If Kraken goes public, it will come as a triumph for Powell, a soft-spoken figure whose tech savvy and fervent advocacy for Bitcoin has made him a highly respected figure in crypto circles. Unlike retail-focused Coinbase, Kraken is primarily known as a platform for professional traders and longtime crypto users.

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Kraken, the fourth-largest crypto exchange in the world, obtained a banking license in Wyoming last year that will let it offer a wider variety of crypto-related financial services. The firm’s current fund-raising efforts come two years after the company pursued an unusual initiative to raise $100 million in 2019. That effort saw Kraken turn to its own customers, including those Powell described as “crypto OGs,” for money rather than turning to the venture capital funds that are the customary source of such investment.

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