secretleaders | Kraken – From growing up poor to founding Europe’s largest crypto exchange, with Co-Founder & CEO Jesse Powell

Kraken – From growing up poor to founding Europe’s largest crypto exchange, with Co-Founder & CEO Jesse Powell

Kraken – From growing up poor to founding Europe’s largest crypto exchange, with Co-Founder & CEO Jesse Powell

Jesse Powell grew up poor and hustling from a young age. First, he sold physical gaming cards, then he sold virtual ‘gold’ in the game World of Warcraft – and now he’s the Co-Founder and CEO of Kraken, Europe’s largest crypto exchange – with talk of going public for $20 billion. How did he make the jump?
“Bitcoin, when I read about it, I thought it was interesting. I first saw it and just thought it was like another World of Warcraft gold that we can sell on the website.”
Jesse has been in crypto pretty much since the beginning, helping out in the aftermath of the infamous Mt. Gox hack when $460 million got stolen from the world’s biggest exchange. It taught him a lot about security but today it’s NFTs that have got him excited.
“I think NFTs are going to be a much bigger thing. I think you’ll see the tokenization of basically everything. We’re already starting to see tokenized securities, stocks becoming tokenized, art is becoming tokenized.”
Find out how he found the world’s best hacker and the biggest mistakes he’s made in building a multi billion pound company.
“If I could go back again, what I would do is, even if I didn’t need the money, I would go through one of the major Silicon Valley accelerators, I would apply for Y Combinator, and I would do it for the network. Because, you know, it’s basically like your entrance fee into this elite club.”

We chat about:

  • What you learn from being poor
  • How NFTs and DAOs will change the world
  • Why law makers need to rewrite legislation for cryptocurrency
  • What he’d do differently next time

secretleaders

The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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