From day one, Kraken tried to streamline a platform for beginners and experts alike. They tried to implement an easier deposit and withdrawal option in addition to including metrics of your portfolio. Which they have been successful to do till now.
Kraken supports dozens of cryptocurrencies including market leaders like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Although Kraken pro mainly targets experienced traders, it has found its way to enthusiasts with the Kraken platform.
Kraken was launched just two years after Bitcoin itself and is one of the most established and popular crypto exchanges in the market. Let’s discuss more on the exchange in this article on Kraken review.
What is Kraken?
San Francisco-based Kraken is a platform where participants can trade various cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Kraken was established in 2011 by its mother company Payward Inc. and was spearheaded into the market as an exchange by Jesse Powell in 2013. Kraken rose in popularity due to the easy movement of funds to and from linked accounts and partnered tokens.
A comprehensive security approach increases their value as a crypto exchange. Kraken employs the best in the business to cover every possible vulnerability that may jeopardize thor platform’s security and client’s trust.
It further offers a fast-paced high-liquidity exchange to make sure that traders are presented with liquidity discrepancy as low as possible.
You can enjoy up to 5x leverage on margin with Kraken, which is not as high as other competitors but is available for almost everyone to avail. If you are advanced clients by their standards, you can enjoy one-to-one customer support on the Kraken platform. Even if you are not, 24/7 customer support is still available to you with personalized over-the-counter services.
Additionally, their fee structure is as versatile as their funding options, and is dependable on the frequency you trade your cryptocurrencies.
How Kraken Works
The first thing you must know as a trader is Kraken is not a personal wallet service. While they keep client funds incorporating hot and cold wallets, Kraken doesn’t provide a personal wallet service.
First, depending on your experience, you need to fixate on Kraken or Kraken Pro. Pro is designed for professionals.
After registering as a verified account, it’s time to place orders. Which can be done from your bank account directly without ever needing to add funds to your Kraken account.
It’s good to know that you can also deposit your cryptos as savings in the platform to earn interest on it. In order to ensure security at the customer’s end, Kraken uses two-factor authentication to safeguard your interest.
Kraken Pro is mainly for experienced traders and offers a multitude of features that the centralized platform doesn’t, like more detailed charts and crypto information. Contrary to popular beliefs, Kraken Pro offers a reduced fee than Kraken, encouraging traders to use it more.
To place an order, you have to choose your favorite token and fill out the form with options like Limit order and Market order, as per your preference. Use Limit orders, if you want the order to take place at a set price. And use Market orders to trade on current market prices. Following successful submission of the order form, you need to wait for the order execution confirmation before proceeding to do other trading operations.
Is Kraken Safe?
Being in the market for a long time has made Kraken an impenetrable fort of cryptocurrency exchanges. As have we discussed, employing a world-class security team has its perks. Not only the whole team, but each member has experience in blockchain security and on Kraken itself. How Kraken safeguards your assets are discussed in detail below.
— 95% of deposits are maintained offline in distributed cold storage locations.
But why not all? Not having all the funds in cold storage, Kraken ensures they always have reserves to make the payouts faster than their competitors without significantly risking the funds.
— Kraken servers are in 24/7 surveillance with proper security protocols. The in-person access to the servers is very closely monitored and authorized with a zero-trust approach. Code deployment and software revisions are thoroughly reviewed before being released.
— Sensitive personal and financial details of clients are completely encrypted and thoroughly monitored for discrepancies.
— The Bug bounty program of Kraken in addition to penetration testing by their experts ensures a more trustable platform for everyone.
Top Advantages of Kraken
In addition to all the above-mentioned components, the advantages of using Kraken are as follows:
— More than 50 Crypto tokens are supported on the platform, which should be ample enough for your trading needs.
— High liquidity, fast-paced exchange offers you a minimal latency time in between your orders and market execution. As volatile as cryptos are, this feature ensures minimal discrepancies between market price and your desired price.
— 2-Factor authentication with several combinations gives you better safety when trading with Kraken.
— SSL certification to keep you safe when you use the Kraken browser.
— Kraken Pro offers much lower fees than Kraken. With variable fee structure, the more you trade with Kraken, the less you pay. The range varies between 0.16% to 0.26%.
— Encrypted sensitive data. Kraken encrypts every user data available to them. This means, even if anyone gets their hands on your financial data, they won’t be able to decrypt them without a key, which only you have access to.
— Real-time monitoring of suspicious activity of both clients and employees
— Customizable API keys with range boundaries
— Cold wallet facilities
— Futures and Options trading
Shortcomings of Kraken
— Customer support is not up to the standards of the competitors like Binance and Bybit. Although Kraken has dedicated 24/7 customer support available via email or chat, the representatives are educated enough to handle basic issues, but not beyond that.
— The User interface is not beginner-friendly at all. Kraken Pro is the most complicated of the two.
— High fees for beginners. While it’s not as high as some other crypto exchanges, the fee associated with trading is considerably higher than most of them.
— Education materials available on their platform are quite irrelevant and don’t help beginners much, which nullifies the point of educational materials being educational materials.
— Withdrawal fees are comparatively higher with high minimum withdrawals.
— Although Kraken has a mobile platform, it’s very simple in features and feels forgotten. Order type selection options are also unavailable on their mobile platform.
— No Options trading on tokens. You won’t see the point of having an F&O trading feature on their platform and not allowing you to trade in crypto.
Similar to its counterparts, Kraken also employs a variable fee structure for the trades executed.
Kraken has the highest instant fee among all major crypto exchanges. As they charge a debit/credit card transaction fee on top of the Kraken fee of a whopping 3.75%. Which calculates to be $105 for a $2000 instant transaction.
Non-instance fees are capped pretty low on Kraken – even as low as 0%, only a tad bit higher than Binance – their top competitor on market – on the highest cap of 0.26%
While Kraken doesn’t take an inactivity fee, deposit fee, or account management fee from its clients, the withdrawal fees are far more expensive than its competitors in some aspects.
Token Withdrawal Fees:
For cash withdrawals,
The rates depend on the chosen Fiat currency and method.
Fiat Currency Withdrawal Fees:
|Country||Method||Minimum Withdrawal||Withdrawal Fee|
|USA||FEDWIRE||20 USD||4-5 USD|
|WORLDWIDE*||SWIFT||150 USD||35 USD|
|SEPA||SEPA||2 EUR||1 EUR|
|WORLDWIDE*||SWIFT||100 EUR||5 EUR|
|WORLDWIDE*||SWIFT||100 CAD||13 CAD|
|UK||CHAPS||25 GBP||21 GBP|
|WORLDWIDE*||SWIFT||100 GBP||13 GBP|
|WORLDWIDE*||SWIFT||150 AUD||35 AUD|
— Exceptional security and has never been hacked.
— Dozens of cryptocurrencies are available.
— Futures, Options, and margin trading for whitelisted investors.
— Stacking options available to earn interest on cryptocurrencies.
— Cold wallet facilities.
— Web platform is easy to use for experienced traders but presents a learning curve to rookies.
— Advanced investment options are available.
— Customer support. Fast, but inefficient.
— Higher fees on instant orders.
— Not as many tokens as many other competitors
— High withdrawal fees and higher minimum withdrawal.
— No tax support for US users.
The Bottom Line
We recommend Kraken if you already have garnered some experience in the crypto world. As a beginner, the fees might be overwhelming to start with. While some traders have huge funds to back them up, most of them don’t, Kraken is not for them. To start your journey with crypto, you need quality education, which Kraken doesn’t provide at this moment.
But, if you already have extensive knowledge about Cryptocurrencies and want to try a more secure platform that enriches you with various charts and signals, Kraken is the one for you.