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The Golden City is losing its luster as one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States leaves its San Francisco offices.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell retweeted a post announcing the exchange's worldwide headquarters will close at 548 Market Street in downtown San Francisco. Powell notes in the statement, a copy of which was initially tweeted by political journalist Richie Greenberg of San Francisco:
"We shut down Kraken's global headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco after numerous employees were attacked, harassed, and robbed on their way to and from the office."
According to a spokeswoman for Kraken, their “responsibility has been, and always will be, to ensure the safety and security of our team members,” adding that Kraken has “no plans to establish a new, formal global HQ” following the San Francisco shutdown.
A lousy pitch for living in the financial capital of California, the statement also claims that “San Francisco is not safe” and that crime is “dramatically underreported.”
Coinbase, another cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the United States, will also close its San Francisco headquarters in 2022; however, no reference to violence or homelessness was made in support of the move. Rather than that, Coinbase is following competitor Binance’s lead in becoming a completely remote, worldwide corporation.
According to a Kraken spokeswoman, the company was “one of the first companies in the world to pioneer the remote-first model.” The emphasis on “round-the-clock crypto services,” which is critical given the 24/7 nature of crypto markets, is vital. Kraken persisted: “While we [Kraken] have no plans to change our status as a US-based entity, the location of our headquarters doesn’t affect how we run our business.”
According to reports, the living condition has deteriorated to the point that there are programs that track human garbage in San Francisco, with “Snap Crap” being one of the most popular. The applications assist San Franciscans in navigating the city without stepping foot inside.
Twitter users reacted quickly to the Kraken news, sharing grim memories about working in San Francisco.
The Twitter and Reddit communities shed light on how rising rental rates have increased the prevalence of homelessness while criminality is “rampant.” The average rent in San Francisco is currently around $3,000 per month, and the San Francisco Chronicle estimates that the city is home to more than 18,000 individuals.
According to a survey published in 2020, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area have the largest concentration of cryptocurrency investments. In light of Kraken’s decision and the city’s socioeconomic problems, the region’s grip on cryptocurrency and the future of finance may deteriorate.
Other cities and jurisdictions in the United States have apparent that they intend to attract crypto money. Texas, for example, is home to pro-Bitcoin (BTC) Senator Ted Cruz, and the mayor of Austin has commended Web3 and crypto payments.