Operating since 2011, San Francisco-based Kraken is widely considered to be among the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. As Kraken itself boasts, the exchange is ‘consistently rated the best and most secure Bitcoin exchange by independent news media. While which is ‘the best’ cryptocurrency exchange is, of course, a very subjective label, it is certainly the case that Kraken is among those widely considered as the most sophisticated, reputable, and secure by participants and observers of cryptocurrency markets. In this article, we will do the full Kraken Exchange Review 2022 for you.
- Excellent security that has never been hacked
- A wide range of cryptocurrencies is available
- Margin and futures trading for some investors
- Staking rewards
- High fees for beginners using the Instant Buy platform
- Limited customer support
- No tax support
It’s possible to open a Kraken account on Kraken and trade digital assets without undergoing KYC or AML. However, the withdrawal limits on such accounts are low and it’s not possible to deposit or withdraw Fiat currencies (like Euros) without a KYC verified account. Anyone wishing to trade futures contracts will also need to undergo a KYC verification.
Also read this comparison between Binance and Kraken to know which exchange is best for your investment.
How does the Kraken exchange work?
Kraken is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange (CEX) seeking to provide the security standards of a decentralized exchange (DEX). Since a DEX does not hold user funds, data, or personal information it is less susceptible to hacking. Following the hacking of New Zealand’s Cryptopia, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has advised traders to store their funds offline in hardware and non-custodial wallets and to manage their own private keys.
Only funds needed for trading should be in a Kraken trading account, advises Powell. If you want to trade fiat currency and withdraw more than $5,000k in crypto daily you will need to provide ID for verification on the Kraken exchange. The exchange is open 24/7.
All American residents can use Kraken, save for those in New York and Washington state. In terms of international customers, there are restrictions on all of the typical countries. Citizens of the following countries cannot use Kraken: Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, and Tajikistan.
Kraken does not possess New York’s infamous ‘Bitlicense’ so they cannot serve New York clients
Interestingly, Japanese traders are not allowed to use Kraken as Japan has a thriving digital assets sector and favorable regulations in place to support it. Nonetheless, Kraken is actually very liberal in its policy towards international customers and a majority of the world’s citizens can use Kraken.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||Varies by currency|
|Trading Fees||0.00% to 0.26%|
|Coins Available To Trade||
|Staking Rewards||1.5% to 40%|
|Card Deposit Fee||3.75% + $0.25|
|Minimum Card Transaction||$10|
|Maximum Card Transaction||$4,000 within a time-based 7-day rolling period.|
|Crypto Withdrawal Fees||Varies by currency|
|Fiat Withdrawal Fees||Fedwire of SWIFT: $4 to $40
Business ProSilvergate Exchange
Network (SEN): Free
|Hold On First Deposit||72 hours|
|Security||2FA (Google Authenticator and Yubikey)
95% of all deposits are kept in cold storage
Global Settings Lock (GSL)
|Customer Service Options||Chat or support requests only|
|Mobile App Availability||iOS and Android|
Here’s an overview of the services that the Kraken platform provides.
Basic trading services built into the Kraken platform allow for buying, selling, and converting cryptocurrencies via the app. Deposits and withdrawals are simple to make in the same dashboard.
Trading digital assets is a streamlined process, taking just a few taps or clicks to finalize a sale.
For those looking for larger trades, the OTC Desk makes it possible. Kraken’s over-the-counter portal facilitates block trading. Get one-on-one service and insights from the pros for completing trades.
Personalized Account Management
Kraken offers the traditional suite of services for buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency. But it elevates the entire process through personalized attention.
Users looking for a little something extra can take advantage of Kraken’s Account Management Service. Similar to working with an investment advisor, users can harness this personalized support to level up in the crypto trading world.
Users in the account management service program have a personal rep assigned to their account. When they need answers to trading and platform questions, users can reach their reps by email, phone, prioritized help desk tickets, or even by simply texting.
Fees and Charges
Fees and charges can be broken down into those in relation to making deposits and withdrawals and those incurred in the trading process. Deposit and withdrawals fees are as follows:
Deposit options and fees
- EUR SEPA Deposit (Free) – EEA countries only
- USD Bank Wire Deposit ($5 USD) – US only
- EUR Bank Wire Deposit (€10) – outside US only
- USD Bank Wire Deposit ($10 USD) – outside US only
- JPY Bank deposit (Free, ¥5,000 deposit minimum) – Japan only
- CAD Wire Deposit (Free)
Withdrawal options and fees
- EUR SEPA Withdrawal (€0.09) – EEA countries only
- USD Bank Wire Withdrawal ($5 USD) – US only
- USD Bank Wire Withdrawal ($60 USD) – outside US only
- EUR Bank Wire Withdrawal (€60) – outside US only
- JPY Bank withdrawal (¥20) – Japan only
- CAD EFT Withdrawal ($10 CAD fee, $25K CAD daily max) – Canada only
Trading fees are tiered so drop as trading volumes increase and also vary between what currency pair is being traded and the kind of trading ie. Standard, margin-based, etc.
Kraken’s trading fees, as well as those for making deposits and withdrawals, are generally considered to be towards the lower end of the scale when it comes to exchanging averages.
Kraken offers three proprietary mobile apps, which all serve different purposes.
The beginner-friendly app allows users to buy, sell and convert crypto. You can set up and log in with two-factor authentication (2FA) to monitor prices, track portfolios, save favorite cryptos, make credit and debit card purchases, plus initiate fiat withdrawals.
The app is available on Android 8.0 and up and iOS 13 and up.
Kraken Pro provides a professional trading experience, which enables clients to place advanced orders on the go. The app offers margin trading with up to 5x leverage, candlestick price charts, plus order book display options. On the downside, funding is not available on the app, and can only be done through the website. 2FA does not work on the app and instead connects to your trading account using an API key.
Kraken Pro is available on Android 7.0 and up and iOS 11 and up.
The bespoke app provides full access to the Kraken futures system with up to 50x leverage on top cryptos. In addition to the advanced order types available on Kraken Pro, Kraken Futures allow you to trigger entry limits. Added features include personal support and educational content.
This app is compatible with Android 4.4 and up and iOS 10 and up.
Kraken hasn’t been hacked and follows industry-leading safety measures. 95% of all deposits are kept in cold storage, which ensures full reserves so that users can deposit and withdraw on demand. User information is encrypted at the system and data level and servers are under 24/7 surveillance. Kraken also enables 2FA, SSL encryption, email confirmation for withdrawals, and API keys.
Is your cryptocurrency safe with Kraken?
Security is one of Kraken’s founding principles. It hasn’t been hacked since it launched in 2013 and is widely recognized as one of the best and secure cryptocurrency exchanges uk. That said, cryptocurrency security is a hotly debated topic and any exchange can be susceptible to hacks. Here’s more on Kraken’s approach to security.
Coin storage: Kraken says 95% of its crypto assets are kept in cold storage (essentially offline and protected against hacks). It also boasts full reserves and has undertaken an external proof of reserves audit.
Platform and information security: Its physical servers are kept under 24/7 surveillance. Sensitive information is encrypted at both a system and data level.
Security testing: Ongoing penetration tests protect Kraken’s systems, both via its internal team and bug bounty program. The bug bounty programs incentivize ethical hackers to find and report bugs.
User security features and education: Kraken’s website points out that, “No amount of security on our end can make up for inadequate personal security.” It has two-factor authentication, secure emails, and security locks. More than that, it supplements its security by teaching users how to protect their accounts.
Should you require help, you can notify Kraken’s support team via:
- Live chat – 24/7 chatbot on the website
- Email – Submit a request form via the support centre
Kraken mainly advises users to search for an article related to the query on the support centre.
The broker’s US headquarters are registered at:
- Payward Ventures, Inc., 237 Kearny Street #102, San Francisco, CA 94108
Kraken vs Coinbase
The main difference between Kraken and Coinbase is that the former is a global altcoin exchange, while the latter is more of a brokerage where you can get the best deal on your buying or selling order. The two exchanges have an untarnished reputation, offer competitive fees, and excel at security and customer support.
Therefore, choose Kraken if you’re interested in altcoins and have some experience in crypto trading. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, choose Coinbase instead because it has a very user-friendly interface.
Kraken vs Binance
When you ask an experienced trader about an exchange that’s both international and offers a great choice of altcoins and trading pairs, the first platform that comes to their mind is either Kraken or Binance. Both platforms offer margin trading, fiat gateways, and excellent security features to protect your account and money.
However, Kraken has a better-devised security system. It’s licensed in many countries around the world, while Binance remains unregistered. On the other hand, Binance offers some of the lowest trading and deposit fees in the industry.
Kraken is right for you if:
- You’re an experienced trader who wants to use advanced features such as margin.
- You’re a crypto investor who’s ready to level up with more coins and more features.
- You prioritize security above usability and want to put your cash in the safest possible hands.
Kraken is almost universally accepted as one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges internationally. That reputation is based on its professional approach and security levels as well as a range of cryptocurrencies and fiat available to trade. The recent full update of the trading platform should further improve general satisfaction.
The only real downsides to Kraken are some negative feedback on levels of customer support and that deposits and withdrawals must be made via bank and wire transfer. It’s also not the exchange that will appeal to those who wish to maintain anonymity.