Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
What is Kraken?
Kraken is a centralized, US-based cryptocurrency exchange. Kraken makes it easy for both new or experienced crypto traders to buy or sell a variety of well-known tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and many others. For experienced traders who are confident in their market predictions, Kraken also allows trading in futures or on margins. The company offers a variety of detailed guides that help traders further understand the intricacies of spot or leveraged trading, and as little as $5 can be enough to get started. Originally launched in 2013 in San Francisco, Kraken was one of the earliest platforms in the industry. It has maintained its legacy status by educating users and constantly improving security, usability, and adding cryptocurrencies.
- If this is your first exchange: Take advantage of the large variety of guides offered by Kraken to become knowledgeable on cryptocurrency, its underlying technology, as well as the different forms of trading, such as spot trading, margin trading or leveraged contracts. Doing so will improve your ability to trade, understand the market, and realize why some coins or tokens may gain or lose value quickly and how you can take advantage of this.
- If you’re switching exchanges: Unlike many other platforms, Kraken has committed the time and energy to creating a high-quality system and easy-to-use UI (user interface) that is pleasant to look at and good for navigating multiple features. An experienced crypto trader will be relieved at how easy it is to trade, move crypto around and manage assets.
Pros and cons of Kraken
- Large selection of cryptocurrencies
- Low fees for active traders
- Pleasant UI for new traders
- High-quality educational guides and tools
- Limited options for funding accounts
- Margin trading only available for Ontario residents who meet certain requirements
- High minimum deposit requirements that may turn off traders new to crypto
Verdict: Is Kraken any good?
Kraken is a solid choice for users who wish to take full advantage of its educational guides, simple UI, and decent range of coins compared to other centralized exchanges. While a decentralized exchange (DEX) may offer more uncommon tokens, Kraken offers a variety of trading options, such as leverage and margin, which are unlikely to be provided by a DEX.
While funding your account is not particularly convenient, crypto can easily be transferred to Kraken to trade if you are coming from a different exchange.
What to know about Kraken
Kraken has a unique and personal customer support system that is helpful to people who trade often or have questions about the platform. Kraken has excellent phone and chat support, and frequent traders are assigned a personal account representative who will receive questions and requests.
Finder ratings for Kraken
|Transferring money or assets|
|Fees and costs|
|Ease of use|
|Staking / earn rating?|
|Trustworthiness / security|
Kraken’s supported cryptocurrencies
Kraken offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies, totalling over 110. All popular cryptocurrencies are listed on Kraken, as well as some lesser-known, niche tokens such as Axie Infinity, Moonbeam and Mango.
While Binance offers over 500 cryptocurrencies and Coinbase only 50, Kraken has a medium offering that allows it to compete with other centralized exchanges to attract users who want a curated, vetted range of cryptocurrencies to purchase and hold.
Transferring fiat and cryptocurrency
Kraken offers a variety of fiat funding methods and supported fiat currencies. There are low minimum deposits (often $1), and the processing times are 0–5 business days depending on the method used. Withdrawals for fiat have the same processing time, though there are fees for every method but ACH.
Crypto deposit and withdrawal times depend on network congestion, but they are processed instantly.
Kraken fees and costs
Many fiat deposit methods are free, though the max fee otherwise is US$10. Fiat withdrawals all incur fees apart from ACH. Crypto deposits are free apart from network fees, while crypto withdrawal fees vary by asset. There are minimum withdrawals for both fiat and crypto.
Kraken charges a 1.5% trading fee for using a stablecoin to buy a cryptocurrency, such as if you use USDT to purchase Bitcoin. It charges 0.9% for using fiat or a stable coin to purchase a different stable coin. Fees are charged on a per-trade basis. This is through the instant buy option.
Kraken Pro offers trading discounts on maker and taker fees that decrease as 30-day trading volume increases, starting at 0.16% for maker fees and 0.26% for taker fees. They can go as low as zero for makers and 0.10% if enough capital is traded during the 30-day period.
Fiat withdraw and deposit fees
|$0–$10 or USD equivalent, depending on method of deposit||$0–$35 or USD equivalent, depending on method of withdrawal|
Crypto withdrawal and deposit fees
|Mostly free but requires a minimum balance to deposit||Minimum withdrawal requirement and flat-rate withdrawal fee that varies for each cryptocurrency|
What is it like to use Kraken?
Kraken has a UI system geared towards more advanced trading, so it may be overwhelming to a new trader who is unfamiliar with charting, terminology or advanced trading techniques.
Thankfully, Kraken has a variety of features and advantages that can help new traders get up to speed. These also allow advanced crypto traders to navigate Kraken quicker.
Kraken’s mobile app is informative and can track daily volume, market cap and 15-minute price changes. The app can be used as a complement to the website, allowing trading on the go, and it can even be a suitable choice for traders who only use a phone or tablet.
The Kraken staking interface is clean and simple. It keeps all of your staked coins in a single place, giving you a total reward value and an averaged APY on your staked assets. It also makes it easy to stake or un-stake your cryptocurrencies if you wish to start or discontinue earning rewards.
While Kraken can seem difficult to new traders, it expects anyone can become an informed user who makes their own charts in no time. The resources on different cryptocurrencies, the use cases, and how coins on the same blockchain function within an ecosystem can quickly train a new user to make informed choices when buying or selling crypto.
While some exchanges require the use of a dedicated trading terminal to spot trade, Kraken makes creating an order painless, with the current spot price, order type and estimated price easy to locate.
Verifying your identity on Kraken is no trouble at all, with your personal data being confirmed in a matter of minutes. This allows you to immediately deposit fiat or cryptocurrency to start trading on the exchange. Each level of verification unlocks new features and increases limits.
Does Kraken have good customer support?
Kraken support is very accessible and can be reached in a variety of mediums depending on the urgency or the difficulty of the issue.
Phone support is available from 6am to 6pm EST, and chat support is available 24/7.
|Contact us form||6+ hours|
|Live chat||2+ minutes|
|Ticket request||15+ minutes|
List of services on Crypto.com
Trading on Kraken
Kraken offers a variety of trading options for its users. This includes instant buy, the spot market, futures and margin trading. The instant buy option is the most convenient, while the spot market offers reduced fees comparatively. Futures and margin trading is only recommended for advanced traders.
Earning on Kraken
Kraken offers the option to stake a large number of cryptocurrencies with competitive rewards, including 2% on USD, 6.5% on Solana, and 12% on Polkadot.
Kraken does not offer lending or yield farming services currently. It is unknown if these services will be provided in the future.
Kraken has an affiliate program. Qualified clients can give out an affiliate link that gives them 20% of the trading fees collected from the referred client’s trades.
Kraken trust rating
In its 10-year history, Kraken has not had any hack take place on its platform. A majority of assets managed by Kraken are kept offline, making it extremely difficult for hackers to locate and steal them.
Security audits on Kraken
Kraken is often audited by independent accounting firms, most recently by Armanino on December 31 ,2021. Kraken accounts come with standard modern security features, such as SMS codes to confirm withdrawals, email confirmation, as well as 2-factor authentication (2FA).
Digital assets stored on Kraken are uninsured, as digital assets are not subject to CDIC insurance. While Kraken has never been hacked, it has prepared a $100 million fund in the event the exchange is breached. If assets are ever stolen, users will be compensated from the fund.
Signing up on Kraken
Step 1. Register email and password
The first step to trade crypto on Kraken is to click on this Green Button:
Then, create an account by registering your email and password.
Step 2. Verify your email
Once your account is created, a security email will be sent to your address to confirm that it belongs to you. Once confirmed, your Kraken account is now at the base level, meaning you can access trading options, but not participate in spot trading until your ID is submitted and verified.
Step 3. Confirm your identity
The next step in KYC (know your customer) is to submit a copy of your government-issued ID. Once accepted, you will be able to begin depositing and trading cryptocurrency.
Step 4. Increase account security
Now that assets are stored on your Kraken account, security should be increased to prevent your crypto from being stolen. Kraken supports 2FA and email confirmations for withdrawals, and these should be utilized.
Frequently asked questions about Kraken
Why does Kraken need my ID?
Cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada are required to gather your personal information to be compliant with KYC/AML (anti-money laundering) laws. Similar to how a bank needs your personal information to manage your assets, exchanges are required to monitor funds for illegal activity.
Is Kraken available in Canada?
Yes, Kraken is available in Canada. You can sign up by clicking the Green button below.
Is Kraken safe?
Kraken has so far been safe from hacks for a decade and is backed by a $100 million fund in case the exchange is compromised.
Is Kraken better than Coinbase?
Kraken has advanced features that are unavailable on Coinbase, such as futures trading, margin trading and staking. That said, Coinbase is much more beginner-friendly, so there are benefits to using either platform depending on a particular customer’s trading experience and desired features.
What countries are supported by Kraken?
Kraken is available globally, minus restricted countries. Restricted countries may include those to which the Canada has embargoed goods and services.
Is there a Kraken app?
Yes. The Kraken app is called Kraken Pro. It’s available for iOS and Android and aims to offer a complete mobile trading experience on both the Kraken spot and futures markets.
What’s the verification process for Kraken?
The verification process varies depending on what verification level you require.
|Starter||Name, phone number, email, physical address, date of birth||Cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, trading|
|Intermediate||As above, plus valid ID and proof of residence||As above, plus fiat currency deposits and withdrawals, higher limits, futures trading|
|Pro||As above, plus completion of a KYC questionnaire||As above, plus dark pool trading, corporate account creation, OTC desk access, highest limits|
What customer support does Kraken offer?
Kraken offers multilingual customer service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and every day of the year, including major holidays.
However, among the positive feedback, there are also many user reviews where people complain of Kraken customer service being readily available but unable to address their issue.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.