Kraken Exchange Review: Facts to Know Before Buying Any Cryptocurrency

krakenKraken Exchange Review

Kraken is one of the most popular exchanges where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is arguably the largest Bitcoin exchange, based on liquidity. Kraken was also the first Bitcoin exchange to have its trading price and volume displayed in the “Bloomberg Terminal”.

Having established its reputation in the cryptocurrency world, Kraken is the first choice of many international cryptocurrency traders.

The following table is a Kraken exchange review with all the basic info you need.

Kraken Features

Site Type Cryptocurrency Exchange
User-Friendly? Yes
Beginner-Friendly? Not Really
Mobile Application? Does Not Support
Margin Trading? Yes
Company Location 548 Market St., San Francisco, CA, U.S.
Company Launch 2011
Deposit  Methods Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrencies
Withdrawal Methods Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrencies
Available Cryptocurrencies Augur, Bitcoin,  Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, EOS, Ether, Ether Classic, Gnosis, Iconomi, Litecoin, Lumen, Melon,  Monero, Ripple, ZCash.
Community Trust Very Active and Committed
Security High (good)
Fees Very Low
Customer Support Middle-of-the-Road
Web Site Address www.kraken.com

Kraken Pros and Cons

As far as public opinion goes, like all exchanges, Kraken has mixed reviews. However, keep in mind that many of the negative reviews are the result of customers who had an unpleasant experience and took to the Internet to vent. As the online reviews could be skewed, the Kraken pros and cons listed below will give you a more objective view.

Pros

  • High liquidity (especially in euros and yen)
  • Cheap/free deposits in euros
  • Accountable for MtGox liquidation
  • Margin trading and short selling are supported
  • Potentially low fees

Cons

  • Cannot trade with credit or debit cards
  • Not user-friendly for beginners

How to Buy Cryptos on Kraken Exchange: Step-by-Step Guide   

To start trading on Kraken, one needs the following:

  • e-mail address
  • personal computer (PC) with up-to-date browser like “Chrome,” “Edge,” or “Firefox”
  • Internet connection
  • Personal information for identification and verification purposes.

To set up your Kraken account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.kraken.com
  2. Insert your e-mail address, user ID, and password in the boxes and click on “Sign Up.”
  3. You will be directed to an account activation page. You’ll have to fill in the activation code (when you agreed to sign up, this code was e-mailed to you). Check your e-mail for the activation code and copy/paste it into the space provided.
  4. Click on “Activate Account.” You are now registered.

After registration, it’s time to start trading on Kraken. Below is a Kraken trading guide that will show you how to buy on Kraken.

To trade, send, or withdraw funds, you need to go through two of the four levels of verification.

  1. Enter your full name, date of birth, country, and phone number in the boxes provided and click on “Get Verified.”
  2. Enter your full address (including zip code) in the other boxes provided and click on “Get Verified.”
  3. The screen will ask whether you want to go to level 3. Click on “No Thanks.”

Congratulations! You can now link your bank account to your new Kraken account so you can deposit or withdraw money.

  1. Log into your Kraken account and click on “Funding.”
  2. Click on “Withdraw” and select your bank account currency (e.g. USD).
  3. Click on “Add Account” and enter your bank account details as requested. It’s important to ensure that the name on your bank account and the name on your Kraken account are the same.
  4. Click on “Save Bank Account.”

Now you should be ready to make your first deposit.

  1. Under “Funding,” select “Deposit”
  2. Select the correct currency and deposit method, e.g. bank transfer or Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). You are now all set to trade.
  3. Enter the amount that you want to spend and click on “Buy.”

Cryptocurrency Support: List of Currencies That Trade on Kraken Exchange

The great thing about Kraken is that it supports trading in many currencies—like the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, British pound sterling, Japanese yen, and euro. People who do not have access to the above fiat currencies can use digital currencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoin for trading on Kraken.

List of Countries Kraken Supports

Kraken is very popular in Europe, and is supported by all the European Economic Area (EEA) countries.

The Kraken-supported countries in Europe include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,  Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The Kraken-supported countries outside of Europe are the United States. Canada, and Japan.

Types of Payments for Buying Cryptocurrencies at Kraken

A person interested in buying cryptocurrencies on Kraken can use certain fiat currencies (U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, British pound sterling, Japanese yen, or euro) or trade with cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin).

Wire transfer, Interac Online and, SEPA transfer (in Europe), are other payment methods accepted at Kraken exchange.

Kraken Transaction Fees/Exchange Rate

With a few exceptions, the Kraken fee structure is favorable for deposits (free).

However, for withdrawals, Kraken charges fees based on the currency and  method of withdrawal. The withdrawal fees range from about €0.09 to $60.00 for fiat currencies.

For cryptocurrencies, the Kraken fees are as follows:

Cryptocurrency Kraken Transaction Fees
Augur (REP) Ɍ0.01
Bitcoin (BTC) ฿0.001
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ฿0.001
Dash (DASH) Đ0.005
Dash Instant Đ0.01
Dogecoin (XDG) Ð2.00
EOS (EOS) Ȅ0.50000
Ether (ETH) Ξ0.005
Ether Classic (ETC) ξ0.005
Gnosis (GNO) Ğ0.01
Iconomi (ICN) ICN 0.2
Litecoin (LTC) Ł0.02
Melonport (MLN) M0.003
Monero (XMR) ɱ0.05
Ripple (XRP) Ʀ0.02
Stellar (XLM) *0.00002
Tether (USDT) USD₮ 5
Zcash (ZEC) ⓩ0.00010

The trading fees are based on volume. If you trade a lot, the fees are reduced; if you don’t trade much, the fees are increased. The highest fee is set at 0.26% and, as the volume increases, that fee could go down.

Kraken-vs-CoinbaseKraken vs. Coinbase: The Better Exchange?

As cryptocurrencies get more popular by the day, the “Kraken vs. Coinbase: the better exchange” debate rages on. The chart below lists the key differences between these two players, which can help you choose one based on your individual needs.

Coinbase Kraken
Site Type Easy Buy/Sell Platform Cryptocurrency Exchange
Beginner-Friendly? Yes.

It aims to simplify buying cryptocurrencies by removing many of the negative aspects found at exchanges.

Not as beginner-friendly.

Users are able to trade currency pairs with each other, similar to a stock exchange. This leaves more room for human error, especially for users with no previous trading experience.

Mobile Application? Yes No
Buy/Deposit Methods Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Sell/Withdrawal Methods PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Available Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin Augur, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, EOS, Ether, Ether Classic, Gnosis, Iconomi, Litecoin, Lumen, Melon, Monero, Ripple, ZCash
Company Launch 2012 2011
Location San Francisco, CA, U.S. San Francisco, CA, U.S.
Community Trust Great Great
Security Great ***** Good ****
Customer Support Good Could Be Better
Verification Required Yes Yes
Fee Levels Medium Low

Is Trading on Kraken Safe and Secure?

In spite of Kraken being in the business longer than any other exchange, and in spite of it having a very high liquidity, people still ask questions like “Is Kraken secure?” and “Is Kraken safe to use?”

The short answer is YES! But to give you a better picture, let’s take a look at Kraken’s comprehensive approach to security.

  • Coin Storage: All new deposits go directly to encrypted cold wallets, with complete “air-gap” isolation from any online system. In fact, a majority of coins are stored this way.
  • User Account Security: Two-factor authentication is available for account login, funding, and trading. All account information, including verification documents, is encrypted and needs multiple highly secure systems (HSS) to crack the code.
  • System Security: Kraken’s servers are kept in locked racks, in a locked private cage, in a professional data center with armed guards, video surveillance, retina scans, the works.
  • Financial Security: Customer funds are kept separate from the operations account. Customer funds cannot be borrowed to fund operations.
  • Legal Compliance: Kraken constantly monitors regulatory developments and, in many cases, anticipates changes even before they occur.

While the above features show how committed Kraken is to security, you can be assured that their security measures go well beyond what they’re willing to make public. How’s that for security?

When all is said and done, I give Kraken a big thumbs up as an exchange. But, if you’re into credit or debit card trading, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Kraken Exchange Review: Kraken Exchange Review