- Fiat currencies
- Supported assets
Kraken is a secure, user-friendly platform with some of the industry’s best customer support. Having launched in 2011, it’s one of the oldest crypto exchanges and has built a strong reputation ever since.
Kraken prides itself on offering low spreads and providing deep liquidity across markets. Just watch out for its high fees for credit and debit card purchases. Besides this, it’s a solid choice for anyone looking to buy crypto, whether you’re a beginner or advanced. Still, if you’re not set on Kraken, check out our comparison of the best crypto exchanges.
Large selection of cryptocurrencies
Low fees for active traders
Pleasant UI for new traders
High-quality educational guides and tools
Lots of trading features unavailable to UK users
High fees for newcomers or infrequent traders
No crypto debit card available
|Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
|USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD
|BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, USDT & 219 more
|1.5% plus spread
Cash: £0–£21 depending on method of deposit
Cryptocurrency: Mostly free but requires a minimum balance to deposit
Cash: £1.95 - £35 depending on method of withdrawal (min. withdrawal £5)
Cryptocurrency: Minimum withdrawal requirement and flat-rate withdrawal fee that varies for each cryptocurrency
Estimated reading time: 2 min
Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.
What are the key risks?
1. You could lose all the money you invest
- The performance of most cryptoassets can be highly volatile, with their value dropping as quickly as it can rise. You should be prepared to lose all the money you invest in cryptoassets.
- The cryptoasset market is largely unregulated. There is a risk of losing money or any cryptoassets you purchase due to risks such as cyber-attacks, financial crime and firm failure.
2. You should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong
- The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) doesn't protect this type of investment because it's not a 'specified investment' under the UK regulatory regime – in other words, this type of investment isn't recognised as the sort of investment that the FSCS can protect. Learn more by using the FSCS investment protection checker.
- The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) will not be able to consider complaints related to this firm or Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA regulated firm, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection here.
3. You may not be able to sell your investment when you want to
- There is no guarantee that investments in cryptoassets can be easily sold at any given time. The ability to sell a cryptoasset depends on various factors, including the supply and demand in the market at that time.
- Operational failings such as technology outages, cyber-attacks and comingling of funds could cause unwanted delay and you may be unable to sell your cryptoassets at the time you want.
4. Cryptoasset investments can be complex
- Investments in cryptoassets can be complex, making it difficult to understand the risks associated with the investment.
- You should do your own research before investing. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
5. Don't put all your eggs in one basket
- Putting all your money into a single type of investment is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well.
- A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments.
If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA's website here.
For further information about cryptoassets, visit the FCA's website here.
Finder ratings for Kraken
|Transferring money or assets
|Fees and costs
|Ease of use
What is Kraken?
Kraken is a centralised, US-based cryptocurrency exchange that is easy for both new and experienced crypto traders to buy or sell a variety of well-known tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and many others. It is also known for its trading in futures or on margins. But due to FCA regulations, UK customers are not eligible to use these services.
It prides itself on its high liquidity levels and low processing times, making buying and selling crypto that much quicker. The user experience may be overwhelming for beginners, but Kraken expects everyone to become an informed trader in no time. Originally launched in 2013 in San Francisco, it 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.
- 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.
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.
Kraken’s supported cryptocurrencies
Kraken offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies. All popular cryptocurrencies are listed on Kraken, as well as some lesser-known, niche tokens such as Axie Infinity, Moonbeam and Mango.
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..
Crypto deposit and withdrawal times depend on network congestion, but they are processed instantly.
|FPS/BACS (Clear Junction)*
|CHAPS (Clear Junction)*
|SWIFT – Bank Frick**
|SWIFT – Etana Custody**
*Available in UK only
**Available worldwide (minus restricted countries)
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–£21 depending on method of deposit
|£1.95–£35 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.
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
List of services on Crypto.com
Trading on Kraken
Kraken offers a variety of trading options for its users. However, UK users will only really be able to take advantage of Kraken’s instant buy and spot market as futures and margin trading is not allowed in the UK. The instant buy option is the most convenient, while the spot market offers reduced fees comparatively.
Kraken trust rating
In its more than 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.
Whilst crypto trading isn’t regulated in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) maintains a register of crypto firms that have passed its AML and counter-terrorism checks. Kraken (owned by Payward Ltd) can be found on the FCA’s register.
Signing up on Kraken
Step 1. Register email and password
The first step to trade crypto on Kraken is to head over to Kraken’s site.
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.