Kraken vs Coinbase
We’ve seen a slew of new exchanges crop up as a result of the cryptocurrency craze. Kraken and Coinbase, for example, are two well-known marketplaces that cater to the general public with low-cost trading technologies.
Both Kraken and Coinbase are easy to use for beginners, but they offer quite different features for professional traders with more experience.
See our Kraken vs Coinbase comparison and review below to decide which exchange is best for your needs.
Kraken quick overview
Kraken was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell who remains the CEO of Kraken to this day. Kraken is based in San Francisco and supports fiat currencies such as Canadian dollars (CAD), US dollars (USD) and Japanese yen (JPY).
It’s also one of the most advanced Bitcoin exchanges on the market with options for Bitcoin margin trading, short selling and others that are unavailable through Coinbase.
Despite the fact that the firm behind the platform was established in 2011, it has never before encountered a major security issue or hack.
Coinbase quick overview
Coinbase, also based out of San Francisco, was founded by Brian Armstrong in 2012 after raising $100 million from major investors such as NYSE , Andreessen Horowitz and BBVA . Coinbase claims to have exchanged over $5 billion worth of digital currency since it started.
Coinbase is one of the most popular exchanges in the United States because it offers quick transaction times at low costs. Coinbase runs on an easy-to-use interface with wallet solutions for every user whether you are interested in day trading, long term investment strategies or simply buying some bitcoin so you can experiment online.
Kraken is considered to be the largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of euro volume and liquidity. Kraken also offers margin trading, short selling and other advanced trading options unavailable on Coinbase.
Kraken has never before had a major security issue or hack – it is one of the most trusted platforms for cryptocurrency traders. Kraken was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell who remains the CEO of Kraken to this day. Kraken is based in San Francisco and supports fiat currencies such as Canadian dollars (CAD), US dollars (USD) and Japanese yen (JPY).
- 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.
- Lower fees than Coinbase
- In the United States, you can’t use a debit or credit card.
- Smaller list of available coins to trade compared to Coinbase
Coinbase is one of the leading digital currency exchanges in the United States. It allows users to buy, sell, and store digital currency offline using cold storage methods.
Coinbase supports several fiat currencies: British pounds, US dollars and euros. Coinbase offers good prices for buying bitcoins directly with credit or debit cards. Coinbase is known for its easy-to-use app both on Apple and Android devices.
Coinbase gets an extra star because it has recently added phone support which makes a huge difference when you need to get a hold of someone regarding your money.
- Simple and easy to use interface
- phone support now available
- Trade on the go with the simple-to-use trading app
- Several deposit and withdrawal options using fiat
- Low trading volume
- Higher fees
Kraken vs Coinbase comparison chart
Crypto exchange with advanced trading features
Debit, Credit, ACH, Crypto
Fees starting at 0.16% per trade
Debit, Credit, ACH, Crypto
1.49 – 3.99% (0 – 0.5% Coinbase pro)
Features: Kraken vs Coinbase
- Limit order: Kraken allows you to place a limit order which will be filled at your price or better. Kraken also has stop loss and take profit features
- Short selling: Kraken allows short selling meaning you can make money from drops in cryptocurrency prices
- Margin trading: Kraken offers margin trading with up to 5x leverage, which means that you can trade $20 for $100 if the exchange rate moves in your favor by 5%
- Futures: Kraken offers futures for Bitcoin, Ethereum and others. Futures are an agreement to buy or sell something at a set price on a later date
- Advanced charting: Kraken allows users to access “Advanced Markets View,” which includes real-time order book transactions, charts with many indicators, and the ability to build a watchlist.
- API keys: Kraken enables integration via API keys, allowing third-party apps to sync with Kraken’s trading platform.
- OTC investor service: Kraken is a cryptocurrency brokerage company that caters to high-net-worth individuals who are looking to get into the bitcoin market. They provide a one-on-one white-glove service to assist investors in making major purchases of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies off of the main exchange. They provide market consulting and reports, as well as assisting in the trade and storage of substantial bitcoin purchases.
- Staking: Kraken enables users to Stake coins like Polkadot (DOT), Kusama (KSM), Kava (KAVA), Flow (FLOW), Ethereum (ETH2), Cosmos (ATOM), Tezos (XTZ), Bitcoin (off-chain), Euro (EUR), U.S. Dollar (USD).
You must first acquire assets or fund your Kraken account with one of the assets that are suitable for staking before you can stake coins.
Coinbase: (Basic and Pro)
You will find that Coinbase is more intuitive and easier to use but lacks some of the more advanced trading features. Coinbase is ideal for beginner traders who want to keep their funds stored on Coinbase.
You will find there are some unique perks like quizzes that allows you to earn free coins and the ability to earn yield from staking.
Rewards appear in your account periodically, depending on the asset.
Coinbase Pro, formerly known as GDAX, offers an intuitive interface that is ideal for the professional trader with access to more complex tools and features that can be found in exchanges like Kraken or Binance.
Both Kraken and Coinbase have extensive educational resources available online for those new to cryptocurrency trading who need help getting started.
Fiat deposit and withdrawal options:
Kraken offers both deposits by wire transfers as well as direct debits from a linked credit card. Kraken lets you deposit and withdraw most cryptocurrencies into all supported wallets.
Kraken supports deposits through bank transfers in US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds and Japanese Yen. Kraken also caters to many countries that don’t have access to traditional fiat currencies like Vietnam or Afghanistan. Kraken allows users to withdraw USD, EUR, CNY via SWIFT transfer.
Kraken offers withdrawals through bank transfers in USD, EUR, GBP and CNY via SWIFT transfer. Kraken also has an option for SEPA wire withdrawal if you are located in the Eurozone. Kraken does not have an option for withdrawals via credit or debit cards nor does it allow withdrawals into PayPal accounts. Kraken also offers a feature called “My Wallet” which allows you to withdraw funds up to $500 USD equivalent value per day through electronic transfer.
Coinbase allows fiat deposits in US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Singapore Dollars and Australian dollars. Coinbase also caters to users in countries like Mexico.
Coinbase does not have the option for users to withdraw funds via credit or debit cards. Coinbase allows withdrawals into PayPal accounts with a fee of 5% + $0.15 USD per transaction. Through Coinbase Pro, you can withdrawal up to $10,000 USD equivalent value daily without verification.
Trading Fees Kraken vs Coinbase : Which has lower fees?
Fees are an important factor in choosing a platform, with Kraken’s maker-taker fee schedule usually making it cheaper for high volume traders. Kraken has relatively low transaction fees starting at 0.16% per trade while Coinbase charges 1.49%-3.99%.
Every crypto trader should be concerned about security. There have been enough high-profile cryptocurrency exchange robberies to make us all realize the importance of excellent protection. This is why it’s good that both Coinbase and Kraken devote such significant resources to security.
Kraken and Coinbase both keep the majority of customer funds in offline cold storage, which means that it is extremely difficult for hackers to steal your digital assets, even if they break into servers.
For added security, Kraken and Coinbase both offer a two-factor authentication option for account login as well as a dedicated security center for each user to check out the security features Kraken or Coinbase offer.
Coinbase goes so far as to offer insurance on fiat balances held by Coinbase up to $250,000 specifically against any account breaches that may occur.
Ease of use
There is no doubt that Coinbase provides an easy-to-use interface for beginners to get started. Coinbase also has a mobile app so you can conduct transactions on the go. Coinbase provides more extensive support if you ever have any issues or questions, too.
Coinbase Pro is not quite as beginner friendly, but Coinbase Pro does have decent mobile apps that allow you to track Coinbase Pro prices easily.
Kraken is not as user-friendly but advanced traders will appreciate the added features and lower trading costs. Also, for those that like to trade on the go, unfortunately there is no trading app with Kraken as of yet.
Coinbase offers three wallets, Coinbase wallet, Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com. Coinbase also allows forl storage of ERC20 tokens on your Coinbase account if you choose to convert them to either BTC or ETH before transferring them off the Coinbase ecosystem.
Coinbase wallet is free to use but Coinbase charges a 1% fee for all bank transfers going in and out of Coinbase wallet. Coinbase Pro does not charge any fees but they do take a 0.25% cut on trades made through their platform which can be quite significant depending on how much you trade.
Coinbase doesn’t support altcoin deposit or withdrawal from within the Coinbase app itself yet as it only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin at this time . All other cryptocurrencies need to be transferred into some external wallet
Kraken offers three different apps depending on your needs. Kraken app, a beginner friendly app to easily buy, sell and convert crypto. Kraken Pro, a professional trading experience that enables you to place orders on the go. Kraken Futures, which provides seamless access to our Futures service, providing up to 50x leverage.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. Coinbase will be appropriate for someone who is completely new to the world of cryptocurrency, while Kraken will be a superior option than Coinbase Pro for traders who want to use more sophisticated tools at a reduced cost.
If neither of them is quite what you’re looking for, check out our list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for more alternatives.