Sam Bourgi is a contributing writer to Finder.com, where he specializes in financial markets. He has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, Yahoo, CBOE and Forbes.
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 leading digital currency exchange for “serious and professional traders”. The platform is designed with the sophisticated trader in mind and provides access to many sought-after features such as fast execution speed, margin trading and deep liquidity.
Kraken offers comprehensive services for the crypto investor, such as the ability to buy and sell bitcoin and trade digital tokens against fiat currency.
The exchange is also transparent, offering proof of reserve audits and a high level of security.
What currencies can I buy, sell and margin trade?
Supported fiat currencies:
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD
Approximately 81 cryptocurrencies
Supported cryptocurrencies include:
Is Kraken available in Ireland?
Kraken is available globally, with some exceptions. Irish citizens are able to sign up for and use Kraken.
Which payment methods are accepted?
Kraken accepts payments through fiat currency and cryptocurrency. To make a deposit, log in and go to Account > Funding > Deposit. Here, you’ll be prompted to choose your deposit method.
It’s also important to note that USD deposits via wire transfer are only available for Tier 3 or Tier 4 account holders. These tiers refer to your level of account verification. A full breakdown of the tier structure is available on the Kraken site.
Credit cards, debit cards and PayPal are not currently supported.
How much does Kraken cost?
Fees start as low as 0% and depend largely on how much you trade. Fees are charged on a per-trade basis and calculated as a percentage of the trade’s quoted currency volume.
Kraken offers one of the most comprehensive fee schedules on the market. For full disclosure on how much trading will cost you, visit Kraken’s website.
How quickly will my funds be available?
International wire transfers are processed in approximately 1-5 business days.
Are there any transfer limits?
You won’t be able to withdraw funds if it puts you over your current daily or monthly limit. The same rule applies for deposits, except that the window is set daily. Below are the maximum withdrawal limits by tier.
Tier 1 (digital currency only)
Tier 2 – Fiat currency
Tier 2 – Cryptocurrency
Is Kraken secure?
This is an important consideration, and one you should investigate for yourself. However, Kraken is considered one of the safest bitcoin exchanges around. The platform provides cryptography-verified proof of reserve audits. These audits verify the total amount of cryptocurrency held by Kraken. The company appears to be well capitalised and very safe to use.
In fact, Kraken’s security features are made public on its website. All new deposits go directly to cold wallets, where the vast majority of coins are stored. All wallets are encrypted.
Users also enjoy 2-factor authentication and vast protection against malicious attempts to retrieve personal login information.
Although there has been some concern over privacy when uploading documents, Kraken maintains an isolated system for sending documents. Your account information and verification documents are also encrypted.
Kraken is one of the world’s most popular bitcoin exchanges, which means its customer support may sometimes be overwhelmed. That’s why the platform offers a Support Centre, Help Centre and detailed FAQ section, which can help you troubleshoot any problems.
Professional trading platform with all the bells and whistles
Margin trading and short selling
Limited payment methods
Not suitable for beginners
Customer support can be overwhelmed at times, leading to slower service
Compare Kraken against other exchanges
First, you need to study the features and decide whether Kraken suits your needs. If you’re keen on giving Kraken a shot, simply visit the website and click “Open an account” to get started. Here, you’ll be prompted to complete a form and activate your account. Once verified, you can fund your account with cryptocurrency or cash.
Frequently asked questions
Tier 1 account holders can trade digital currency and fiat currency on their accounts. However, deposits and withdrawals are only available via digital currency.
Kraken does offer special accounts for high volume traders and even businesses. To access those features, fill out the “General Form” category and write “Verification (Tier 4).”
To withdraw USD/EUR using SWIFT, the following fees apply:
USD SWIFT (SMBC): US$5
EUR SWIFT (SMBC): €60
Additional fees may also be charged by your bank.
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.
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