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Founded 2011
Headquarters San Francisco
Key People Jesse Powell, CEO and Co-founder
Products Cryptocurrency exchange
Releases Company News

Kraken is an over-the-counter and futures cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2001. The San Francisco-based exchange offers bitcoin, ether and other crypto currencies with several fiat currencies including US dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, euros, and Japanese yen.[1]

The exchange, with operations in the US, Canada and Europe, is recognized as one of the largest bitcoin exchanges globally, although its ranking, based on volume, varies greatly.


The exchange went live on September 10, 2013 after two years of development. It emerged from a group called Max BTC which was mining for bitcoins in 2011 and had about five percent of the network at one point, according to Kraken's co-founder Jesse Powell. Powell invested in computer equipment when bitcoin was priced at $1, but quickly exited the mining business and decided to focus on building the exchange. [2]

By February 2014, it was ranked as the number one exchange by volume in trading between bitcoin and euros. It began listing prices on Bloomberg terminals in April 2014.[3]

In March 2014, the exchange raised $5 million in Series A funding. The company raised more money in a deal with SBI Investment in February 2016, and another round of investment from Money Partners Group in April 2016, and grew quickly through a series of strategic acquisitions. Kraken purchased and integrated several other exchanges including Coinsetter, a New York-based exchange with operations in Canada and another called CleverCoin, a Dutch-based digital currency exchange. It acquired wallet funding service Gildera in December 2016 and rebranded it as Kraken Direct and bought charting and trading platform Cryptowatch in March 2017.[4][5][6]

In 2014, it began offering yen trading in Japan. But in April 2018, the exchange announced it was exiting the country and suspending operations in Japan for Japanese residents. It had been allowed to operate in Japan without a license.[7]

The exchange launched Kraken Futures in 2019, following the acquisition of Crypto Facilities, making Kraken the first crypto exchange to offer both spot and futures trading.[8]

Products and Services

It offers trading in bitcoin, ether, dash, litecoin and several others against US dollar, Canadian dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen.

Key People


  1. About Us. Kraken.
  2. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell about being the largest Bitcoin exchange. The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast.
  3. #1 Euro Volume. Press Release.
  4. Kraken Acquires Dutch Bitcoin Exchange CleverCoin. Coindesk.
  5. Kraken Acquires Cryptowatch and Launches New Trade Platform. Coindesk.
  6. Bitcoin Exchange Kraken Acquires Coinsetter, Launches US Trading. Coindesk.
  7. Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Pulls Out of Japan. Bloomberg.
  8. Kraken Futures is a new way to trade. Kraken.