Kraken is a high-profile and trusted cryptocurrency exchange in the UK. In this review, we’ll detail its key features, including which tokens are available, its tools and services, as well as the pros and cons of trading with Kraken. Find out today whether trading cryptocurrency with Kraken is right for you.
Kraken was founded in 2011 and was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California and it is owned by Payward Inc. It is currently headed by CEO and co-founder, Jesse Powell.
Over six million traders from 176 countries use Kraken to trade cryptocurrency. It offers 60 different tokens, including Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH) and Monero (XMR). All of which have gained traction in recent times.
Kraken has experienced rapid growth since it launched in 2011 and there are rumours it is planning an IPO in 2022, with some media outlets reporting a valuation of $20 billion.
Through its easy-to-use, intuitive trading web platform or app, traders can make straightforward deposits and withdrawals, measure a portfolio’s performance status and keep track of all digital assets in one convenient place.
Its advanced order system includes a variety of stop-loss and profit-taking order types. Plus, it offers leverage and margin-based trading, staking, automated trading, and a large pool of cryptocurrencies to trade. Its extensive set of tools show why Kraken ranks high among the top cryptocurrency exchanges.
Kraken provides world-class financial stability by maintaining full reserves, healthy banking relationships and the highest standards of legal compliance. Kraken’s maximum trading amount is $100,000, offering great flexibility for professional traders. In contrast, the limit at Coinbase is $2,500.
Kraken offers trading in 60 different cryptocurrencies. It provides real-time pricing indices for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC). The robust methodology for pricing is publicly available, meaning traders can trust the offer price is in line with the market.
The exchange also offers futures trading through the sister site, Kraken Futures. It allows clients to trade top cryptocurrencies with up to 50x leverage. Currently, five cryptos are available on Kraken Futures: Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash. This service is recommended for more experienced traders due to the complexity of the asset.
Fees & Commission
Kraken offers flat trading fees on purchases, making it an excellent choice for lower-volume traders. Its fees are charged on a per-trade basis, as per the commission structure below:
0% to 0.26% per trade
3.75% + €0.25 for credit card purchases
1.7% + $0.10 for online banking processing
Kraken’s fees are low versus others in the market, such as Binance or Coinbase. By comparison, Coinbase charges 0.50% per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases, and 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases.
Even when comparing Pro accounts, Kraken still comes in cheaper. While Coinbase Pro clients save on trading costs, Kraken’s overall fees are much lower. For example, a $1,000 trade will cost $5 (0.50%) with Coinbase Pro, $40 (4%) with Coinbase, vs just $1.60 (0.16%) with Kraken.
As cryptocurrency prices can change rapidly, traders need to move in and out of the market quickly to maximise profits. Kraken offers deep liquidity, ensuring every trade is executed at the price offered. Spreads can be as tight as 1 pip.
Kraken also charges a flat withdrawal fee, regardless of value. This is variable by token.
Kraken offers up to five times leverage (variable depending on the asset), which is average in the industry. This means you’ll have five times the earning potential compared to a regular spot trade, allowing you to magnify your trades. By comparison, Kraken’s main competitor, Coinbase, offers a maximum of three-times leverage.
Kraken has a highly-rated mobile app, named Kraken Pro, which offers all the features available on the web browser. The mobile application offers the full list of crypto tokens, instant and pending order types, plus fast deposits and withdrawals. In-app support is also available. It’s an excellent alternative to desktop trading and free to download from the respective app store.
Note, for futures trading, there’s a separate app called Kraken Futures.
Kraken allows three base currencies: US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), and Canadian Dollars (CAD). UK traders will be disappointed to see that GBP is not on this list. Traders can deposit using a linked bank account or credit/debit card. Plus, there’s the option to transfer coins to your Kraken account from a separate digital e-wallet.
If you have never made a fiat deposit via credit or debit card, first time purchases on new coins will result in a temporary 72-hour hold. Your debit or credit card also needs to support 3D Secure version 1 (3DSv1). There is a 7-day card limit, with a maximum spending amount of €7,500 within a seven day rolling period.
Deposits are quick, usually less than 24 hours. Transferring crypto into your Kraken digital wallet is instant. Kraken’s withdrawal process is slightly more complex. Funds withdrawn are usually received within five business days. There are no maximum withdrawal limits but minimum thresholds apply.
UK traders should check whether they need to report any gains, losses, and income generated from crypto investments to HMRC, as earnings may be subject to income or capital gains tax.
Unfortunately, Kraken does not offer a practice account on their spot exchange. However, users can sign up for a demo account for Kraken Futures, allowing traders to test leveraged trading strategies.
The practice account takes a few minutes to register for and can be upgraded to a live account with a few clicks.
Deals & Promotions
Kraken offers Fee Credits (aka KFEE) which are occasionally deposited to user’s accounts. These are similar to vouchers and can be used to pay trading, opening or rollover fees. There is also a rewards program for stacking coins.
Kraken is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK under the trading name CryptoFacilities Ltd. This is a good sign that the broker is reputable as many crypto exchanges do not hold licenses with the UK financial regulator.
Kraken provides a selection of in-depth guides that make complex cryptocurrency trading simple. This is great for beginners who are looking to learn more before investing.
Kraken also offers Cryptowatch, a free trading terminal that analyses and provides data on over 4,000 cryptocurrency markets. Cryptowatch is free to users, but it does have a premium charged service that comes with increased benefits.
Advantages of using Kraken’s free Cryptowatch service include:
Ability to view price movements and market trends across multiple crypto platforms
Trading tools for chart analysis, such as MACD, RSI, and Bollinger Bands
Set price and volume alerts to track movement
In addition, the premium version also allows traders to execute positions on multiple exchanges.
At Kraken, traders can select from three account types: Starter, Intermediate and Pro:
Starter – The starter account is exclusively for crypto trading. Traders only need to provide their full name, email address, primary address, and phone number to get started. The verification time is 1–60 minutes.
Intermediate – This account type allows fiat trading as well as crypto. However, it also requires more identification. Traders will need to provide their occupation, proof of residence, and face verification. Once all ID is submitted, your account will be verified in 10 minutes or less.
Pro – Kraken Pro was created for professional cryptocurrency traders. This level requires even more identification but provides extra benefits, such as over-the-counter trading. The verification process for this type of account is more lengthy and could take over five days.
There are several benefits to trading with Kraken:
Wide range of assets – There are 60 token available
24/7 customer support – Live chat function available
Low, flat purchasing fees – Ideal for lower-volume traders
Free Cryptowatch service – To help keep track of your funds
Leverage – Up to five times leverage on spot and up to 50 times for futures
Secure – Safe to use, with two-factor authentication available on every account
Highly trusted and experienced – One of the first crypto exchanges on the market
Despite the benefits, there are some drawbacks with Kraken:
No demo account available for standard accounts
Slow verification process for intermediate and pro-level accounts
Kraken’s customer support is available 24/7 and is relatively easy to reach. They have a support page for frequently asked questions. Plus, there’s a chat option that allows users to contact an agent for help. Support staff were quick to respond to queries and knowledgable about the broker’s range of assets during testing.
Kraken has a solid security track record and has not experienced any significant data breaches. It takes every measure to prevent fraud and to be fully compliant with KYC and AML checks for the trading of digital assets.
Kraken stores 95% of its assets in guarded air-gapped cold storage and has strict surveillance across the entire platform. Its servers are protected by a state of the art security system. Kraken also has two-factor authentication for its users, as well as an email confirmation for withdrawals with a self-serve account lock.
Should You Trade With Kraken?
Kraken is one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. It is accessible for both new and experienced crypto traders. With elite security measures and numerous crypto and fiat pairs available to trade, there are many benefits to using Kraken. The bottom line, Kraken is a highly recommended crypto broker.
Is Kraken Crypto A Legitimate Business?
Kraken is one of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. It was one of the earliest exchanges in the industry, founded in 2011 in San Francisco, California. It is also regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.
Which Is Best For Beginners: Kraken Or Coinbase?
Both Kraken and Coinbase offer learning tools, such as tutorials and how-to guides, which are helpful to new investors. Novices can start trading on Coinbase or Kraken without much experience. Binance is another great option for new traders.
How Do You Deposit Or Withdraw Funds With Kraken?
Kraken offers straightforward deposits and withdrawals. You can easily deposit money through a linked bank account or credit and debit card. Traders can also transfer crypto coins to and from digital e-wallets. There is no maximum withdrawal.
Has Kraken Ever Been Hacked?
Kraken is one of the more secure exchanges on the market as it has never been hacked. With that said, no crypto exchange is safe so traders should be careful when handing over large sums.
Is Kraken Free To Use?
Deposit and withdrawal fees vary depending on the cryptocurrency in question but are generally free for the most-used cryptocurrencies. Fiat deposits can be free if using a bank or wire transfer, while withdrawals cost anywhere between $4 and $40 depending on the withdrawal method.
Kraken vs Other Brokers
If you want to compare Kraken with other brokers, use the detailed comparisons below.