Bitcoin exchange Kraken is considering going public amid record trading volumes in Q1.

Crypto exchange Kraken may go public in 2022. Instead of an initial public offering (IPO), the company prefers to go public through direct listing.

Kraken is the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume. Its user base includes more than 6 million accounts. In the United States, Kraken's main competitor is cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which plans to hold an IPO on April 14 that could bring its market valuation to $100 billion.

Four times as many users signed up for Kraken in Q1 2021 than in Q2 2020. Spot trading volumes were 1.5 times higher than last year, reaching $160 billion.

“For us, any volatility is good but it’s always better when it’s on the way up,” Jesse Powell, Kraken’s CEO and co-founder, told CNBC. “The first quarter just completely blew away the entirety of last year. We beat last year’s numbers by the end of February. The whole market has really just exploded.”

“We’re looking at being able to go public sometime next year,” he said. “It would probably be a direct listing, similar to Coinbase.”

Powell added that raised capital will likely be directed to geographic expansion and growth of the exchange.

Unlike an IPO, the direct listing does not imply a simultaneous issue of shares. Capital is raised later through the private investment in public equity (PIPE) mechanism.