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Kraken Felt Crypto Winter, Says Head of Strategy

Kraken crypto exchange

Thomas Perfumo says that Kraken was not immune to the slump, but the exchange is now looking to “narrow and focus” on what would bring the greatest impact. Kraken, one of the largest centralised crypto exchanges by trading volume, has also been impacted by the twists and turns of the global economy, said its head of strategy Thomas Perfumo.

“We’re not insulated from the broader macro and economic environment,” said Perfumo, and that the crypto winter “definitely had an effect on the business.” Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based the exchange serves millions of users in over 200 countries.

What were the effects of the crypto winter on Kraken? Despite only obtaining a licence to legally operate in Abu Dhabi last April, the platform reluctantly shut its doors just a week ago – only roughly 10 months in operation. Kraken also announced that it was closing down its Japan operations in December, and making its exit by the end of January.

While Abu Dhabi and Japan were international arms to establish Kraken’s presence globally, Perfumo says that the offices were just small parts of the business. Now, according to Perfumo, Kraken is aiming to “hunker down and focus on the big core parts,” which will include limiting “depth of our services.”

In the future, the exchange might not offer access or funding with a country’s local currency, says Perfumo. “However, you might be in a particular region where if you have access to bitcoin you can still deposit that bitcoin to Kraken and use some of our other services where it applies,” adds the head of strategy.

Perfumo says that Kraken is looking to provide “as much possible global access” to the exchange’s services where they’re applicable. Perfumo says that Kraken is looking to expand its Europe and North America operations. Currently, the crypto exchange is open to US residents, except for those in New York and Washington State.

The crypto market’s downturn caused a number of industry players, including Kraken, to take measures to save their businesses. Back in November, Kraken laid off 30% of its staff – roughly 1,100 employees due to the slump.

Now, Kraken is looking to “focus and narrow its scope to parts of the business that are likely to drive the greatest amount of impact,” says Perfumo.

In its next ambitions, the central exchange also wants to help rebuild trust and reputation within the crypto industry. Perfumo says that Kraken “specifically has had no material exposure to all of the volatility in the industry when it came to centralised firms collapsing throughout 2022.”

“We’re focused on that long-term vision to increase and to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency, and we’re focused on delivering a great client experience in the meantime,” Perfumo said. He added Kraken is “constantly focused on earning our clients trust every single day, day in day out, through things like proof of reserves, even before it mattered.”

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