week when the company announced it would cease all Japan-based operations and leave the country by June 2018, citing growing expenses. Representatives has since stated that their presence in Japan is relatively small in comparison to other crypto-ventures, and that they will use this time to improve their operations in other “geographical areas.”
Will we see other crypto businesses leave New York in the future? Post your comments below.
Images via YouTube, Eclii Ventures