David Ripley, the new CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, has been outspoken about Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
“I think, from all the information we have [and] this bankruptcy report that has now been released, it comes down to the fact that FTX and SBF are total scams – not just scams, but Thief,” said Ripley, who also served as chief operating officer at Kraken for more than six years, told Fortune.
Last week, cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, hatched the idea of helping FTX. But after due diligence, Binance and CZ opted out, citing issues with FTX “beyond our control or ability to help.”
Not long after, reports surfaced that FTX had approached Kraken as a potential partner, but Ripley noted that a rescue never came.
“We keep getting more inbound acquisition inquiries than I can keep track of myself, but there has never been any legitimate discussion of acquiring FTX,” he said. “This doesn’t make sense to Kraken in many ways.”
Ripley also insisted that Kraken has no exposure to FTX, Digital Currency Group (DCG), or any related entities
Kraken is currently cooperating with law enforcement, Ripley said, after FTX filed for bankruptcy by those behind a series of “unauthorized transactions” that moved funds from FTX to Kraken. Kraken said it knew the person’s identity, but Ripley declined to reveal.
Going forward, Ripley sees the potential for centralized exchanges to issue “Proofs of Reserves,” which would theoretically provide users with transparency about their assets and liabilities on the exchanges they use. This is something Kraken has been doing for years, Ripley said.
Ripley also believes self-custody or personal ownership of cryptocurrencies is important. “Self-custody is on the rise,” he said.
But, to Ripley, “Centralized exchanges will always have a role to play….to build a bridge from traditional traditional financial systems to cryptocurrencies.”
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