Crypto’s Future Will Be Based on Self-Custody and Regulation: Kraken's Dave Ripley

The incoming CEO discusses why the future of crypto will be based on proof of reserves and thoughtful regulation.

AccessTimeIconNov 23, 2022 at 7:42 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:03 a.m. UTC
Layer 2
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Kraken’s chief operating officer said crypto’s future will be based on self-custody and clear regulatory standards.

Dave Ripley, currently the crypto exchange’s COO and named to replace CEO Jesse Powell when he steps down, told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” that Kraken is a supporter of self-custody.

Asked how his centralized exchange (CEX) could be trusted after the implosion of rival exchange FTX, he responded:

“One of the things that is really critical to this system is that it is the only place in the world where you can actually take control [and] own ownership of your own assets in a digital format.”

Still, “it is not easy” to maintain client trust despite the exchange’s guardrails, according to Ripley. He said FTX’s misuse of customer funds will only put more emphasis on the need for proof of reserves.

“Individuals are going to ask for proof as opposed to just blind trust in centralized third parties,” Ripley said.

Proof of reserves is an auditing technique to confirm whether assets are, in fact, available. Ripley said Kraken has undergone two proof of reserves this year, with another planned for the start of the new year.

Who regulates?

Ripley said the relationship between centralized platforms and regulators could change thanks to FTX, but that is “yet to be seen.” He said FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s close ties with regulators has been “detrimental to decentralized finance [DeFi] and the ideals of cryptocurrency.”

Regulation could provide some runway for CEXs like Kraken, according to Ripley, but that will depend on a “thoughtful” approach in the future.

Ripley said a number of federal regulators could play a role in creating better regulatory standards including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. However, he hinted that perhaps the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) should be taking the lead.

“The CFTC is a more natural regulator here, given that we’re not talking about securities” like bitcoin and ether, Ripley said.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.