Kraken CEO Says Ether Flash Crash Down to Trading, Not System Glitch

Jesse Powell suggested an ether whale might have "decided to dump his life savings."

Feb 23, 2021 at 3:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:15 p.m. UTC

The CEO of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange has said a sudden 50% drop in ether's price on the exchange Monday was caused by an extreme sell-off and not any system glitch.

  • “There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a trading-engine malfunction," Jesse Powell, told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. "It seems like trades processed accurately.”
  • Powell added that the crash could have been caused by a single big investor who "decided to dump his life savings."
  • Ether crashed to $700 at 14:20 UTC (9:20 a.m. ET) Monday, having been north of $1,600 only minutes earlier.
  • The drop occurred amid a broader sell-off of crypto assets that saw ether drop as low as $1,546, according to the CoinDesk 20, but nothing as dramatic as was witnessed on Kraken's platform.
  • When contacted by CoinDesk soon after, Kraken noted ether prices had dropped on multiple venues, but did not comment on its far lower price.
  • Kraken is unlikely to roll back trades, Powell advised Tuesday, but hinted at offering some kind of compensation for clients affected.

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