Owing to the significant rise in the awareness of cryptocurrencies and their advantages, such as robust security and flexibility, the cryptocurrency exchange platforms have seen an unprecedented growth. One of the key players in the crypto exchange market is Kraken, a well-reputed crypto exchange which offers a plethora of coins and resources to potential investors and crypto enthusiasts.
Here’s our complete review, dissecting all the major features, advantages and limitations of the popular exchange platform.
As one of the oldest and well-established exchange platforms, Kraken was launched in 2013 by Jesse Powell. It was founded just two years after the launch of bitcoin (BTC). Since then, Kraken has expanded its offerings and became the ninth-largest crypto exchange in the globe, with crypto trading activities worth $16 billion being done on the platform.
It is one of the top-rated crypto exchange platforms around the world. The exchange offers a robust security system and an extensive range of coins to choose from. It offers 185+ coins for trading with competitive exchange rates. Besides this, Kraken also offers highly innovative trading tools such as, future trading and advanced order types.
- Reputable exchange with history of strong and reliable security.
- High liquidity allows for large transactions.
- Low Kraken fees for makers and takers
- Users of CryptoWatch’s trading platform may trade across various platforms.
- Limited payment methods
- Slow customer support
Kraken is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in operation today. Kraken provides users with a powerful platform to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies.
Key Features of Kraken
Let’s take a look at some of the key features of Kraken:
Trading fees and prices might vary according to the type of platform and trading activity you choose to use. Kraken has two distinct offers for beginners and advanced users.
- Instant Buy
If you choose the beginner-level package, the charges for most of the cryptocurrencies are 1.5 percent and 0.9 percent on stable coins using US dollars or other varieties of stable coins.
It is also important to note that you might have to pay extra charges, depending on how you choose to fund. Charges might vary from 0.5% when you are funding with a bank account to approximately 3.75% + 25 Euro cents when you are using a debit card, credit card, or your digital wallet.
- Kraken Pro
The charges on Kraken Pro are much lower than the Instant Buy for beginners. The transaction fees depend on the net trading volume in the last 30 days. Usually, the platform charges 0.26 percent taker fees or 0.16 percent maker fees.
- Additional Charges
Kraken also charges over 0.02 percent on the margin trades and upto 0.05 percent on the futures trade.
30- Day Volume (USD)
$0 – $50,000
$50,001 – $100,000
$100,001 – $250,000
$250,001 – $500,000
$500,001 – $1,000,000
$1,000,001 – $2,500,000
$2,500,001 – $5,000,000
$5,000,001 – $10,000,000
Due to increased hacking and cybercrimes on crypto exchange platforms, Kraken has strengthened its security system. It has garnered the second position on the crypto exchange security review site CER for providing a robust security system. As a result of its commitment, the platform has not reported any major hacking or cybercrime incident in all these years. Quite recently, Kraken also earned a CSO50 Award for its security practices.
Kraken has a top-notch security team to provide you an unmatched client experience. The security team also performs a Proof of Reserves audit with an external auditor to instill greater transparency and trust. Moreover, the platform uses advanced cold storage and hot wallets to keep your funds safe and secure. The exchange also runs a bug bounty program to provide extensive security. If you have additional or any urgent concerns, you can always use the 24/7 customer support.
One of the perks of using Kraken is that it offers 24/7 customer service. It provides the users with phone support which most of its competitors don’t. So customers can seek support from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday and resolve their issues. Moreover, the platform also offers text chat support 24 hours a day, throughout the week. So yes, Kraken customer support walks an extra mile to ensure you receive the best customer care and support.
Kraken doubles the convenience of its users by providing them with a user-friendly mobile application to keep a track of their trading activities. However, instead of one simple application, the mobile application is divided into three. Let’s take a look at all of them to understand the functions of each one of them:
This application enables the users to make all the basic deposits, transfers, withdrawals and swaps easily.
This is an advanced application which deals with advanced orders including take-profits and stop-losses. However, this application doesn’t allow you to make deposits or withdrawals.
Once you qualify for this application, it enables you to trade futures. However, as we mentioned earlier, you cannot make deposits or withdrawals using this application as well.
Advantages of Kraken
Now let’s take a closer look at the advantages of Kraken which gives it an upper hand among its competitors.
- Access a wide array of coins
Kraken offers over 185 coins, including the most popular ones like Bitcoin, Solana, Ethereum, Stellar Lumens, Litecoin, Polkadot, Sushi, Cardano and Dogecoin. The platform also provides 130 crypto trading pairs.
- Lower trading fees
According to the review by NerdWallet, the trading fees for new traders are average but, Kraken charges lowest rates on its advanced version called Kraken Pro.
- High liquidity rates
This popular exchange rate makes it easy for investors and buyers to sell and buy crypto at competitive market rates.
- Sophisticated trading tools
It is one of the very few exchange platforms which brings sophisticated trading tools to the table such as marginal trading, future trading and advanced order types. These tools are highly functional and effective for investors to plan ahead of time and take advantage of trading opportunities.
- Extensive range of informational resources
Kraken keeps publishing a variety of informational resources and strategies for both beginner and advanced traders to keep them updated about the evolving crypto market.
Limitations of Kraken
Here are some of the limitations of Kraken:
- Not accessible everywhere
One of the major drawbacks of Kraken is that it is not available in all the 50 states of the US. It doesn’t operate in New York and Washington DC.
- Crypto staking is not available to US clients
Due to recent developments, cryptostalking services are not available to US-based Kraken users. According to the settlement between the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Kraken agreed to pay $30 million as a penalty and shut down its stalking services in the US. However, users outside the US can continue enjoying the crypto stalking using the other Kraken subsidiary service.
- Few fiat currencies
Currently, the platform only supports eight fiat currencies. However, the platform allows users to use major leading currencies like U.S. dollars, the British pounds and euros. As a result, beginners who hail from extremely populous nations like India, might need to change their money to another approved currency to create a trading pair. It goes without saying that this might end up costing those people more money.
- Higher fees for beginners
Another drawback of using the main Kraken platform is that it charges higher fees than the advanced version called Kraken Pro.
The beginner trading program called Instant Buy charges some exorbitant rates and newbie investors might not even be aware of these high charges. It is important to know that Instant Buy charges over 1.5 percent on all the trading pairs and 0.9 percent if using stablecoins. Therefore, investors should make a wise investment on Kraken.
Is Kraken the Right Choice For You?
If you are an advanced trader who wants to access an extensive variety of coins and enjoy a low transaction fee, Kraken is the perfect solution for all your needs. It is one of the best platforms for experienced and active traders as trading fees on the platform decreases once you increase your trading activities.
However, if you are a beginner, it would be best if you learn about the trading practices and take full advantage of educational resources at Kraken before joining the platform.
The platform is also slightly expensive for users who don’t use major currencies or who are using the Instant Buy version of Kraken, therefore, it is not the best application for them. If you are a beginner or someone who doesn’t have access to fiat currencies, it would be best to consider alternatives.
How Do You Open a Kraken Account?
Once you have decided if Kraken is the right choice for you, you should consider opening your account.
Despite being a little pricey and putting a drain on your pockets, opening a Kraken account on Instant Buy Platform is relatively easy. Verification process takes a few minutes. Therefore, you are just one step away from starting your trading activities at Kraken.
On the other hand, getting started at Kraken Pro can take considerable time. You need to submit various documents manually to get verified. Once the verification process is completed, you can begin funding your account with a fist currency and begin your trading activities. The platform allows debit cards and credit cards to fund your account.
Overall, Kraken is one of the top-rated cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world which offers a plethora of coins, excellent security, sophisticated features and great client support. It is one of the best platforms for all the advanced and active crypto traders out there. However, Kraken’s beginner program can be slightly disappointing. Therefore, beginners should stay cautious while investing on the crypto exchange or look for better alternatives.