The FBI conducted a search of cryptocurrency executive Jesse Powell’s home in March, following allegations of hacking and cyber-stalking involving both his personal and professional endeavors. The investigation was prompted by claims that Powell, the founder of the popular Kraken exchange, disrupted the digital operations of a nonprofit organization called the Verge Center for the Arts, which he had also established.
It is reported that Powell, aged 42, allegedly interfered in the Verge Center for the Arts’ communication channels while also blocking their access to various digital accounts. Powell, who founded Verge as a contemporary arts space in Sacramento, California, in 2008, had his Los Angeles residence searched by FBI agents, who seized electronic devices as part of their investigation. It’s important to note, however, that Powell has not been formally accused of any crimes related to these allegations.
The incidents surrounding Powell’s actions at Verge appear to have led to his removal from the organization’s board of directors in 2022. It is said that he had made divisive and offensive comments regarding race and gender, attempting to spark a “culture war” among employees at Kraken, his cryptocurrency exchange. In response, Verge claimed that Powell then proceeded to block their staff’s access to the organization’s website and emails, as well as gain unauthorized access to confidential information.
Kraken, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange behind Coinbase, has assured that the investigation into Verge has no connection to its own operations. A spokesperson for Kraken stated that there is no reason to believe that federal prosecutors are examining any other potential issues related to the cryptocurrency exchange. Powell’s legal representative also denied any involvement in hacking or cyber-stalking and emphasized that the investigation is unrelated to his client’s cryptocurrency activities.
Kraken has managed to thrive despite recent scrutiny from federal regulators, which resulted in the downfall of several of its competitors. One notable example is the collapse of FTX and the legal action taken against its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, in December 2022. Despite these challenges, Kraken has remained resilient in a highly competitive industry.
the FBI searched cryptocurrency executive Jesse Powell’s home based on allegations of hacking and cyber-stalking related to a nonprofit organization he founded. The investigation centers around claims that Powell interfered with the digital communication channels of the Verge Center for the Arts and blocked their access to various accounts. However, Powell has not been charged with any crimes, and both Kraken and his lawyer have asserted that the investigation is unrelated to his cryptocurrency activities. Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, continues to operate independently despite regulatory pressures faced by its competitors.