Last month, cryptocurrency tycoon (and SF resident) Jesse Powell tweeted a mini-rant about San Francisco, its “crack-zombies,” and how “you can pay $3k/sqft for a condo but can’t stop people from literally shitting on your door.“
When BREAKER magazine caught up with Mr. Powell for an elaboration on his tweet, Mr. Powell doubled down on his disgust, saying “some people are too far gone“. And when asked whether he would ever leave the Bay Area, Mr. Powell answered in the affirmative — “For sure. I’m considering leaving the city.“
Well, according to Yolanda’s research, it turns out Mr. Powell wasn’t just whistlin’ Dixie. In fact, he’s more than considered a zip code change — he’s already done sealed the deal by purchasing an impressive mansion in one of LA’s priciest neighborhoods. Records show that our boy used a mysteriously-named corporate entity to stealthily shell out $11,500,000 — all of it in cash. USD, that is. No bitcoin here.
The house in question is one of the most private properties in Brentwood’s star-studded Mandeville Canyon area. Though originally built in 1971, the property was radically renovated and expanded over the last three years by the fine folks at ANR Signature Collection. It’s basically like a brand-new mansion.
If the ANR name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s probably because these are the same design peeps responsible for the $12 million Hollywood Hills mansion just sold to Drew Taggart and the $13.5 million Beverly Hills (Post Office) estate recently purchased by Little Miss Kylie Jenner.
But we digress — before we start dissectin’ the residence, here’s some background on our boy.
For those of y’all uninformed, Mr. Powell is a very big deal in the crazy cryptocurrency world. As the CEO and co-founder of Kraken, he presides over one of the world’s most well-known bitcoin exchanges. Founded in 2011, Kraken has grown to become “the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity and also trading Canadian dollars, US dollars, British pounds and Japanese yen,” per their website.
Now in his late 30s, shaggy-haired Mr. Powell also keeps a (infrequently updated) personal blog where he mostly posts about bitcoin and his love for video games. The blog’s headline, hilariously enough, reads “this blog has been intentionally left janky.” So there y’all have it.
Mr. Powell is a college dropout from Cal State Sacramento and founded Verge Center for the Arts — which is now Sacramento’s largest commercial fine art gallery — at the tender age of 27. He was also the founder of Lewt, Inc., which made money primarily by buying and selling items related to the video game franchise Diablo. Or so we gather. It’s also been described as “an equivalent of Amazon.com” for some video/computer games.
To be perfectly honest, Yolanda knows next to nothing about our boy’s background or family. We don’t know where he grew up, whether he’s married, if he has kids or not. That bugs our OCD-addled brain, but oh well. Maybe we’re off our game, or maybe Mr. Powell keeps that stuff on the DL. We hope it’s the latter.
Perhaps somebody who knows this dude will write in and inform Yolanda about his personal details. Until then, y’all will have to content yourselves with perusin’ pics of his fancy new Westside digs.
Oh — by the way, in addition to his dislike for San Francisco, Mr. Powell is also no fan of New York. Back in September (2018), he blasted the entire state, saying (in part), “NY is that abusive, controlling ex you broke up with 3 years ago but they keep stalking you, throwing shade on your new relationships, unable to accept that you have happily moved on and are better off without them. #getoverit.”
Good gracious! Yolanda hope Mr. Powell finds LA more agreeable, else he’ll soon run outta places to live.
Although Mr. Powell’s new mini-estate has a Mandeville Canyon Road address, the house is actually located well off the main drag and set on a wee cul-de-sac. At the end of the street, a steep private drive shared with three other properties transports you to the residence.
The privately-situated house features a gated motorcourt, a security system, and garage parking for up to five vehicles. This is also a “smart home” with a (very expensive) automation system by Savant. Our Mr. Powell can control everything — pretty much — remotely, from the touchpad on his iPhone.
Anyway, the house features airy interiors done up in ANR’s trademark sophisticated, contemporary style. Walls of disappearing glass (they’re actually Fleetwood pocket doors) flood the living areas with California sunshine and blur the line between indoors and outdoors.
The main house features 6 beds and 7 baths. Two of the bedrooms are located on the main level, one of them suitable as a guest/spare room and the other as maid’s quarters. Also on the main floor is a enormous kitchen that features two center islands amid acres of blondish hardwood, and elsewhere is a family room with canyon views. Somewhere tucked away is a large movie theater.
Upstairs are four en-suite bedrooms, including the elephantine master suite with its vaulted ceiling and dramatic, pentagonal wall of glass that provides a distant city lights view.
Check out that shower in the master bath! Well, hot damn. That’s big enough for half of Kraken’s workforce to shower together! Take team bonding to the next level, Mr. Powell.
Also, that bathroom floor looks slippery. Watch your step. Nude dancing (or dancing of any kind, really) should be undertaken only with extreme caution.
Other amenities include an office (outfitted with two iconic Egg™ Chairs by Arne Jacobsen), an upstairs gym, attached guesthouse with another full bedroom and bathroom. The self-contained compound weighs in with a mansion-sized 9,393-square-feet of living space.
Out back, the .69-acre property features dual staircases leading down to a sprawling deck, plenty of space for al fresco dining, and a black-bottomed, irregularly-shaped swimming pool with inset spa.
Yolanda believes Mr. Powell also owns a residence in San Francisco — we doubt he rents — but can’t find any trace of it in property records, and not for lack of lookin’. Sorry, kids. Don’t mouth off to your gurl. It’s Christmas so just be glad you’re getting this story rather than a box of coal.