Kraken’s 2021 Year in Review

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on and celebrate key milestones and events from the past 12 months – both for crypto, and for our community. In 2021, Kraken charged ahead in pursuit of our mission: to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency so that you and the rest of the world can achieve financial freedom and inclusion.

We celebrated our 10-year anniversary, doubled our staff to more than 2000 people, and brought innovative products and services to market. 

All of our work was done and all of our accomplishments were made in support of our mission, for the benefit of you, our clients. Below we take a closer look at how what we’ve done in 2021 matters to you and take a glimpse at the year ahead. 

Bringing crypto to the people

In June, we launched a redesigned homepage along with the brand new Kraken app featuring a fast, easy and convenient crypto buying experience using Apple Pay and Google Pay. We grew our crypto marketplace by listing 42 additional tokens, giving our clients more ways to diversify their crypto portfolios. And, we completely overhauled our how to buy bitcoin page on Kraken Learn, making it that much easier to jump into crypto with the first, most well-known and dominant cryptocurrency in the world.

For clients looking to diversify their holdings into more cutting-edge opportunities, we launched support for Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM) parachain auctions – becoming one of the only major crypto exchanges in the world to do so. Kraken clients can now become early adopters in these fast-growing ecosystems, support your favorite crypto projects, and earn rewards all while benefiting from Kraken’s world-class security, intuitive user experience and seamless integration with our exchange. Learn more about how parachains work.

And, that’s not the only way our clients earned big rewards on their tokens this year. In 2021, Kraken’s staking service grew more than ninefold and paid out over $500 million USD to clients staking their crypto on our platform.  We also increased our number of staking options to nine premiere Proof of Stake protocols including Cardano (ADA), Algorand (ALGO) and Solana (SOL).

Our efforts to fuel global crypto adoption extended to crypto companies as well with the launch of Kraken Ventures. This initiative provides funding and expertise to the next generation of innovators in the broader crypto ecosystem, of which you, our clients, are a part of. The scope of projects we supported covers fintech, crypto companies and protocols, and decentralized finance (DeFi), as well as tech companies developing AI, Machine and Deep learning, RegTech, and cybersecurity. 

Visit KrakenVentures.com to find out more about the exciting work these companies are doing, or to apply for funding.

Spreading crypto culture across the globe and into the metaverse

In 2021 it became abundantly clear that crypto has spread far beyond the boundaries of finance.

In July, Kraken turned 10 years old and in celebration, we sponsored Wyoming’s Cheyenne Frontier Days, one of the oldest and largest outdoor festivals and rodeo in the United States. Wyoming is the future home, and a key partner, of Kraken Bank. We are grateful for Wyoming’s powerful support of crypto adoption and were proud to support the local community with this sponsorship.

Commissioned mural in Cheyenne, Wyoming by local artist Jordan Dean.

Our efforts to bring crypto into culture didn’t stop at the rodeo. United by the shared belief in the power of crypto and digital assets to change the world, we asked some of the world’s best digital creators to share their vision of the future, giving them a blank canvas to do just that in a UK-based out-of-home campaign.

Then late in 2021, we made our first big splash in the metaverse, sponsoring the Decentraland Metaverse festival, a four-day celebration of music, culture and creativity in the virtual world of Decentraland.

Giving to support a robust crypto community  

In 2021 we continued to solidify our position and reputation as one of the largest, most reputable crypto exchanges in the world – and one of the most important ways we did that was by giving back to the broader crypto community. 

Last year, we donated $500,000 to honor projects and teams conducting essential work that contributes to the development and expansion of crypto. This year, we increased our total commitment to $700,000 in donations to support blockchain developer education, teams educating regulators and advocating for crypto investor rights, and open-source innovators building out next-gen crypto infrastructure

We made two contributions to assist with crucial Ethereum network upgrades and to the highly anticipated migration to Ethereum 2.0. And, we also committed to support the next generation of crypto professionals with donations to Wyoming University and Black Bitcoin Billionaires

We’re excited to support all donation recipients as they continue – or start – to contribute to the gathering tsunami of global crypto adoption. If you know anyone that could benefit from one of our grants in 2022, contact us.

Delivering compelling crypto content 

This year, Kraken Intelligence and Kraken Security Labs created some of our most popular content of the year including a comprehensive twelve-page guide on how to safely store your cryptocurrency, an in-depth research report to help you understand why NFTs hold so much potential, and a guide on how to protect your fingerprint from being hacked. Sign up for our latest market research and bookmark our Security Labs’ page to stay up to date on our latest reports and white papers. 

Across social media, we were blown away by the love our tweets received including the Bitcoin S2F model diagram, the Kraken Doge meme Elon Musk shared and our CEO Jesse Powell’s mega-bullish bitcoin price prediction.

2021 marked another pivotal year for our original video content aimed at educating and inspiring worldwide crypto adoption, including our Polkadot parachain auctions explained simply.  

And, in 2021, our Customer Experience team developed an abundance of new resources to help transition people from fiat to crypto including their most-read articles, Generating an API key and QR code for the Kraken Pro mobile app and our internationally viewed article Where can I use Kraken?

Growing to meet global crypto demand

This year, we doubled our global client base and workforce to meet a deluge of new interest in crypto. Of the 1147 employees who joined the mighty Kraken in 2021, we added three people to key leadership roles including:

  • Mike Davidson, VP of Design. Mike’s input will help to shape our brand and enhance user experiences.
  • Pranesh Anthapur, Chief People Officer. Pranesh will strategize and execute the scaling of our global workforce. 
  • Alex Chiocchi, VP of Product Management. Alex will launch strategic improvements across Kraken’s product suite.

As the crypto industry and adoption continues to expand, Kraken plans to double our team again to over 5000 people by the end of 2022. We also announced the acquisition of Staked, an infrastructure platform that allows for secure, cost-effective, and non-custodial crypto staking in one of the largest deals in the history of crypto. If you are passionate about crypto, head over to our careers page to view our latest job openings.

As people around the globe wake up to the alarming devaluation of their fiat currency savings in 2022 they will continue to flock to crypto in search of new connections, new assets and new experiences. We will be ready, launching exciting new products and services that will help the whole world tap into the limitless possibilities that crypto will bring. We can hardly wait for 2022 to begin.

Until then, live long and HODL. 🙂

Happy New Year!

-The Kraken Team