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Jesse Powell Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

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Jesse Powell has become a “well-to-do” personality in the crypto space, courtesy of the prosperity of Kraken. Since co-founding the firm in 2013, it has continued to thrive, becoming one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world. Without any doubt, this feat raised the net worth of Jesse Powell. According to estimates, Jesse Powell has a net worth of about $500 million in 2023.

Jesse Powell

Apart from his huge financial standing, Powell is also recognized as a foremost crypto agitator. His advocacy for the global adoption of crypto and blockchain has earned him a lot of awards. He won the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from the Crypto Valley Association. Similarly, the Kraken co-founder has been featured in top publications like Forbes, Bloomberg, and several others.

Meanwhile, Powell resigned from his role as the CEO of Kraken in 2022 to fully focus on crypto advocacy. Nevertheless, he is still the chairman of the Kraken’s board. Before co-founding Kraken, Powell established companies like Lewt and Verge Gallery. Although the establishment and running of the companies was successful, Powell only rose to prominence after venturing into the crypto sphere.

Jesse Powell’s Net Worth

YearNet Worth
2023$500 million

Early Life

Jesse Powell was born on October 18, 1981, in Berkeley, California, U.S.A. He reportedly attended Berkley High School before enrolling at the University of California, Sacramento. There, he studied Philosophy and graduated a few years later.

Shortly after his graduation, Powell ventured into the world of virtual assets by founding Lewt. The firm focused on assisting players to manage their gaming accounts and in-game currencies.

With Lewt, Powell helped gamers stay abreast with one another through its vast network and community. The community served as the platform through which the company availed daily updates and trends in the gaming space to gamers. He served as the CEO of the company for more than ten years. Around 2007, he founded Verge Gallery with its corporate base in Sacramento.

As the founder and CEO, Powell developed Verge Gallery into a large commercial fine art studio in the capital of California. However, after two years, the company transitioned into a not-for-profit establishment. As a result of the new focus, it rebranded to Verge Center for the Arts in April 2010. Therefore, the company expanded its studio to accommodate more artists and train emerging ones. After ushering the company to a self-sustaining level, Powell became one of its board members. Later, he left his active role in the firm to focus on new business ventures.


Powell’s early exposure to virtual assets made it easy for him to discover crypto. He is regarded as one of the foremost participants in the crypto landscape. There are speculations that he even worked with Mt.Gox as a consultant. He visited the exchange after its infamous cyber attack that resulted in the loss of Bitcoin worth millions of dollars. During the visit, he envisioned the idea of building a more secure cryptocurrency exchange. He was inspired to focus more on user protection so as to avert the recurrence of the Mt.Gox disaster.

Guided by this principle, Powell devoted his time to designing the platform in a way that guaranteed optimal security for users’ funds. The development stage started in 2011 and was completed about two years later. Therefore, he launched the project in 2013 and named it “Kraken.” The emergence of this crypto exchange provided a better alternative amid the crisis of Mt.Gox. During this period, the crypto space was already on the international landscape and had earned the interest of notable investors. Powell co-founded the company alongside Thanh Luu and Michael Gronager. He became the CEO of the firm. This role positioned him as the overseer of the day-to-day running of the platform.

Initially, the exchange offered Bitcoin, Litecoin, and euro trades but eventually added more currencies and margin trading to its network. Shortly after its full launch, Powell began to seek financial backing to upgrade Kraken to a desired level. Ultimately, in March 2014, the exchange received $5 million from angel investors like Hummingbird Ventures and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund. In the absence of a strong competitor, Kraken grew and attracted widespread recognition and patronage. This feat propelled its listing on Bloomberg Terminal.

During the year, Powell through Kraken offered to assist in investigating the missing Bitcoins of Mt.Gox. The Mt.Gox trustees accepted the offer due to Kraken’s strong security mechanisms. Likewise, Kraken also supported the distribution of the remaining assets of Mt.Gox to creditors.

Later in 2015, Kraken launched the first dark pool for Bitcoin. The innovation allows traders to anonymously place large orders without indicating their interest to other traders. Also, the exchange acquired Coinsetter before completing its Series B investment round. The investment round was led by SBI Group.

Amid the growing popularity of crypto, Powell began to focus on expanding the market dominance of Kraken. Driven by that agenda, he oversaw Kraken’s acquisition of CleverCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Netherlands. Likewise, the exchange acquired Glidera, a cryptocurrency wallet provider, and Cryptowatch; a charting and trading platform.

According to a 2017 disclosure, Kraken affirmed that about 50,000 new users joined the exchange on a daily basis. Then, the firm had already extended its market presence to Japan. However, the rising cost of maintaining its services forced the discontinuation of its services in the Asian country. Despite the setback, the exchange went on to purchase Crypto Facilities, a British derivatives trading firm in early 2019.

The same year, Kraken received a significant boost in its effort to cement its market presence. According to reports, over 2,263 investors committed $13.5 million to the exchange through a special-purpose initiative. Around 2021, the company’s valuation hit $20 billion for the first time. The increase in its valuation contributed to the net worth of Jesse Powell. Thereafter, Kraken launched its mobile application for international users. However, it wasn’t available for users in the United States until six months later.

In December 2021, Kraken raised $65 million to invest in emerging crypto innovations like DeFi and Web3. The investment placed Kraken among other top exchanges that had committed to the advancement of the crypto landscape. During the month, Jesse Powell announced Kraken’s decision to develop its NFT marketplace.

Meanwhile, despite the market downturns, 2022 proved to be a good year for Kraken. It extended its services to the United Arab Emirates in April 2022 following the growing regulatory tension in the United States crypto landscape.

A few months later, Jesse Powell stepped down as the CEO of Kraken following his induction into the exchange’s board of directors. With the induction, he emerged as the Chairman of board. Therefore, Dave Ripley took over as the CEO of the firm.


In 2022, Powell was removed from the board of directors of Verge Center for the Arts. Other members of the board alleged that the Kraken co-founder failed to attend its meetings and breached some of the guiding principles. The issue generated unwanted attention for the former Kraken CEO.

Consequently, he launched a lawsuit against the non-profit organization, insisting that his removal was unjustified. The leadership crisis matured into a big one after an alleged hack of the Verge Center for the Arts network. Powell was speculated to be the mastermind, thereby triggering the invasion of his residence by operatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His apartment was thoroughly searched by the security agency.

According to multiple reports, other members of the board accused Powell of interfering with the company’s computer accounts, thereby cutting off its email access. The FBI operatives left Powell’s residence with some electronic gadgets belonging to him. Nevertheless, the agency has yet to officially accuse him of any crime.

Away from the battle with Verge Center for the Arts, Powell also faced a host of regulatory scrutiny while serving as the CEO of Kraken. In 2022, reports surfaced that the exchange was under investigation by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. It was alleged that Powell used Kraken to allow users from the U.S.-sanctioned Iran to purchase cryptocurrency. According to multiple reports, about five people associated with the company confirmed that the allegation was true.

Is Jesse Powell Pro Crypto?

Powell’s support for crypto is indisputable. He is well-known as one of the early proponents of Bitcoin adoption. The Kraken co-founder discovered Bitcoin as early as 2011 through a blog article. Then, he was managing a company that sells virtual items and currencies for online games. Powell developed an interest in Bitcoin after reading the article. Therefore, he resolved to add the crypto asset to the list of virtual items sold on his website. In one of his recent interviews, the former Kraken CEO spoke about how his exposure to Bitcoin made him realize that the existing financial system is a scam. 

“As I was learning about Bitcoin, I got more into just how the money system actually works. How the Fed and Fiat work. Just apparent that this system was a scam, fiat currencies lose value over time until they eventually blow up and are replaced by something else. I think that the dollar is about, on schedule to blow up sometime soon,” he said. 

According to Powell, Bitcoin excites him a lot because of its decentralized nature and ability to solve numerous payment problems. His stance is that if there could be a currency “that was not controlled by anyone, you could maybe solve a lot of the world’s problems created by inflation.” Following his exposure to the industry, Powell started gracing crypto meetups with other notable names in the industry, including Brian Armstrong, Jed McCaleb, and a few others. 

Powell’s decision to develop Kraken as early as 2013 was prompted by his intention to facilitate the mass adoption of crypto. Without any doubt, the crypto exchange has been living up to this expectation, onboarding millions of users in the industry. His crypto and blockchain crusade has been largely successful, thereby positioning him as one of the most respected leaders in the industry.

As crypto continued to witness rapid adoption, Powell has channeled most of his messages towards fighting misinformation that could pose a threat to new investors. Over the past few years, he graced several industry events and conferences to raise awareness about blockchain and crypto. His insights and comments on issues ravaging the industry are so significant to the extent that they have been featured in prominent publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and more.

Around 2021 for instance, he made strong headlines after advising investors to buy the Bitcoin dip. Then, the largest crypto by market cap plummeted below $40,000. Powell’s belief was that the downward pressure availed investors with an opportunity to buy more Bitcoins. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the Kraken co-founder admitted that his past predictions about Bitcoin may have gone wrong, but investors won’t regret buying the dip. His statement was in reference to his prediction that Bitcoin would attain the $100,000 milestone before the end of 2021. However, the crypto asset ended the year below $50,000.

Powell sees crypto as a long-term investment. He usually advises investors to treat it as a “buy and hold” investment. 

“Bitcoin is something I think about as a long-term investment because it’s difficult to predict short-term price moves. It’s a speculative asset in many ways, but you can’t help but be impressed by how far it has come and the amount of innovation that’s happening around it,” the Kraken co-founder noted.

Meanwhile, despite his huge confidence in crypto, Powell was not shy to acknowledge the FTX disaster as a big setback for the industry. He slammed the founder of the troubled exchange, Sam Bankman-fried, accusing him of plunging the crypto town into disarray with his atrocities. 

“This is a massive setback. Our good, trusting nature makes us easy targets for con artists … This isn’t about aiming high and missing. This is about recklessness, greed, self-interest, hubris, sociopathic behavior that causes a person to risk all the hard-won progress this industry has earned over a decade, for their own personal gain.”

There is no doubt that the crash dwindled investors’ confidence in the industry, but there are plans to start afresh. New managers of the exchange want to launch FTX 2.0 and have been embarking on numerous public relations strategies to win back the trust of the crypto community. Powell is one of those who have criticized this move, saying it could be disastrous. He questioned the feasibility of the proposed plan and advised the new trustees of the exchange to auction its domain and trademark. His belief is that reviving FTX would be “worse than starting from scratch,” describing it as a “hopeless dream” or an endeavor for “malicious self-promotion.”

Powell’s opinion sparked heavy controversies online. While many supported his position, several others, particularly members of the FTX 2.0 Coalition condemned it. Don’t forget that the group constitutes users of the exchange who are agitating for its revival. The group was quick to counter Powell’s comment, insisting that the rebuild is targeted at transferring FTX to a proficient administrator. 

Nevertheless, Powell is well-known as a crypto “agitator.” He recently resigned from his position with Kraken to fully focus on crypto advocacy. As a noble crypto advocate, the Kraken co-founder has consistently bashed the SEC’s attempt to over-regulate the industry. He feels the regulator is driving crypto companies away from the United States with its aggressive actions against the industry. Recall that Kraken was also hit by the SEC’s rod in early 2023. Then, it was forced to pay $30 million in settlement to the regulator for offering crypto staking services to investors in the country. Likewise, it had to shut down the offering.

The SEC’s chair, Gary Gensler claimed Kraken failed to enlighten investors about the risks associated with its crypto staking. Gensler had made a name for himself as a crypto enemy, overseeing the SEC’s clampdown on the industry. As the face of the regulatory body, he has been the subject of the backlash greeting the regulatory uncertainty in the United States. Meanwhile, his comment on Kraken’s staking program didn’t fade away without a response from Powell. 

“Oh man, all I had to do was fill out a form on a website and tell people that staking rewards come from staking? Wish I’d seen this video before paying a $30 million fine and agreeing to permanently shut down the service in the U.S. How dumb do I look? Gosh,” the Kraken co-founder reacted. 

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Jesse Powell

Apart from the prosperity of Kraken, Jesse Powell also made his net worth through his large crypto portfolio. His crypto wallet is dominated by Bitcoin. Powell has been bullish about Bitcoin since he discovered it in 2011. He acquired the asset that year. Therefore, the massive spike in the price of Bitcoin over the past few years has contributed to his present financial standing. 

Powell has never sold his Bitcoin holdings. Rather, he keeps accumulating more. For instance, around 2022, the Kraken former CEO bought the dip. His confidence in the capacity of the asset to yield greater returns is second to none. With this, it is safe to refer to him as a great Bitcoin investor. You can read more about other noble Bitcoin investors here. 

Similarly, the co-founder is also an NFT bull. He sees the digital token as the future of fundraising and has, over the years, extended his advocacy to the sphere. Without any doubt, he owns NFT collections but has chosen to conceal the details.

Crypto and NFT Projects Featuring Jesse Powell

As one of the foremost crusaders of crypto and blockchain, Powell has earned the interest of numerous projects. He has been featured in a few limited-edition NFTs, particularly on OpenSea. Likewise, his name also made it to the list of the top 100 blockchain influencers by prominent crypto media. 

Nonetheless, he has yet to attract the attention of Wall Street Memes. When it comes to featuring the activities of crypto tycoons as memes, no project comes close to Wall Street Memes. Through these memes, it aims to raise mass awareness about crypto, create a sense of belonging among investors, and build a vast community. There’s no doubt that it has been achieving its aspirations successfully. Apart from the over five hundred thousand users that are glued to its daily posts, Wall Street Memes has also received the backing of prominent influencers in the industry like Elon Musk and Jim Cramer. 

The widespread excitement around Wall Street Memes has been instrumental to the success of its $WSM. The meme coin which was launched to introduce members of the community to the financial development of the brand has undoubtedly become the hottest thing in the crypto town. It has continued to turn heads, attracting the commitment of savvy crypto whales. Just like Doge, early investors are optimistic about the potential of $WSM to yield enormous proceeds. 

The amazing sensation around the token has positioned it among the list of cryptocurrencies to record multiple tier-1 CEX listings this September. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise if it becomes the next cryptocurrency to attain market success. 

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Jesse Powell’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

Powell’s contributions to the development of crypto have made him a leader in the industry. He is one of the early believers in the potential of crypto and blockchain. His passion for the tech propelled his investment in a host of companies like Kraken, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Chainlink, Flexa, CoinList, MetaMask, Alchemy, and Immutable X. With a staggering net worth of about $500 million, there is no doubt that Jesse Powell has made tremendous fortunes in the industry. 

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When did Jesse Powell co-found Kraken?

Jesse Powell co-founded Kraken in 2013.

Why did Jesse Powell resign from his role as the CEO of Kraken?

Jesse Powell stepped down as the CEO of Kraken to fully focus on crypto advocacy.

What's the 2023 net worth of Jesse Powell?

The 2023 net worth of Jesse Powell is estimated to be around $500 million.