Electronic Frontier Foundation Protecting Former Kraken Employees in Exchange Lawsuit

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a motion to quash crypto exchange Kraken's attempt to reveal the identity of anonymous former employees posting on workplace review site Glassdoor.
  • Kraken argues that employees are violating the terms of their severance contract. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced that it will be protecting former Kraken employees from being targeted by the exchange over reviews they left.

The EFF, a non-profit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world, has asked a state court to protect the identity of anonymous commenter on workplace review site Glassdoor, who is now reportedly being targeted by their former employer Kraken. 

According to a post published Wednesday, the EFF has filed a motion to strike down a subpoena for identifying information on the anonymous client, which was originally put forth by cryptocurrency exchange Kraken. Kraken has filed a suit against multiple anonymous reviewers, seeking to identify the former employees based upon a claim of a breach in severance agreements. 

The EFF says multiple anonymous comments were made to Glassdoor about the exchange Kraken following a series of layoffs. The EFF client referenced in the post, monikered as “J. Doe,” originally wrote a review of the workplace, taking care not to breach their severance agreement with the exchange. 

While Kraken initially responded to the review by thanking the anonymous client for their feedback, the company made an abrupt change in course in May 2019. The EFF claims that Kraken filed a lawsuit against J. Doe and nine other defendants, citing a breach in contracts. The exchange also reached out to former employees and demanded they delete any workplace reviews. 

EFF Staff Attorney Aaron Mackey said, 

This litigation is designed to harass and silence current and former Kraken employees for speaking about their experiences at the company.

He continued, 

Kraken’s efforts to unmask and sue its former employees discourages everyone from talking about their work and demonstrates why California courts must robustly protect anonymous speakers’ First Amendment rights.

In the motion filed Tuesday, EFF asked the Superior Court in Marin County, California, to adopt stronger legal protection for its clients and other anonymous speakers, who require more than “a mere allegation of illegal activity” before allowing the breach in anonymity. 

EFF Frank Stanton Legal Fellow Naomi Gilens said, 

Kraken cannot show that Doe’s review was defamatory or otherwise unprotected by the Constitution, so it instead seeks to leverage its contract claims to identify, and potentially retaliate against, Doe.

She concluded, 

Given Kraken’s tactics, we are asking the court to embrace stronger First Amendment protections for Doe and anyone else who is targeted for speaking out.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Sub-accounts in Crypto: What They Are and How They Work


Julia Gerstein, a crypto trading bots enthusiast and a content writer at TradeSanta. My final goal is to help readers find what they need, understand what they find, and use what they understand appropriately.

Speaking generally, a sub-account is a segregated smaller account that is tied to a larger primary account. Sub-accounts may serve different functions depending on the objectives of their owners. The term can refer to multiple email addresses linked to one user or secondary accounts tied to a primary account with a financial institution or a bank.

For this article, we will be looking at sub-accounts as they exist in the crypto industry, and specifically on trading platforms.

Built-in Sub-Accounts

On trading platforms, the sub-accounts feature allows users to create a set of subsidiary accounts with different trading strategies, funds and end customers. On some platforms, general accounts already come with built-in sub-accounts.

For example, exchange platform Crypto Facilities provides each user with cash and margin accounts when they sign up. While deposits and withdrawals are completed with the cash account, trading an instrument requires users to make an internal transfer from a cash account to their margin account that corresponds to the instrument in question.

Each instrument has its own margin account. This grants users more control over their funds and allows them to manage risks for each instrument separately from their main balance.

Optional Sub-Accounts

Other cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Gemini and Binance, have launched sub-accounts as an optional feature for institutional investors.

As an optional feature, sub-accounts can serve to introduce additional security measures and different access levels between the main account and its subsidiaries. Binance has underlined the differences between a master account and its subsidiaries, providing the former with the exclusive ability to view all data and balances, transfer funds between accounts, and have full managerial control and access to a range of asset audit tools.

Here master accounts have sole control over the movement of assets between sub-accounts, and can grant each of them different access levels and permissions. This ensures that the main account has the power to direct and monitor the actions of all its associated accounts, while each sub-account can perform its function independently from other sub-accounts.

Not Only for Institutional Investors

While institutional investors have been able to create sub-accounts for a while, this feature is still being introduced by more and more major exchanges.

Now even individual investors can create subsidiary accounts to try and assess the performance of distinct trading strategies. For example, HitBTC recently introduced its own sub-accounts feature that is now available per user’s request.

At HitBTC, sub-accounts enable users to create separate subsidiary accounts with which they can utilize various trading styles and strategies with operational autonomy. While each sub-account is separate, all of them are still tied to a master account and contribute to the cumulative volume of all accounts connected to the master.

Because trading volume is measured cumulatively, the use of the subaccounts feature can open up additional benefits for traders such as lower commissions due to progressive fee tiers that reward users for contributing to the liquidity on the trading platform.

Therefore, users can perform a variety of different trading activities unconnected to each other, and all the activities will still weigh in the financial favor of the parties involved. Master accounts also have access to important data such as the performance of each sub-account and total trading fees of all linked accounts combined. While the feature is designed with institutional and corporate clients in mind, on HitBTC any user can create sub-accounts upon request.

The adoption of this feature by more and more trading platforms will be beneficial for both institutional and individual traders. Some users can utilize it to execute different trading strategies or try various algorithms with a clear picture of their effectiveness, others to manage their team and analyze the performance of each account securely and conveniently.

Featured image by Tyler Franta on Unsplash