Crypto exchange Kraken said on Wednesday Chief Operating Officer Dave Ripley would replace top boss Jesse Powell, who is stepping down after more than a decade at the helm.

Ripley, who joined Kraken in 2016 when it bought his startup Glidera Inc, will take on the chief executive's role after the company finds a new COO, Kraken said.

Powell will become chairman of Kraken's board, the company added.

Earlier this year, the outgoing CEO drew criticism when the company refused to block accounts of Russian users, following the country's invasion of Ukraine, citing the "libertarian values" of cryptocurrencies as one of the major reasons behind the decision.

The company has over 9 million clients, according to its website, and processes over $207 billion worth of trades every quarter.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)