On June 2, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken introduced a new mobile app that enables U.S. residents to buy and sell over 60 digital assets and seven different fiat currencies.
Kraken is considered the fourth-largest crypto exchange platform with over 7 million users. CEO Jesse Powell told CNBC in April that he's considering taking the company public through a direct listing sometime in 2022.
When will Kraken go public?
Powell commented on the company’s future public listing in April right before rival Coinbase started trading publicly. Coinbase went public through a direct listing instead of the traditional IPO route.
Unlike an IPO where a company creates new stock shares to sell to investors, a direct listing involves the sale of existing stocks to the public. Those existing stocks can be owned by employees or early investors in a company.
Founded in 2011, Kraken now has an estimated valuation of over $10 billion. Earlier this year, the company was in talks to double that figure to over $20 billion, Bloomberg reported.
“We’re not in a rush to raise capital,” Powell told CNBC in April. “The reason to do it would just be to bring on some more strategic investors who can help us with geographic expansion and growth.”
Kraken’s new mobile app is aimed at consumer investors.
Kraken’s new mobile app is designed for consumer investors, unlike its existing Kraken Pro which is geared toward more advanced traders. Users can set up an account on the app for as little as $10.
The app offers fast verification, a simple buying process using bank transfer, and a chance to learn about cryptocurrencies.
The company launched the app in Europe in January. By May, the trading volumes grew more than sixfold from where they were in January.
“The past year has shown that the U.S. investor is truly a force to be reckoned with,” Powell said in a company press release. “With record numbers of Americans conducting most of their financial lives through mobile apps, it makes perfect business sense for Kraken to double down and offer up an app that enables easy access to cryptocurrencies wherever they are in the world: an asset class that’s changing finance and making it work for everyone.”
Crypto trading on the Kraken app is available to all U.S. residents except those living in New York and Washington, due to higher costs for regulatory compliance in those states.
“While we strive to offer our services to all U.S. residents, the cost of maintaining regulatory compliance in some states can be very high, forcing us to make hard choices about whether the cost justifies doing business in the state,” the Kraken website states.
Kraken is legit
Kraken is one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchange platforms available right now. If you want proof, look at what Kraken users are saying on Reddit.
“It is basically the only exchange where I still have some crypto deposited, not much, but the amount I stash for quick trade at some point.. it is very trustworthy, use it from 2015 onwards.. I am a user of at least 15 exchanges, but do not store there anything, and yes, been robbed on mtgox and bitgrail.. I think it is safe to use it,” said one user.
How to invest in Kraken
Currently, Kraken is a private company, so public stock shares aren't available. If you’re interested in investing in the company, watch for its direct listing in 2022. You can buy Kraken stock after it starts trading publicly.