Kraken Donates $1 Million In Ether To Trump, Attacks Biden Stance


Jesse Powell, founder of Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, has donated $1 million to former U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign for the 2024 presidential election.

Powell said on X that he supports Trump as the only pro-crypto major party candidate, highlighting the importance of the U.S. remaining a leader in blockchain technology. The $1 million donation is primarily in ether.

Powell criticized the Biden administration for what he described as a “campaign of unchecked regulation by enforcement,” which he believes is weakening U.S. competitiveness in crypto asset regulation. He specifically mentioned Senator Elizabeth Warren and SEC Chair Gary Gensler as adversaries of the crypto industry.

Earlier this month, lawyers for Kraken and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) debated a motion to dismiss filed by the crypto exchange in February. Judge William Orrick indicated he was “inclined to deny” the motion, suggesting it was “plausible” that digital assets on Kraken were offered and sold as investment contracts.

Kraken’s lawyer argued there were differences between Kraken’s case and previous SEC litigations involving Terraform Labs and Telegram. He also referenced Judge Analisa Torres’ ruling in the SEC’s case against Ripple Labs, which determined XRP was a security when sold to institutional investors. Solomon suggested that the case most comparable to Kraken’s was Coinbase’s.

During his tenure as CEO of Kraken, Powell faced several legal issues with the U.S. government. In 2022, the Department of Justice fined Kraken for allowing users in sanctioned countries such as Iran, Cuba, and Syria to trade on its platform. The exchange also had a legal dispute with the IRS over a summons demanding transaction data. Powell stepped down as CEO in 2022 but remains chairman of the board.

Donald Trump has recently voiced strong support for the blockchain and crypto industry, including accepting campaign donations in various cryptocurrencies and making speeches in favor of digital assets and bitcoin mining. This stance has garnered him support from notable figures in the crypto community, including Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood. Wood recently stated her intention to vote for Trump, citing concerns about the future of the U.S. economy.

In contrast, President Joe Biden has not provided a clear position on cryptocurrencies since Trump’s public endorsements. However, the Biden campaign has been consulting with local crypto industry members on policy and considering accepting crypto donations via Coinbase Commerce.

On Thursday night, Biden and Trump had their first presidential debate since 2020, hosted by CNN. Although blockchain and cryptocurrency were not discussed, the debate sparked increased calls for Biden to step down from running for reelection in 2024. Users on the prediction market platform Polymarket currently bet 62% in favor of Trump winning the upcoming U.S. presidential election.



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