Kraken Review 2023
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Aside from the range of payment methods, cryptocurrencies, and trading features, what distinguishes Kraken apart from other popular trading platforms is its different approach to promoting and simplifying cryptocurrency trading.
Furthermore, by prioritizing cost-effectiveness, performance, and security, Kraken demonstrates that the fintech space is the future, and makes it clear about the vital role that crypto exchanges play in the crypto space.
Wanna learn more about Kraken? Read on!
Table of Contents
Kraken Exchange Info
- Website: kraken.com
- Country: USA
- Mobile app: Available
- Deposit Methods: Fedwire, SWIFT, Etana Custody, SEN, or SEPA, Etana Custody, SEN, POSconnect Interfin Transfer
- Trading Fees: 0.9% to 1.5%
- Fiat Currencies: USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, and JPY
- Cryptocurrencies: More than 110
- Integrated NFT marketplace
- Very secured platform
- USA-based cryptocurrency exchange
- Supports over 100+ cryptocurrencies
- 190+ countries supported worldwide
- Kraken PRO for advanced traders
- Excellent mobile app for Android and iOS
- Cryptowatch enables price and volume alerts
- 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, email
- OTC trading available
- Up to 5x leverage in margin trading
Pros of Kraken
- Large selection of digital assets
- Low fees for advanced traders
- Low non-instant buy fees
- Advanced trading platform
- Massive product selection
- Advanced trading features
- Reasonable fees
- Strong staking options
- Highly secured
Cons of Kraken
- Limited options for funding accounts
- No tax support
Finding the right cryptocurrency platform has become a challenging task as the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies spawned an abundance of crypto trading platforms across the world. Not only are these exchanges being targeted by hackers, but some of them are outright scams too. Finding a platform that you can trust seems like a Herculean feat under such conditions.
Thankfully, there is Kraken. Kraken is a veteran crypto trading platform that offers safety features that make it stand out as a reliable and secure exchange. The platform has never been hacked, thanks to its extensive security measures.
Kraken allows users to purchase a wide range of cryptocurrencies with fiat and offers crypto derivatives trading options, like margins and futures trading. It’s ranked 5th on Coinmarketcap by trading volume, with a rating of 8.0.
In our review, we’ll provide you with an overview of the trading platform and cover its most notable features.
About the Kraken Crypto Exchange
The Kraken exchange (kraken.com) was launched in 2013 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The platform’s development started in 2011 but was postponed for two years, as the CEO Jesse Powell helped over at Mt.Gox after the infamous heist that cost the exchange 850,000 bitcoins. The demise of Mt.Gox is one of the reasons why Kraken implements a wide array of security features on its platform.
The platform initially offered only Bitcoin trading but added Ethereum soon after and quickly became the second-largest platform for trading Bitcoin/Ethereum currency pairs. The platform boasts total transparency, irreversible crypto transactions, and programmable enforceable contracts that safeguard assets, all of which place Kraken a step ahead of its competitors, like Coinbase and Binance, when it comes to security.
Kraken’s stability and track record is a major advantage, as the platform uses its services and features to attract investors from banks, hedge funds, pension funds, and other institutional businesses. These kinds of traders can trade with each other and purchase large amounts of cryptocurrency via Kraken’s newly implemented OTC desk.
Kraken falls into the category of centralized exchanges (CEXs), but it has security features similar to decentralized exchanges (DEXs). DEX platforms don’t store any user assets, personal credentials, or vulnerable data and recommend storing crypto assets in an offline hardware wallet device. Kraken’s take on this is that they’re an exchange and not a wallet providing service. Its users can deposit their funds into the corporate Kraken wallet for safekeeping short-term or while they’re used in staking or trading.
All in all, Kraken is a platform that has stood the test of time and proved its strength and stability.
Ease of Use
For beginners, the easiest way to conduct a transaction is via the “Simple Trade” feature. Advanced users can make good use of the Pro platform but a bit later on that. Before users can make transactions, they need to create an account and fund their custodian wallet on the exchange.
The user interface is neatly laid out and is very intuitive. The screen is not cluttered with many features. The trading dashboard is customizable with 13 different colour schemes. One fault is that all trading options are displayed on the screen at all times but beginners can simply ignore them until they’ve mastered some of the basics. The platform also includes decent educational tools.
There are three types of accounts on Kraken: Kraken Starter, Kraken Intermediate, and Kraken Pro.
Kraken Basic vs Kraken Pro
As we’ve stated before, Kraken has three different tiers for accounts, each with its own benefits and limits. Fully verified accounts reap all the benefits compared to unverified accounts. To be eligible for an account, users must be 18 years of age and reside in an area that’s supported by the exchange.
- Kraken Starter Account – The starter account level allows users to deposit, withdraw, and exchange cryptocurrencies under several restrictions. The only verification required for this account is a valid email address. The starter account is limited in terms of depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies. For any fiat purchases and deposits, users must upgrade to the Intermediate level account. The starter account is like a trailer for the remaining features of the platform.
- Kraken Intermediate Account – In order to upgrade to the intermediate level, users must have created a basic account and uploaded some KYC verification credentials. These documents include a government-issued ID card, valid passport, driver’s license, proof of residence documents such as a utility bill or a bank statement, and finally, social security number or ITIN. Once these documents have been uploaded to the verification centre, users will be able to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies, as well as participate in futures trading.
- Kraken Pro Account – The Kraken Pro account will unlock higher account limits and provide users with access to Kraken’s antonyms dark pools. The dark pools allow users to only see their transactions in the order book in order to keep larger transactions anonymous to prevent any crypto market fluctuations. Aside from the dark pools, the pro account enables users to participate in margin trading and access to the OTC desk. The OTC desk can facilitate large transactions without causing price disruptions on the regular platform.
Kraken Pro users can purchase, trade, and sell cryptocurrencies through the “Trade” prompt by using two different trading modes: Simple and Advanced. The simple platform allows users to trade crypto with limit and market orders while the advanced platform allows users to trade with derivatives, such as margin trading and futures trading, as well as use advanced trading options, such as stop losses and order schedules.
Kraken is a state-of-the-art cryptocurrency exchange, as it doesn’t offer un-crypto-related features like savings funds or loans. The platform is a pure-bred centralized exchange that can be accessed online. Users can buy or sell crypto and take advantage of derivatives trades like margins and futures trading. There is even an option for crypto staking to earn interest. Crypto stalking can be done by leaving your assets untouched in your account and lending them to other users via the platform.
Users can make instant purchases with credit cards and debit cards or by trading other cryptos that they have on their accounts. Other trading features include market orders, limit orders, stop-loss, stop-loss limit, take profit, and take profit limit. Experienced traders may be familiar with how these orders work, but beginners might struggle at first. The easiest way to conduct a transaction when starting out is to stick with the “Simple Trade” feature.
Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies
Kraken is primarily an altcoin trading exchange and supports more than 40 cryptocurrencies and tokens to trade with, including major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR) and interesting crypto project cryptos like QTUM (QTUM), EosIO (EOS), Gnosis (GNO), Kava (KAVA), and many more.
Kraken offers a variety of fiat currencies as well as different payment methods. The supported fiat currencies are USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, AUD, and CAD, while the deposit and withdrawal methods include SWIFT, SEPA, wire transfers, and domestic bank account transfers.
SEPA transfer accounts in Euros are exempt from fees if the user resides in the list of SEPA-supported countries. Domestic US bank transfers can range between $5 and $25, while overseas bank transfers usually cost $10.
Kraken Trading Fees and Limits
The Kraken exchange has a maker/taker fee structure. It is considered a high liquidity platform with low fees.
The transaction fees are calculated based on users’ 30-day trading volume:
- For trades between $0 and $50,000, the maker fee is 0.16%, while the taker fee is 0.26%
- For trades between $50,001 and $100,000, the maker fee is 0.14%, while the taker fee is 0.24%
- For trades between $100,001 and $250,000, the maker fee is 0.12%, while the taker fee is 0.22%
- For trades between $250,001 and $500,000, the maker fee is 0.10%, while the taker fee is 0.20%
- For trades between $500,001 and $1,000,000, the maker fee is 0.08%, while the taker fee is 0.18%
- For trades between 1,000,001 and 2,500,000, the maker fee is 0.06%, while the taker fee is 0.16%
The minimum deposit is $0, making Kraken a very good choice for users who want to trade with lower amounts. When it comes down to deposits, FedWire, SEPA, SWIFT, Etana Custody, and Etana are free of charge, and for most deposit methods, the minimum deposit is $1.
The withdrawal fees vary depending on the cryptocurrency in question. For example, the withdrawal fee for Bitcoin is 0.00002 BTC, with a withdrawal minimum of 0.005 BTC. The website has more detailed information on withdrawal fees.
Is Kraken Safe to Use?
Kraken is one of the safest cryptocurrency exchanges in existence. It complies with all regulatory policies in all regions it operates. The platform is registered as a legitimate Money Services Business (MSB) with FinCEN in the USA, Fintrac in Canada, Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, and ASIC in Australia.
Kraken enforces KYC policies. Customers who want to receive higher account tiers and further funding options are required to provide legal documents to verify their identity, including proof of residency and a government-issued photo ID.
When it comes to user and asset security, Kraken encrypts all data on the platform and frequently conducts security audits. 95% of the deposits are kept in cold storage. User accounts are protected with two-factor authentication (2FA) systems through multiple applications. These include the Authenticator App and Yubikey. Moreover, Kraken hosts a Global Settings Lock that allows users to lock their accounts for a designated amount of time, in case their password or 2FA access has been compromised. Once enabled, the Global Settings Lock prevents anyone from making changes to your account or withdrawing your funds. Kraken provides users with a Master Key that enables them to regain access to a compromised account.
Kraken is also the first exchange to charter an SPDI bank that will be digitally oriented. This key feature allows Kraken to open its own bank and gain direct access to the US federal payment infrastructure to integrate banking and funding options for the platform’s users.
The customer support section could do well with a makeover, but it gets the job done. The main website hosts an extensive support guide for any questions, but if that doesn’t help, users can also submit a support ticket or take advantage of the live chat feature. The support team is available 24/7, and they also maintain a solid social media presence on Facebook, Telegram, Twitter, and Instagram.
The current TrustPilot review for Kraken is 2 stars, and most of the complaints are about KYC verification issues. It seems like making sure you complete all verification steps before depositing a large amount of money can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Kraken is one of the best places where users can take their crypto-related business. The wide range of supported cryptocurrencies and tokens, above-industry grade security features, bank capabilities, and below-average trading fees with an exceptional variety of payment methods make Kraken stand out like a crypto-beacon in the ocean of cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform might require a bit of getting used to for beginners, but experienced traders will enjoy Kraken’s developed trading features.
frequently asked questions
Yes, Kraken supports and provides two separate mobile apps. The Kraken Pro app is available on Android and iOS devices and allows users to access their trading account and conduct trades the same as the regular desktop platform. Their newer Kraken App was released in 2020, and it’s a simplified version of the older app. Users can download it on Android and iOS devices and can even enjoy some premium payment methods.
No, Kraken doesn’t provide a personal digital wallet service and advises users to procure their own wallet, preferably a hardware one. The only type of wallet that Kraken offers is their corporate custodian wallet that is used to safely store assets while trading on the platform and when using the staking/lending services.
Dark pools are legal in the US and the UK, along with other countries. Dark pools are like private exchanges where traders can anonymously trade with larger amounts without having a price influence on the regular crypto market.
Yes, Kraken allows users to trade with derivatives such as margin trading with up to 5x leverage. The margin trading feature is very simple to use, and users can select between market orders or limit orders with just one click. The main website offers detailed information about margin trading.
Kraken is accessible in a majority of countries which makes it easier to list the areas that they don’t provide service in. It isn’t possible to set up accounts within Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, or Tajikistan except if you’re living in those countries or that aren’t part of them. These restrictions stem from laws or sanctions against those nations.
In addition those who reside in Washington or New York State can only apply for pre-verification. Once Kraken is granted approval from the regulatory authorities in these states account openings will then be approved to be opened.
|Exchange||Deposit Methods||Fiat Currencies||Cryptocurrencies||Trading Fees||Sign Up|
|PayID, Osko, Debit Card, Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, Bank Transfer||AUD / NZD||320 +||0.6%||Visit|
|PayID, POLi, Cryptocurrency, Cash, BPAY, Bank Transfer||AUD||370+||OTC: 0.1% Instant buy/sell: 1%||Visit|
|PayID, Osko, Debit Card, Credit Card, Cryptocurrency||USD, AUD, CNY, EUR, CAD, GBP, UAH, NGN, TRY, RUB||600+||0% – 0.1%||Visit|
|Crypto, electronic funds transfer (EFT), wire transfer, bank transfer, debit card/credit card||50+||160+||0.1% to 0.6%||Visit|
|Google Pay, Apple Pay, Debit Card, Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, Bank Transfer, Cash||AUD, GBP||50+||Taker: 0.04-0.1% Maker: 0.04-0.1%||Visit|
|PayID, Osko, POLi, Cryptocurrency, Bank Transfer||AUD||300+||0.1% – 0.5%||Visit|
|SWIFT, EFT, PayID, Osko, Cryptocurrency||USD, AUD, NZD||27||0.05% – 0.5%||Visit|
|Skrill, Online Banking, PayPal, Neteller, Debit Card, Bank Transfer||USD, AUD, EUR, NZD, GBP, HKD, CAD, CHF, NOK, SGD, and 5+ more||70+||Vary (overnight and weekend fees apply)||Visit|
|SWIFT, Google Pay, Apple Pay, SEPA, Osko, Wire Transfer, Cryptocurrency, Bank Transfer||AUD, USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, JPY, CHF||140+||Taker: 0.10% – 0.26% Maker: 0.00% – 0.16%||Visit|
|SEPA, Debit Card, Credit Card, Wire Transfer, PayPal, Cryptocurrency||AUD, EUR, USD, RUB, GBP, KRW, CNY, VND, TRY||645+||0.1%||Visit|
|Bank transfer, POLi, OSKO, P2P||AUD||100+||Taker fees: 0.5% – 1.6% Maker fees: 0.5% – 1.6%||Visit|
|Crypto, Bank Transfer, PayID||AUD||410+||Taker fees: 0.85% Maker fees: 0.85%||Visit|