Review of Kraken

Kraken is an American cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011. It is available worldwide and counts over 4 million clients in almost 200 countries. For experienced investors and traders, it is a strong option.
4/5 Star rating
18 min read
Written by: Charlie Hancox
Cheap/ free deposits in EUR and cheap deposits for the USA
Margin trading and Futures supported
Visit site & Sign up

Kraken is targeted towards professional traders, offering 46 altcoins and six futures, as well as three different types of accounts. The fees are significantly lower than other exchanges. Find out everything you need to know about Kraken in this review, from the history of the platform, to its security features, to the services it offers. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

Cheap/ free deposits in EUR and cheap deposits for the USA
Margin trading and Futures supported
Transparency - it was the first exchange to carry out proof of reserves
Low fees in comparison to other exchanges

Cons:

Catered towards professional traders with large trading volumes
Slow account verification in comparison to other brokers

What can I do with Kraken? 

Kraken takes pride in being one of the most secure and reliable exchanges on the market today. 

It offers over 46 different cryptocurrencies/tokens and 17 futures, which is slightly less than other similar exchanges. You can trade with up to 5X leverage and, even though it is mainly geared towards those with large trading volumes, it does also provide plenty of educational resources to help beginners who are just starting out.

Kraken cryptocurrencies and trading options 

What cryptocurrencies can you trade on Kraken? 

Currently, there are over 46 cryptocurrencies you can trade on Kraken, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Chainlink.

ProductOffering
Cryptocurrencies46
Crypto pairs77
Bitcoin futures4
Ethereum futures4
Other futures9
See all products >

Can I trade with leverage on Kraken? 

Margin allowance limits on Kraken depend on your verification level and the type of account you have. The maximum leverage available for individual cryptocurrencies is 5X, while the one for futures is up to 50X 

Trading with leverage implies a deep knowledge of the cryptocurrency market and carries high risks for the trader. We suggest you choose to trade with leverage only if you are an experienced trader.

ProductMaximum leverageMargin
Individual cryptocurrencies1:520%
Bitcoin futures1:502%
See full list of leverage options >

What are the spreads? 

Kraken charges fixed maker/taker fees starting from 0.16% on the maker side and 0.26% on the taker side. In some cases, you can see fees as low as 0.02-0.12% on Kraken depending on the volumes traded.

Fees, limits, and payment options on Kraken

Depending on the type of account you opt for and the fiat currency you want to deposit, there are several limitations and fees you have to pay for both deposits and withdrawals. 

For example, deposit fees depend on the currency and the transfer method and range from €0 to €35 +0.125% to 35 GBP + 0.125%. Withdrawal fees also depend on the type of account you choose and the currency of your account but are similar to the deposit ones. Therefore, for EUR SEPA Withdrawal you will be charged €0.09 to €35 + 0.125%, while for USD you will be charged between $5-$35 + 0.125%. 

For the beginner account or Tier 1, you can only withdraw in digital currency, limited to $20,000 per month. 

Payment methodDepositWithdraw
Debit/Credit Card
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
$1/$100,000
Free
1 business day
Yes
$20/$10,000,000
$5
2-3 business days
Bank Transfer
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
$20/$100,000
1.49% + $10
1-5 business days
Yes
$20/$10,000,000
$5
1-5 business days
Bitcoin
– min/max
– fees
– speed
Yes
No limit
Free
Instant
Yes
0.005 BTC /$5,000 per day
0.005 BTC
Instant
View full list of payment methods >

How much are Kraken’s fees and commissions? 

Kraken remains an accessible platform in terms of fees and commissions. It charges maker/taker fees every time an order is executed. The fees range from between 0.16% to 0.26% of the total cost of your order and depends on various factors. 

If you trade using leverage you will be charged a margin opening fee and a margin rollover fee on top of the order fee.

Fee typeFee amountCommission
Crypto trading0.16%-0.26%
Crypto futures0.20%
Margin fees0.01% opening fee + 0.01% rollover fee (for positions held longer than 4 hours)
See all fees and commissions >

Kraken trade sizes and limits 

The minimum order size on Kraken goes by base currency. The base currency is the left currency in each pair so, for instance, BTC (BTC) is the base currency on the BTC/USD pair. 

The minimum trade size for Bitcoin (BTC) is 0.001 BTC. For Bitcoin Cash, the limit is 0.025 BCH and for Ethereum is 0.02 ETH. 

ProductMinimum tradeMaximum trade
Cryptocurrencies0.001 BTCNone
Crypto futures0.001 BTCNone
See full range of trade sizes/limits >

Kraken trading platform 

What devices can I use Kraken on? 

Kraken offers its trading platform on both the web, desktop, and for those on the go, there is also a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. 

  • PC
  • Tablet
  • iOS Mobile Devices
  • Android Mobile Devices

Can I use Kraken in my country? 

Kraken is available worldwide, except in the following countries: 

  • Afghanistan 
  • Congo 
  • Cuba 
  • Iran 
  • Iraq 
  • Libya 
  • North Korea 
  • Syria 
  • Tajikistan 

Due to state regulations, Kraken accepts US traders on its platform, except for residents of Washington (WA), and New York (NY). Select your country from the list below to see if it is available where you reside.

Is Kraken available in my language? 

Kraken welcomes clients from across the world and it supports English, Portuguese, Spanish, French among other languages. See the list below to see if your language is supported.

How easy is it to use Kraken? 

Despite its generally user-friendly interface which enables buy and sell orders in just a few clicks, Kraken was not designed with beginners in mind.

The dozens of features Kraken offers such as personalized over-the-counter trades, futures, and margin trading transition seamlessly from the desktop to the mobile app version and just in case doesn’t Kraken’s white glove account management service which provides one-on-one support is there to assist.

Key features 

Kraken provides traders with many different options and features they have come to expect from modern exchanges.

24/7 support 

24/7/365 live chat with an extensive Support Center that offers different levels of support depending on your account type, from a basic FAQ section/chat support for starter accounts to dedicated one-on-one support for pro account holders to ensure all needs are met.

Industry-leading security 

More than 95% of all deposits made with Kraken are kept offline, in cold storage wallets, far away from hackers or malware software. In addition to popular security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and PGP signed and encrypted email communication, Kraken also regularly performs platform penetration testing which is carried out by their dedicated, expert security team

OTC Exchange

A dedicated Kraken exchange for deeper liquidity and a private, more personalized service to institutions and high net-worth individuals needing to fill large orders (trading blocks starting at $100,000) that might be too disruptive if placed on open markets at the exchanges. 

Security and regulation 

Is Kraken safe? 

Yes, Kraken takes a comprehensive approach to protect your investments and counts on a team of dedicated security professionals to provide 24/7 monitoring and surveillance of its caged servers, platform penetration testing, and encryption at both the system and data level.

Am I and my cryptocurrency protected? 

Kraken keeps 95% of all deposits in offline, air-gapped, geographically distributed cold storage wallets. It keeps full reserves so that you can always withdraw your funds immediately on demand. 

The broker’s servers are also located in secure cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and video monitors. Physical access and code deployment are also strictly controlled, and nothing ships without an intensive review.

Is Kraken regulated? 

Yes, Kraken complies with all legal and regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions it operates. It is registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with FinCEN in the United States and FinTRAC in Canada. 

In the UK, it operates under the name CryptoFacilities Ltd. and it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In Australia, Kraken is regulated as a Digital Currency Exchange that is overseen by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). 

Do I have to verify my account with Kraken? 

Yes, Kraken offers three different account types, each with its own level of verification. 

For the Starter account, you only have to provide your full name, date of birth, phone number, physical address, and email, while the Intermediate and Pro accounts will require a valid photo ID, proof of residence via a utility or other bill, occupation information, Social Security Number (SSN) for US clients, and a selfie photo for clients from the USA and South Africa. On top of these, you’ll also have to fill in a questionnaire if you wish to set up a Pro account. 

Extra information 

Educational resources 

Although targeted towards more professional traders, Kraken offers a wide array of online learning resources to get acquainted with its platform and features. On the main page of the website, in the footer, under the category “Learn” you can access various learning materials, including crypto guides, educational podcasts, and video tutorials. 

Tools and charting 

Kraken offers a wide array of features and trading tools, including deep liquidity with spreads as tight as 1 pip, futures trading, leverage, and API’s for advanced interface customisation. 

In addition to its exceptional liquidity and competitive fees, Kraken also offers an ever-growing number of cryptocurrency pairs for you to invest in and leverage.

Customer support

As opposed to many other similar exchanges that only offer limited live chat support, Kraken provides full live assistance 24/7/365 via its website. You can also contact customer support by submitting a request (click on the Support button on the main page and, once redirected, you can see the button “Submit A Request” on the top right). 

Kraken also provides an FAQ section that is extremely detailed and solves about 80-90% of customers’ requests. 

Our verdict 

Kraken’s popularity and trading volume have skyrocketed in the last couple of years because it offers traders a slew of features, best-in-class security, and an integrated cold storage wallet for an ever growing number of digital currencies. 

Its proprietary GDAX trading platform is intelligent and suitable for all traders, especially professionals and institutions trading larger volumes. Although it currently lacks the generous cryptocurrency and futures roster of other brokers, Kraken makes up for this with its high liquidity and trading options – including over the counter block trades.

Kraken does try to innovate in some areas, such as by providing up-to-the-second pricing data with cryptocurrency indices powered by CF Benchmarks. But its real strength lies in its professional and institutional account offering with its low fees and no-limit trading.

How to buy and sell cryptocurrency on Kraken

How to buy crypto on Kraken

  1. Sign up for a Kraken account 
  2. Verify your account. With “Starter” verification 
  3. Deposit fiat or cryptocurrency into your account 
  4. Buy the preferred cryptocurrency or future crypto. 

How to sell crypto on Kraken

  1. Sign up for a Kraken account
  2. Verify your account
  3. Send crypto to your Kraken address
  4. Once your account is funded, open the New Order page
  5. Fill out the order form and click “Sell”
Who owns Kraken?
How does Kraken make money?
Do I have to pay tax on Kraken profits?
How do I delete my Kraken account?
How can I short on Kraken?
What if I forget my account password?
Can I transfer from my Kraken account into my PayPal account?
What if Kraken closes down while I have open trades?
Can I access my full trading history on Kraken?
Can I pay in cryptocurrency with Kraken?
Does Kraken offer bonuses?
How do I transfer from Coinbase to Kraken?
Is Kraken anonymous?
Does Kraken have an integrated wallet?
How do I withdraw from Kraken?
Has Kraken ever been hacked?

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