Jesse Powell, the Chief Executive Officer of major cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, has stepped down and will be replaced by the current chief operating officer Dave Ripley, the company announced Wednesday.

Powell is an early backer of Bitcoin and co-founded the Kraken exchange in 2011, just two years after the creation of the world's biggest cryptocurrency. He is still the largest shareholder of the exchange and will remain on the board as chairman, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The transition is expected to take place over the next few months. Ripley will take over after Kraken finds a new COO.

The report stated that Powell will remain active despite resigning from the post of CEO. He plans to focus his time on product development and industry advocacy while being the executive chairman of the firm.

The outspoken executive told Bloomberg in an interview that he had confirmed his decision to step down as the CEO to the board a year ago. "As the company has gotten bigger, it's just gotten to be more draining on me, less fun," Powell stated.

"Kraken is in excellent hands with David Ripley. I'll continue to be highly engaged as Chairman. Big thanks to the team for trusting me, our investors for taking a chance, and all my industry peers on the front lines," he tweeted Wednesday.

As per CoinMarketCap, Kraken is the fourth biggest crypto exchange by spot volume, just behind Coinbase. It is the 14th biggest exchange by derivatives volume. The firm is based in Delaware but has found most of its market in Europe.

According to the data from Pitchbook, the Kaken crypto exchange has around 3,200 employees and a valuation of $10.8 billion. There are around 106 investors in the firm.

In an interview with Fortune Crypto, Ripley stated that there will not be any change in the company's libertarian culture. On the other hand, Powell left crypto investors with a few bullish words on Bitcoin.

"The world is a changing place," he said, adding, "and Bitcoin is anti-fragile and a safe haven from what's happening in the legacy financial system."

Jesse Powell - Co-Founder, CEO Kraken Exchange
Jesse Powell - Co-Founder, CEO Kraken Exchange Jesse Powell