U.S. crypto exchange Kraken announced Tuesday it will cease trading of a controversial bitcoin cash offshoot, Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision, following consultation with Kraken users and a supportive Twitter poll that saw more than 50,000 users vote to delist the asset.
[related id="1"]According to the firm, BSV deposits will be disabled by April 22, with users able to withdraw BSV through the end of May.
Bitcoin SV is the result of a chain split of the Bitcoin Cash network in November. The cryptocurrency has been mired in controversy due to its supporters Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre, who have threatened various members of the community with lawsuits over public claims that Wright is not Satoshi Nakomoto.
"Over the last few months, the team behind Bitcoin SV have engaged in behaviour completely antithetical to everything we at Kraken and the wider crypto community stands for. It started with fraudulent claims, escalating to threats and legal action, with the BSV team suing a number of people speaking out against them," according to the post.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell admitted the exchange wasn't a "big fan of the project" when it was toying with the idea of listing it, but decided to support trading, citing customer demand. "With forks, you have people who are upset when you don't give users 'free money.'" Powell noted, however, that the coin didn't necessarily meet its listing standards.
Kraken's move follows Binance's decision yesterday to delist BSV on April 22, following warnings from CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao that he would delist the token should Wright fail to cease claiming to be Satoshi
As for Kraken, Powell said the firm has received lawsuits from the Bitcoin SV camp, which extended to its investors and clients. "We were going to put out the poll regardless of CZ's announcement, but Binance and ShapeShift's stance made our position even stronger."
"There's a business cost to these decisions, but we felt that sacrificing revenue is worth it."
Powell said his firm will continue to scrutinize other tokens, but unless public sentiment shifts heavily against a specific token he's hopeful they won't see any other delisting cases.
"In this case, it is a unique case for us, we haven't delisted any other coins because the founders, people who are promoting it, turned out to be total assholes."
Looking ahead, Powell said Kraken sees volatility and the price of Bitcoin back above $5,000 as positives in the market. He also hinted the pace of listing new coins on the exchange would pick up in the coming months.
"We want to be fairly scrutinizing of the coins we list, but we have a backlog of coins we want to list - client demand is a big piece of it. We have a few coins not widely known but [which] are technically interesting," he said.
The firm will probably list two coins a month starting in May, Powell said.