Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is making plans to go public next year, following a record increase in its trading volume and attracting new customers amid the rise of bitcoin.


Kraken was founded in 2011 and is the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, based on trading volume, and has more than 6 million customers, according to CoinMarketCap.


Jesse Powell, CEO and co-founder of Kraken, said in an interview that the company has benefited significantly from the bitcoin rally. The price of bitcoin hit a record high in mid-March, surpassing the $60.000 level, with investors attributing the move to institutional investors turning to the cryptocurrency market.


“For us, any volatility is good, but it’s always better when it’s bullish,” Powell told CNBC. We have surpassed last year’s figures since the end of February. The whole market exploded.”


Kraken saw its new users quadruple in the first quarter of this year compared to the second half of 2020. Spot trading volumes in the first quarter were 1.5 times higher than in the previous year, reaching a record high of $160 billion.


Following the steps of Coinbase

Meanwhile, Coinbase, Kraken’s main competitor in the US, set a record quarterly revenue of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of the year, surpassing the revenue it generated throughout 2020. The company is preparing for listing on the stock exchange next week, in a long-awaited direct public offering that could value it up to $100 billion.


Kraken is also considering its stock market debut but in 2022, according to Powell. “We are considering listing on the stock exchange sometime in the next year,” he said, adding that this would most likely be done through direct listing, as was Coinbase.


The option of direct listing on the dashboard – which is done without the issuance of new shares – is very popular among technology companies and is even gaining ground over the alternative of the initial public offering (IPO), which has long been criticised by investors in the industry of technology for poor stock valuation.


Kraken, meanwhile, is “talking” with investors for a new round of financing that could value it at up to $20 billion.