Kraken CEO defends listing LUNA 2.0: ‘Bitcoin traders don’t pay the bills’

Emotions are high in the crypto winter. Jesse Powell, Kraken’s CEO, was criticized for his defense of the listing of the new LUNA (also known as LUNA2.0), which seeks the return to life of the original LUNA (now known as Luna Classic, LUNC) and TerraUSD (now known as TerraUSD Classic, USTC).

Castle Ventures’ Nic Carter, a respected name in crypto, criticized the decision. Powell, however, lashed out at Jim Chanos, a short-seller who had created a large position against Coinbase, Kraken’s largest competitor, in a separate Twitter thread.

Carter tweeted “Why” to the Kraken Twitter account, which announced the listing for the new LUNA.

Client demand. Exchanges have a strange dynamic. Switching cost is low and people tend to want to do everything all in one place for capital efficiency/synergies/convenience. The entire account could be ruined if you don’t support the one coin that people request. Listing is not an endorsement
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) May 30, 2022

Kraken, the fourth largest crypto exchange in the world, lists more than 160 cryptocurrencies. This list is growing every month. It includes Bitcoin (BTC), Filecoin (FIL), and the second iteration LUNA (164th) on its price index.

The Terra first collapse cost around $50 billion. Suicide hotlines were pinned to Terra subreddit. Legal documents show that Do Kwon, founder of Terraform Labs, liquidated two branches and an entire firm days before the crash.

Related: Exchanges support Terra 2.0 revival plan via airdrops and listing, buyback, and burning

The project was then hard forked and relaunched without any recompense to poor investors. For example, an airdrop did not work out as planned because tokens were distributed unevenly. Despite a Binance-induced 90% price spike, the new LUNA has fallen from its highs of nearly $20 to $8.

Price chart of LUNA, showing Binance pump on May 30, Source: CoinMarketCap

Powell cites “client demand” as the reason for LUNA’s listing. Rohan Grey, an assistant professor in law at Willamette University called Powell out for the move. He argued that eBay doesn’t allow fraudsters on its e-commerce platform so why should they allow Terra a place at the table. This comment was made in response to Powell’s claims about Kraken.

“We are a marketplace, just like eBay. BTCBTC traders aren’t paid the bills.

Powell has shown a determined side to his operations. He recently closed Kraken’s global headquarters in San Francisco because “San Francisco was not safe.”

“Fiat and most stocks can be regarded as garbage, but what’s the problem? These other coins generate revenue that pays for security, pro-BTC lobbying, and marketing.

Kraken also defended crypto exchanges in a separate Twitter thread. Chanos, an American investment manager, described the short he had written against Coinbase, America’s largest crypto exchange. Powell believes that there will be a paradigm shift in the next 10 years and crypto exchanges will emerge as winners.

Legacy fees are still available, hidden or moved. The infrastructure behind crypto brokerage is vast and replaces 20 other middlemen. Over the next 10 years, revenue diversity will increase with adoption and paradigm shift.
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) June 1, 2022

For those looking for a signal amid the war of words and infighting, Powell shared his investment preferences to pick Bitcoin, invest in exchanges or both.

Personally, I would love to have both. The exchanges are a wager on the space growing.
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) June 1, 2022

Cointelegraph did not receive a response from Kraken immediately to our request for comment.