Jesse Powell, the co-founder of crypto exchange Kraken, has slammed the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the “USA’s top decel” following the regulator’s latest lawsuit against the crypto company.
His comments come after the SEC sued Kraken, alleging in a filing in Monday that the cryptocurrency exchange has violated the federal securities law. According to Powell the regulator – a ‘decel’ – was “back with another assault on America.”
The term decel is used in a derogatory manner to refer to someone or entity that’s seen to be intent on slowing down technological progress. It’s short for ‘decelerationist’.
The SEC’s approach to crypto regulation and the rejection of numerous spot Bitcoin ETF applications are among likely reasons the crypto industry has adopted this expression against it.
Kraken settled with the SEC in an earlier lawsuit, agreeing to a $30 million fine and the halting of its crypto staking service in the US. Powell says the agency isn’t satisfied with that and is hunting for more, despite the recent losses it has suffered in court battles in New York.
In its lawsuit, the SEC alleges that Kraken is operating “an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing house.”
The company says this isn’t the case and that it will “vigorously defend” its position – alluding to a court battle. Similar stances were taken by crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase, which the SEC sued earlier this year.
Powell sees the US as a “warzone” for crypto companies, and while his exchange is prepared to slog it out with the regulator in court, he thinks those that cannot afford the hefty litigation costs should get out.
He posted on X (formerly Twitter):
“Message is clear: $30m buys you about 10 months before the SEC comes around to extort you again. Lawyers can do a lot with $30m but the SEC knows that a real fight will likely cost $100m+, and valuable time. If you can’t afford it, get your crypto company out of the US warzone.”
The SEC’s accusations against Kraken also include claims of commingling of customer and corporate funds and listing of unregistered securities. Crypto coins listed as securities in the lawsuit include Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Internet Computer (ICP) and Cosmos (ATOM).
Meanwhile, the crypto exchange Bittrex Global has announced that it is shutting down. Trading activities will be halted as from December 4.
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