Choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange platform for your crypto endeavours is extremely important. You don’t want to end up with your coins and tokens stolen, thanks to poor platform security. You also don’t want to be limited to only a few tradable assets.
The choice can sometimes be overwhelming, as there are more than 400 platforms on the market, but you won’t go wrong if you stick to the most popular platforms such as Kraken, Binance, Coinbase, Gemini, and other big players.
Kraken.com is a perfect choice for both crypto beginners and pro traders because it offers a broad range of services, trading tools, and resources. Let’s take a deeper look at Kraken, check the key platform features, and find out where it is based.
About the Crypto Exchange
The first Bitcoin exchange platforms were launched in 2010, and at that time, cryptocurrencies were already becoming a prime target for cyber attackers. The founder, Jesse Powell, and his team decided to provide crypto enthusiasts with a crypto exchange platform that excels at security. Kraken has never been subject to a successful security hack, and it’s considered the safest crypto exchange on the market by Cer.live, a website that professionally deals with crypto exchange security evaluation.
Kraken is known for being hacker-proof for a whole decade since it was launched back in 2011 in San Francisco, where it still has its headquarters today. The platform is available in the US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and other regions. It supports 7 fiat currencies, including EUR, USD, AUD, CAD, GBP, JPY and CHF. This makes Kraken stand out among fiat-friendly crypto exchanges that generally support just a few fiat currencies.
Unlike many less popular exchange platforms, Kraken is a fully regulated platform by US financial laws. It was the first crypto exchange to receive a banking licence from US authorities in 2011, and it’s authorised to operate in all regions where it’s available.
There’s a whole range of trading tools and features for different types of crypto traders on Kraken. Many exchanges either focus on average crypto traders or pro brokers only, while Kraken has decided to give all kinds of traders the necessary tools for their crypto operations. That’s why the platform has a basic trading terminal, a professional trading platform and an advanced portfolio management interface for traders who want to simultaneously trade on multiple markets while using Kraken technology.
Back in 2011, when the platform was first launched, crypto exchanges were mainly focused on browser platforms, but today, traders want to access their portfolio while on the move. That’s why Kraken offers users access to all of their platform features on mobile devices through three highly advanced mobile apps for different user types.
Kraken Trading Terminal
The basic Kraken trading terminal is anything but basic because it offers a vast range of order types, along with a detailed market overview and price charts where users can monitor the price fluctuation of any selected digital currency or trading pair.
Although the huge number of details on the Kraken trading terminal can be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner, you can quickly learn the ropes of how to make a sell, buy or exchange order. Once you get the hang of it, you can explore the various trading features. You can set up recurring orders for regular purchases or use stop-loss orders to automatically sell your coins once their price reaches a certain low.
Kraken Pro is an upgraded version of the basic trading terminal, specially designed for advanced traders are acquainted with professional trading features. This platform version allows brokers to implement advanced trading strategies and use pro trading tools such as margin trading.
Margin trading enables users to borrow funds for further investments based on existing investments as collateral. This is a very risky type of trading, but pro crypto brokers are used to this type of trade since they can bring high profits if carried out right.
Kraken provides up to 5x leverage on margin trades, amplifying the potential gains and losses by 5 times. Experienced traders can earn a lot of money with margin trading, but beginners should definitely be careful with this feature. There are 36 coins available for margin trading on Kraken, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR), Polygon (MATIC) and other top cryptos. The margin trading fees are quite low, with a maximum of 0.02% fees, while the margin limit can go up to 500,000 USD.
Kraken Futures is the most advanced version of the trading platform. It’s created for large-scale investors that deal with multi-million USD sums daily, and traders can set up to 50x leverage when trading cryptos. This means that investors can trade up to 50 times higher sums than the money they have in their accounts. Leverage is a mighty trading tool, but just like margin trading, it can also lead to serious financial losses, so it definitely isn’t recommended for beginners.
A great thing about Kraken Futures is that it has a really simple user interface compared to the Kraken Pro platform and offers portfolio management tools that enable users to purchase and sell digital assets on various exchange platforms other than Kraken. When using Kraken Futures, you don’t need to manually shift between exchange platform accounts to monitor the price fluctuation of selected assets because you can do it all from the Kraken Futures platform.
Like many popular crypto exchanges, Kraken also uses a maker and taker fee model. Market makers who provide platform liquidity by placing purchase and sell orders at different prices than the current market price of certain cryptos are awarded lower trading fees. Market takers who only take advantage of the current market price and take away liquidity from the platform incur higher fees. Both types of users can decrease their fees based on the monthly trading volume. The higher the 30-day trading volume, the lower the fees.
You won’t incur any fees if you simply make a purchase or sell order. Fees are charged only once an order is carried out. The highest maker fee is 0.16% per transaction for a monthly trading volume of under 50,000 USD, while the lowest fee of 0.02% is incurred by makers with a monthly trading volume of at least 5 million US dollars.
Takers incur a 0.26% fee for monthly trading volumes below 50,000 USD and can lower their fee to 0.12% for 30-day trading volumes of at least 5 million US dollars.
These fees are affordable and lower than many popular exchange platforms. The fees aren’t super low, but that’s quite acceptable given Kraken’s top quality services and the industry-leading security features you get for your fees.
The selection of supported cryptocurrencies is one of the most important factors when choosing a crypto exchange platform. You can buy, sell and exchange more than 50 of the top trending digital coins and tokens on Kraken. This isn’t a very large selection of cryptos but keep in mind that Kraken is a fully regulated exchange platform, which means it is licensed to deal with all cryptocurrencies available on the platform.
Also, unlike some exchange platforms that offer a much larger selection of cryptos, but lack platform security, buying or selling assets on Kraken is totally safe because all available cryptocurrencies are legit assets, and you can’t get tricked to buy some unchecked, low cap project which might be a scam.
Available digital currencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Algorand (ALGO), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), Cosmos (ATOM), Dai (DAI), Tether (USDT), Eos (EOS), Monero (XMR), Polkadot (DOT) and many other altcoins.
As mentioned, Kraken’s security is one of the best in the crypto exchange industry. Users have 2FA (two-factor authentication) and email confirmation for transactions as an extra security layer for their accounts. All user data you submit to Kraken when creating an account and completing the KYC (Know Your Customer) check is safely stored on Kraken’s servers under top-of-the-line encryption, out of the reach of any cyber attackers.
The KYC protocol requires you to provide personal details such as full name, address, phone number, email and a photo of your government-issued ID, passport or driver’s licence. This data is used to confirm your identity to evade money laundering attempts and scams.
Up to 95% of the funds used on Kraken are stored safely offline in cold storage devices. The cold storage is kept under 24/7 video surveillance, along with armed security guard protection so no one can try to physically compromise the storage devices. Only 5% of platform assets are kept online to provide platform liquidity.
Kraken doesn’t insure your funds, but that shouldn’t discourage you because, after all, it is the most secure exchange platform on the market, and it has never been hacked since its launch.
Kraken supports all of the most popular funding options. There are several types of bank account transfers available for users. For example, US customers can fund their Kraken account with a FedWire bank account transfer, Australians can use an Osko transfer, while European traders can buy cryptos with a SEPA Euro transfer. Customers from all parts of the world can also buy digital currency on Kraken with a SWIFT bank account transfer. Bank accounts can also be used to make cash withdrawals from the platform.
You can also use many types of credit cards and debit cards to make a purchase on Kraken. Visa and MasterCard are just some of the supported payment cards. When purchasing cryptocurrency with a payment card, you will incur an additional bank card fee, but the process is really fast, and you’ll get your assets transferred to your Kraken account right away.
Kraken: Buy Bitcoin and Crypto, Kraken Pro and Kraken Futures app
Most popular crypto exchange platforms have a single mobile app version of their platform. Kraken, however, has three separate mobile apps for its users. Basically, the three apps are the same as the three versions of the browser platform for average advanced and pro traders.
The Kraken: Buy Bitcoin and Crypto is the basic Kraken app, which offers all of the features of the Kraken terminal in a handy, easy-to-use mobile app. The app is actually easier to use than the browser version of the platform because market charts, trading orders and account settings are all just a click away. For beginner traders, it might be better to start with the Kraken mobile app than to use the trading terminal on a browser.
Kraken Pro: Advanced Bitcoin & Crypto Trading is the mobile version of the Kraken Pro platform. All the advanced trading tools, order types and detailed market charts from the browser version are also accessible through the mobile app. Additionally, the app’s design is way better than the online version of the platform. It’s easier to navigate and generally more practical for trading.
Kraken Futures: Bitcoin & Crypto Futures Trading is the mobile app version of the Kraken Futures platform. You can quickly access your order book, manage trading positions, open them and close them while on the move.
All Kraken mobile apps are compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices, and they are highly rated by users.
Advantages of Kraken Over Coinbase and Binance
First, Kraken fees are much lower than Coinbase fees, while the quality of the provided services is relatively the same, if not better if you take into account Kraken’s robust security.
Regarding Binance, Kraken fees are higher, but the platform is fully regulated. Binance isn’t a legally regulated exchange, so it’s much less secure in terms of the background of traded assets, and there is almost no legal protection for users if they get scammed.
A Few Ending Words…
Kraken is a top pick for reliable and secure crypto trading. It offers three types of interfaces specially catered to different experience levels and trading needs. The selection of cryptocurrencies is quite good, even though it’s smaller compared to some other platforms, but what you do get is a fully regulated trading experience, with a guarantee you’re not going to get scammed.