Unchecked crime forces Kraken exchange to close San Francisco HQ
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is shutting down its office in San Francisco as its staff has been facing attacks and robberies amid a significant rise in crime.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell issued a statement on April 8 announcing the closure of the company’s office on Market Street, San Francisco. Powell said this was necessary due to attacks on staff going to and from the offices of the cryptocurrency exchange, including robbery.
“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.”
San Francisco has the highest rental costs in the U.S., which adds to the city’s homelessness problem. Research dated July 2021 — when lockdown measures began easing — shows the median price for a one-bedroom in San Francisco tops the list of cities surveyed at $2,720, while New York came in second.
“The average monthly price for a one-bedroom rental in San Francisco in July was $2,720, while New York’s was $2,680, according to Zumper.”
Social urban decline is the result of multiple factors. However, Powell mainly blames the situation on District Attorney (DA) Chesa Boudin’s “catch and release” policy.
Kraken CEO slams District Attorney’s policies
Expanding on the problem, Powell’s said business partners had also suffered at the hands of criminals, which has led to people becoming fearful of visiting the Kraken office.
— Richie Greenberg (@richieSF2016) April 7, 2022
The problem of crime, mental illness, and drug abuse is out of control and has become so commonplace that many believe it is underreported.
Powell puts the city’s spiraling problems on its “catch and release” policy, as championed by DA Boudin. He adds that police arrest the same offenders multiple times, only to discharge them, resulting in the proliferation of preventable crimes, including murder.
A recent poll conducted by Oakland-based EMC Research shows Powell is not alone in his view. For example, 78% of respondents gave DA Boudin a negative job performance rating, with 71% saying the city’s catch and release policy is emboldening criminals.
“A majority of respondents reported being “very concerned” about car and home break-ins (61 percent), public drug use (56 percent), and violent crime (52 percent).”
San Francisco is on the decline
Human feces, drug paraphernalia, and trash are commonplace around the streets of San Francisco. All of which points to deeper underlying social and political issues.
Assessing the problem, British culture and political magazine the Spectator touches on the already politically charged issue of liberalism in the U.S. The author states that it’s come to the point where progressive liberals are so soft on law and order many consider it victimization to encourage positive behavior.
“But that’s been superseded by a question from progressives: what if it’s a form of victimisation to try to influence people’s behaviour at all?”
Powell also said that San Francisco will remain unsafe as long as the rights of law-abiding citizens are held in higher regard than those of the criminals.
Edit: Kraken reached out to CryptoSlate and wanted to make clear they have no plans to leave the U.S. In addition, being a pinoeer of remote working, the office closure has no impact on how the business is run.