Kraken Review 2021 – A Reliable Platform for Trading Cryptos?

PlatformKraken
Web Addresshttps://www.kraken.com/
Founded2013
HeadquartersSan Francisco
Support TypeChat
LanguagesEN, FR, ES, CN
Minimum Deposit1 €
Demo AccountNo
Deposit MethodsBank Transfer
Mobile ApplicationNo
Tablet ApplicationNo
Score4.5 / 5

Summary 

Kraken is one of the first cryptocurrency exchange platforms. It was created in 2011 in San Francisco in the United States by Jesse Powell who is at the same time its CEO. However, it was not until September 2013 that the platform opened to the public.

In just one year after its launch Kraken has built its reputation by becoming the leading platform for Euro-Bitcoin exchanges. The transparency of their platform has led them to become a data provider for Bloomberg. Kraken was able to maintain its performance in an extremely competitive environment.

In the world of cryptocurrencies where innovation happens quickly, Kraken has been technologically outpaced by new and more advanced trading platforms. You are probably wondering if you should use Kraken for your cryptocurrency trading. 

We tested the Kraken platform as a whole. In this guide, we give you our opinion on this cryptocurrency exchange platform. Our tests were based on different aspects to take into account when choosing your cryptocurrency exchange: customer support, technologies used, available cryptocurrencies, fees, as well as security.

Opening an Account

Opening an account is quick, but the verification can take several days.

Kraken gives you access to its platform in exchange for your email. You first create a username and password. Then, after checking your email, you can discover your dashboard and the trading platform.

To activate the trading features, click on the “get verified” tab located at the main menu of your dashboard. You will then have to provide the documents requested for verification, namely: a photo of your identity card as well as proof of address.

At this point, you can give the address of your bank account which will be used to fund your Kraken account. Make sure you choose the right account, because at the time of withdrawal, your funds will be sent to the same bank you requested when you made your deposit.

Deposit and Withdrawal

Kraken has implemented several levels of identity verification, each with different limits. 

As we saw in the fees section, Kraken accepts deposits in euros, US dollars and Canadian dollars. Like most reputable exchange platforms Kraken verifies your identity before you can trade cryptocurrencies.

Kraken has implemented different levels of verification:

  • Level 0: only requires your email address. It allows you to discover the platform, but no deposit or withdrawal is possible.
  • Level 1: you must give your personal information (name, date of birth, telephone number and country). At this point, you can make deposits in cryptocurrencies, however, withdrawals are limited to $ 2,500 per day and $ 20,000 per month.
  • Level 2: by giving your address, you can benefit from deposit of currency or fiduciary coins (euro, dollar, CAD) with a daily limit of $ 2,000.
  • Level 3: this level requires that you verify your identity by submitting a photo of your identity card, as well as proof of residence. This level increases the deposit and withdrawal limits to $ 25,000 for fiat currencies, and to $ 50,000 for cryptocurrencies.
  • Level 4: this level is reserved for those who want to trade large volumes. At this point, the deposit and withdrawal limit is $ 100,000 per day.

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

Kraken’s fees are competitive and advantageous.

As a medium or short term trader, you should pay attention to the different fees of your trading platform, as these can affect your trading performance. There are two types of fees: those related to trading and those that are allocated to transactions outside of trading such as deposits and withdrawals. 

Non-Trading Fees

Kraken does not currently accept deposits by bank card. Likewise, buying cryptocurrencies from online wallets like PayPal is not possible. Only bank transfers are accepted.

For deposits and withdrawals in US dollars, the fee is $ 5 if your bank is located in the United States. If you use a bank outside the United States, the deposit fee is $ 10, while withdrawals will cost you $ 60!

With regard to payments in euros in the “Single Euro Payments Area” (SEPA), there are no deposit fees and withdrawals are only charged at € 1. Outside Europe, deposits come with a € 5 fee. 

Canadian dollar transfers are free if you use a Canadian bank, and 0.25% withdrawal fees.

Transferring your cryptocurrencies to Kraken is free. However, withdrawing the most popular virtual currencies comes with fees that we have listed in the table below.

CryptocurrenciesWithdrawal Fees
Bitcoin0.001 BTC
Bitcoin Cash0.001 BTC
Ether0.005 ETH
Litecoin0.02 LTC
Ripple0.02 XPR
Monero0.05 XMR
Stellar0.00002 XLM

Trading Fees

Trading fees at Kraken are variable and depend on two factors: the size and type of orders. 

Regarding the size of your order, the larger your position, the less you will pay fees. If for example, a trader places a back order with a volume of more than $ 10 million he pays no commission.

There are 2 types of orders: market orders and deferred orders. When you use market orders, you are said to be a “taker” because you decrease the liquidity of the market. On the other hand, when you place a deferred order you are a “maker”. At Kraken, maker orders come with fewer fees compared to taker orders. On the platform, maker orders have fees ranging from 0.16% to 0%, while those for taker orders vary from 0.26% to 0.1%.

Trading Platform

Kraken does not have the most fluid trading platform in the industry. Bugs have occurred in the past.

Kraken has a basic platform where you can trade cryptocurrencies directly and a more advanced one for active traders.

Kraken Trading Platform

To buy or sell a currency pair quickly, the main platform is more than enough. Just click on the “trade” tab to display the negotiation window. You have the choice between the deferred order (limit) or the market order (market).

The trading platform has more tools. It allows you to carry out technical analysis on the currency pairs of your choice. You benefit from a chart on which you can add technical indicators or even draw patterns.

Kraken Trading Platform Chart

Markets and Products

Kraken’s offer is interesting. The platform offers trading in a multitude of virtual currency pairs.

Kraken is ideal if you want to buy cryptocurrencies from fiat money. Most of its users buy Bitcoins with their fiat currencies there. These Bitcoins can then be used to purchase other cryptocurrencies. 

You can buy your cryptocurrencies in euros, US dollars and Canadian dollars. Kraken accepted purchases in yen (JPY), but this was suspended in April 2018 due to low transaction volumes which significantly increased fees.

You can, however, trade the yen with certain cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple and Zcash. Likewise, trading in the British pound (GBP) is offered with Bitcoin and Ether. 

On Kraken, you can trade the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (XBT)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Lumens (XLM)
  • Ether Classic (ETC)
  • Augur ( REP)
  • Iconomi (ICN)
  • Melon (MLN)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Dogecoin (XDG)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Gnosis (GNO)
  • EOS (EOS)

Note that the symbol of Bitcoin on the main platform of Kraken is XBT, not BTC . This can be confusing for cryptocurrency enthusiasts who want to buy Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s ISO code is actually XBT. Although not widely adopted, this notation is recommended.

For traders, here are the currency pairs or currency combinations available on Kraken for trading. The controversial Bitcoin SV (BSV) cryptocurrency was removed from the platform in April 2019, you will not find it in the list.

CryptocurrenciesBase CurrenciesQuotation Currencies
USDEURCADJPYGBP
AugurREP   
BitcoinXBT
Bitcoin CashBCH   
CardanoADA  
CosmosATOM  
DashDSH   
DogecoinXDG     
EOSEOS   
EtherETH
Ether ClassicETC   
GnosisGNO   
LitecoinLTC   
WatermelonMLN     
MoneroXMR   
QTUMQTUM  
RippleXRP 
LumensXLM   
Tether (Omni Layer)USDT    
TezosXTZ  
ZcashZEC  

You can also trade currency pairs between cryptos with quote currencies, Bitcoin and Ether. 

Base CurrenciesQuotation Currencies
 XTBETH
REP
XBT 
BCH 
ADA
ATOM
DASH 
XDG 
EOS
ETH 
ETC
GNO
LTC 
MLN
XMR 
QTUM
XRP 
XLM 
USDT  
XTZ
ZEC 

In summary, we can say that when it comes to trading, Kraken’s offer is more attractive than that of more popular platforms like Coinbase.

Research

The Kraken APIs and the Dark pool are handy tools for developers and institutional traders.

Kraken is a data provider for Bloomberg. If you too want to display cryptocurrency prices or volumes on your website, the platform provides you with public APIs.

They also offer private APIs to traders who want to automate their cryptocurrency trading. This allows you to develop algorithmic trading based on technical indicators or other market factors that you may have found.

Meanwhile, the Kraken Dark Pool allows you to hide your deferred orders. As you may already know when you place a buy or sell limit order, other traders can see it in the order book.

For an order of substantial size, hiding it helps prevent panic orders or market panic. In fact, other traders can quickly buy or sell under the assumption that large orders can impact their positions.

Customer Support

Satisfactory customer support.

Kraken does its best to accommodate customer requests. However, the level of customer support is just satisfactory compared to its competitors who offer more means of communication for their customers.

You can contact chat support from the Kraken website or from your dashboard. This chat is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the event that your request cannot be handled by a simple chat the platform has also set up a ticket support system from which you can exchange with the assistance from Kraken. 

Kraken is also active on social networks, especially on Twitter. Do not hesitate to ask your questions by tweeting, you are likely to get an answer promptly.

Training

Kraken does not offer training on its website.

We did not find a section dedicated to training on Kraken. It would be preferable for the platform to offer training on cryptocurrencies. Indeed, by offering free educational resources to potential customers or those interested in cryptocurrencies, they would increase their chances of converting them into traders on their own platform.

Coinbase, for example, has figured this out, and they even reward in cryptocurrencies  those that follow their training.

Security of Funds

Kraken has never been hacked, its platform is secure.

Cryptocurrency platforms are targets of malicious hackers who can take over the coins of their users. They are therefore never safe from hacking. Moreover, most of the pioneer platforms have experienced hacking at some point. This was the case with Mt Gox and Bitstamp. Kraken on the other hand has fared well until today by not neglecting any security flaw. 

Platform Security

Your coins purchased or transferred to Kraken are in a safe place. Indeed, Kraken does not keep cryptocurrencies online, but they are stored offline in cold wallets or physical wallets and then kept in a safe place. This means that most of their clients’ funds are not available online, and are therefore safe from hackers. 

The location of their servers is unknown. We contacted support to find out more, but they did not wish to comment on the subject. What is certain is that their servers are in very secure data centers. 

Account Security

Regarding the security of your account, Kraken has implemented a two-factor authentication system for logging in. In this way, someone who has guessed your password will not have access to your account. Two-factor authentication is usually enough to protect your account, but if you want to go further, the platform gives you the opportunity to hide sensitive information on your dashboard. 

Caution

Always make sure to verify that you are connecting to the Kraken site. Homograph attacks are common in the world of cryptocurrencies. It is therefore essential to check that the green padlock next to the Kraken domain name is present.

Conclusion

Kraken has distinguished itself by its minimalist and simple approach while being a professional exchange platform. Its tools are intuitive and allow you to intervene on the market in complete safety.

The other strong point of Kraken is the diversity of the cryptocurrency pairs they offer to traders, with in particular many currency pairs in USD and EUR.

FAQs

What is the minimum deposit at Kraken?

The minimum deposit at Kraken is $ 20, € 1, or 125 CAD.

Can I make a deposit with my credit card?

Kraken does not accept deposits by credit card.

Is Kraken regulated?

Kraken is not officially regulated, but the trading platform is allowed to do business worldwide. In addition, they have formed partnerships with regulated banks and the platform has a good reputation.

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