Kraken appears to be one of the safest and most promising cryptocurrency exchanges where you can invest in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. As our article about the best places to get bitcoin shows, Kraken appears to be one of the oldest and safest cryptocurrencies exchanges. Location of the company’s headquarters in the United States and relatively low fees – especially with its largest competitor Coinbase – make this platform one of the best exchanges for purchasing cryptocurrencies. Our in-depth Kraken review will help you find out all aspects of trading at Kraken, get to know subtle moments about doing so, and assess all the risks, given the advantages and disadvantages of Kraken.
- Kraken Review: General Overview of the Company
- Kraken Review: Advantages of Kraken
- Kraken Review: Disadvantages of Kraken
- Types of Accounts on Kraken
- How to Trade in Kraken
Kraken Review: General Overview of the Company
|Location||San Francisco, California, United Sates.|
|Available Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and a dozen of others|
|Deposit Methods||Bank transfers, cryptocurrencies|
|Withdrawal Methods||Bank transfers, cryptocurrencies|
Kraken belongs to Payward, Inc. and tends to be one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Even though it lags behind Coinbase in terms of trading volumes, Kraken claims to be “the largest cryptocurrency and bitcoin exchange in euro liquidity and volumes.” Besides, Kraken can boast to have the largest percentage of mobile traffic – more than 38% of the Kraken traffic comes from mobile devices and smartphones. Any other major cryptocurrency exchange can boast that figure to be not higher than 27%.
The scope of this cryptocurrency exchange can be described with one simple fact: Kraken is an exchange that provides pricing of bitcoins to the Bloomberg terminal. Yet, the company did not become a dominant exchange immediately. Largely it happened thanks to a rapid wave of expansion undertaken by Kraken’s management. In particular, Kraken acquired such companies like Cavirtex (Canada, on 19th January 2016) and Coinsletter (US, on 19th January 2016 as well), CleverCoin (the Netherlands, on 27th June 2016), and Cryptowatch, a trading and charting platform (the deal was closed on 1st March 2017).
The markets where Kraken operates include Japan, Canada, the United States, and the European Union. Kraken attracts many users thanks to its really very low fees, and this stands in a sharp contrast with other cryptocurrency exchanges. That is achieved thanks to the ability to deposit and withdraw funds via bank transfers. For instance, fees for withdrawal of funds in EUR via SEPA bank transfers may be as low as 0.09 Euro – quite a drastic change from the typical $10 fee charged by banks. Actually, Kraken charges fees that vary from 0% to 0.26%, and they are typically based on the percentage of trade volume. Both sellers and buyers are charged fees, though sellers usually pay less. Besides, one should also point out that the fees for cryptocurrency trading pairs are lower than the fees for crypto and fiat currency trading pairs (such as USD/XBT).
In regards to the withdrawal fees, depositing and withdrawing your funds via bank transfers costs $10 (or 10 EUR or 10 GBP) beyond the United States and $5 in the United States. Though, Canadians who withdraw their funds in CAD (Canadian dollars) are able to withdraw their funds for free. The same stands for the Europeans who deposit or withdraw their money via the SEPA wire transfer.
In regards to the cryptocurrencies, the following cryptocurrencies are traded on Kraken:
- Bitcoin (XBT)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Dash (DASH)
- Monero (XMR)
- Lumens/Stellar (XLM)
- Melon (MLN)
- Iconomi (ICN)
- Augur tokens (REP)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- EOS (EOS)
- Gnosis (GNO)
- Tether (USDT)
- Dogecoin (XDG)
- Zcash (ZEC).
As it has been mentioned above in our Kraken review, however, not everything is that good with this cryptocurrency exchange. First and foremost, it is difficult for beginners to get started with Kraken. And it is not going about the difficulties with signing up, but about the difficulties with using this service in general. If you are new to the cryptocurrency world, you are unlikely to use this service with comfort. Instead, the chances are that you are going to face serious issues with the Kraken interface, and a relatively slow support will barely help you.
Another thing that worries many clients is the growing number of hack attacks Kraken is a subject to and vulnerable to. Throughout 2017, the company has suffered a large number of DDoS attacks and experienced numerous performance issues. The attacks were so frequent that the website became barely suitable for using. In result, the trading volumes have declined on the website.
Sum-up of the section: This part of our Kraken review showed that Kraken supports a large number of digital coins and fiat currencies, which makes his place quite an attractive one for trading cryptocurrencies. Additionally, it also tends to be one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, which is also a sign of quality.
Kraken Review: Advantages of Kraken
Indeed, every cryptocurrency exchange has its drawbacks and disadvantages, and Kraken is not an exception. At this point of our Kraken review, we will disclose the main advantages that may prompt you to get started on Kraken. While there will definitely be mentioned several edges that were already mentioned above, this part of our review appears to be a detailed analysis of the exchange’s excellences.
So, the advantages of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange are the following ones:
- Kraken frequently leads the rankings of the best cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Kraken supports a large variety of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, offering far more flexibility to its customers than Kraken’s competitors.
- Kraken tends to be a popular platform for intermediate and advanced traders.
- Kraken charges very low fees in comparison with other cryptocurrency services, such as Coinbase.
- Free-of-charge deposits in Canadian dollars, Euro, and Japanese yen.
- An exchange that sticks to the transparency policy: Kraken was the first to implement a proof-of-reserves auditing.
- SEPA wire transfers allow the customers from Europe to withdraw their funds really fast (not longer than 2 days).
- This exchange supports margin trading, which is beneficial for those customers who know what they do and who have a relatively small upfront capital.
- Security at Kraken is ensured as well, and, in particular, this exchange provides the clients with an ability to enable a 2-step verification.
Sum-up of the section: Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that has a number of clear advantages, which attract many intermediate and advanced traders. In particular, one should definitely mention its low fees and a large variety of supported digital coins and cryptocurrencies.
Kraken Review: Disadvantages of Kraken
As it was mentioned above, Kraken has also certain disadvantages. This section of our Kraken review helps you to understand what kind of difficulties you may face when using the Kraken exchange. So, the disadvantages of this exchange are the following ones:
- The exchange’s support is slow and frequently unresponsive, especially after a new influx of users to Kraken took place.
- Similar to many other popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken holds your private keys to the account’s crypto address.
- Deposits and withdrawals via SWIFT transfers (international banks) are likely to be expensive, up to $15 per transaction.
- Slow execution of orders that is characterized by numerous bugs, which results in the fact that professional traders lose their money thanks to such bugs.
- There have been disputes over the closed accounts on Kraken, though this issue happens here more rarely than at Coinbase.
- The user interface is not friendly towards beginners at all, which makes this exchange unsuitable for complete beginners.
- The procedure of account verification on Kraken sometimes takes as much time as it does at the websites of Kraken’s competitors.
Sum-up of the section: This section of our Kraken review described the main disadvantages of this crypto exchange. One should definitely mention its poor support, the high fees charged for SWIFT transfers, and a relatively complicated user-interface, which doesn’t seem to be suitable and well-understood by the beginners at all.
Types of Accounts on Kraken
Before you will sign up for Kraken, you need to learn about the account types that are available of Kraken. Those types of accounts are known as tiers, and there are 5 tiers of Kraken accounts (from 0 to 4). What kind of an account tire you have actually defines the fees you incur, how much you can deposit and withdraw daily, etc. Even though it may seem easy to upgrade one’s account, this thought cannot be even more erroneous.
The Kraken Team
So, the following account types are available on Kraken:
Tier 0. Once you have signed up for Kraken, you will get your tier 0 account. When having such an account, you can neither deposit nor withdraw your friends. Actually, all you can do is accessing statistics and trading charts.
Tier 1. This type of Kraken accounts allows you to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies. Even though there are no limits on depositing funds, you can withdraw no more than $2,500 per day and $20,000 per month. Keep in mind that this type of accounts allows you to trade only cryptocurrency pairs, but not fiat and cryptocurrency pairs. In order to qualify for a tier 1 account, you need to provide the following information: telephone number, country of residence, birthdate, and full name.
Tier 2. When having such an account, you are able to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies: up to $2,000 per day and up to $10,000 per month. For cryptocurrency withdrawals, the amount increases to $2,500 per day and $50,000 per month. In order to qualify for such an account, you need to confirm your postal address.
Tier 3. Qualifying for a tier 3 account is more difficult. You need to:
- Provide your social security number (for the citizens of the United States).
- Verify your residence (provide a copy of an utility bill).
- Provide ID issued by the government.
- Provide ID-confirmation photo.
With this tier of Kraken account, you can deposit in fiat currencies as much as $25,000 per day and $200,000 per month (the same stands for withdrawals). In regards to depositing and withdrawing cryptocurrencies, the limits are raised to $50,000 per day and $200,000 per month.
Tier 4. This is the last account tire at Kraken and in our Kraken review as well. This tier can be reached only if you are a legal entity or you are a trader with high volumes. This tier allows you to deposit and withdraw $100,000 per day and $500,000 per month – in both crypto and fiat currencies. In order to start the process of upgrading your Kraken account to the tier 4, contact Kraken’s support.
Sum-up of the section: This part of the Kraken review demonstrated what are the main verification tier of Kraken accounts and what it requires to verify your account. If you wish to deposit fiat currencies and purchase digital coins for them, you should have at least the second tier of your Kraken account verification.
How to Trade in Kraken
As we have already mentioned in this Kraken review above, this crypto exchange is not aimed towards beginners. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect that trading on Kraken will turn out to be that simple for you. On the other hand, there is also nothing that requires some extra efforts from you.
This part of our Kraken review will focus on helping you to get started in trading on this cryptocurrency exchange. In short, you will find here a number of guides that may stand in good stead if you are new to this exchange. So, if you have faced any problems with starting to trade in Kraken, you should definitely have a look at this section of our review.
How to Sign Up for Kraken
Before you will be able to start trading on Kraken, the first thing you should do is to create an account on this cryptocurrency exchange. At this point of our Kraken review, we will uncover how to register an account on Kraken:
- In the first place, you have to launch your browser and copy the following URL into its address line: https://www.kraken.com/. Then, hit on the “Enter” button.
- Following it, you will get to see a black “Sign Up” button, placed in the right-upper corner of the screen. Click on that button.
- Now, you have just got to see a page where you can create an account on Kraken. On that page, you need to enter your email address in the first field. Then, you should type your username in the second field and your password in the last field.
- Right after that, you can also specify advanced options of your account. For that, click on the “Advanced options” text button, placed next to the “Sign Up” button.
- Then, you will get to see an additional form. In the first two fields, you can specify your country of residence and timezone. In the third field, you can add a master key, which will serve as an additional security code for your account. You can also specify your PGP public key in the last field.
- Following it, you have to place a tick near “I agree to…” and click on the “Sign up” button.
- Right after that, you should go to the inbox of your email address and find a letter from Kraken. Open that letter and click on the activation link, embedded in that letter.
- On the following page, you have to enter your username in the second field and your password in the third field. After it, you have to click on the “Activate” button.
- Immediately after that, you will get to see the page of your Kraken account – that implies that you will be able to start trading on Kraken immediately.
How to Verify Your Account on Kraken
As it has been mentioned above in this Kraken review, there are four tiers of account verification on Kraken. Actually, you need to get at least the tier 2 of account verification in order to be able to trade in Kraken, whereas the first tier allows you only to withdraw your money or deposit cryptocurrencies. So, even though theoretically you can start trading on this exchange with the first level of account verification, we highly recommend you to pursue the second tier of Kraken account verification right away.
Here is a way how you can verify your account on Kraken step by step:
- Open your browser and copy the following URL into its address line: https://www.kraken.com/. Hit the “Enter” button.
- Following it, draw your attention to the right-upper corner. There, you will notice the “Log in” button, and you have to click on that button in order to proceed further.
- Right after that, you should enter your username, password, and other credentials (if needed). Then, click on the “Log in” button.
- Once you have done everything correctly, you will get to see the page of your Kraken account.
- At the top of your Kraken account’s page, you will get to see a menu, in which you have to select “Get Verified.”
- On the page that you have just got to see, you will see the information about all account verification tiers on Kraken. You should scroll down till the bottom of that page.
- Following it, you will get to see the tabs that allow you to verify your Kraken account. Respectively, there are the following tabs: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4. You have to click on the tab that suits you (i.e. select the next verification level of your Kraken account).
- Then, you will get to see a form that you have to complete in order to apply for the next account verification tier. Let’s suppose that you want to get the second verification tier of your Kraken account.
- In a case if you need to get the second verification tier of your Kraken account, you will get to see a form that will require you to provide the following information: address, city, and postal code. If you pursue a different level of account verification, the form will be different.
- Once you have entered all the information or provided all the documents that a form requires, you should click on the “Get Verified” button.
- After the support team reviews your request, you will be either accepted or denied for getting a next verification tier of your Kraken account.
How to Deposit Funds to Your Kraken Account
Once you have received at least a first verification tier of your account on Kraken, you can start trading on Kraken. Before doing that, however, you will have to deposit cryptocurrencies (you can deposit only digital coins with the first level of account verification) or fiat money (you need the second or higher tier of account verification). This part of our Kraken review will disclose how to deposit digital coins or fiat money.
How to deposit fiat money or cryptocurrencies to your Kraken account step by step:
- In the first place, you should launch your browser and access the website of Kraken: https://www.kraken.com/.
- Then, you have to click on the “Log in” button, located in the right-upper corner.
- On the next page, you should enter your username, password, and a secret key. Then, click on the “Log in” button.
- Once you have got to see the page of your Kraken account, you will notice a menu at the top of that page. There, you have to click on “Funding.”
- After you have got to see the “Funding” page, you should choose whether you want to add digital coins or fiat money (let’s suppose you want to deposit cryptocurrencies).
- Then, you should select which cryptocurrency you want to deposit.
- You will receive a public key that you have to use in order to deposit your digital coins from another wallet.
- Once the transaction has been authorized by the blockchain, your digital coins will be added to your Kraken account.
How to Make a Buy or Sell Order on Kraken
If you have been seeking about how to register an account on Kraken, it is obvious that you want to try out trading on this crypto exchange. This part of our Kraken review will focus on providing instructions on how to create buy or sell order on this exchange.
You can create a buy/sell order on Kraken in the following way:
- The first thing you should do is to open your browser and enter the following website: https://www.kraken.com/.
- After doing so, you have to click on the “Log in” button, placed in the right-upper corner.
- Once you have done that, you should enter your username in the first field, your password in the second field, and your secret key in the third field (if you have any0, and click on the “Log in” button after that.
- Now, you have just got to see the page of your Kraken account. At the top of that page, you will notice a menu, in which you should click on the “Trade” option (displayed first in that menu).
- Right after that, you will get to see a page with different trading information about your account (such as rates, balances, position valuation, trade balances, and other things). In the sub-menu of that page, you have to click on the “New Order” button.
- Now, you have just got to see the page where you can make buy and sell orders. First of all, we have to point out that you have just got to see the simplest order form. Just below the “New Order” button, you will see “Simple,” “Intermediate,” and “Advanced” options, which signify the number of features of the order forms. Choose the form that suits you best (we recommend you to choose “Simple” if you are a beginner).
- Once you have chosen the type of order form, you can start filling it up (let’s suppose that you have chosen the “Advanced” options). Here are the fields you should fill in:
Order. Here, you can do two things: select whether you want to buy or sell a cryptocurrency and select a trading pair. First of all, click on either “Buy” button or “Sell” button. Then, you should click on XBT/EUR (the trading pair that is selected by default) and select a trading pair (for instance, GNO > GNO/USD).
Volume. Here, you can specify what amount of a selected cryptocurrency you want to buy.
Order Type. At this point, you can specify the type of your order. There are following types of orders available: Market (you buy cryptocurrencies for the current market price), Limit (you select the price of the cryptocurrency and the order will be executed once that price level will be reached), Stop Loss (you will stop buying or selling cryptocurrencies after a certain price level is reached), Take Profit (allows you to buy or sell cryptocurrency at market once market price and profit from it), and Settle Position.
Price. Here, you can specify the price of cryptocurrency – once that price level will be reached, the order will be executed.
Total. Here you can specify what amount you want to spend for buying cryptocurrencies (or how many cryptocurrencies you want to sell).
Leverage. As it has already been pointed out in this Kraken review above, this cryptocurrency exchange allows the users to take advantage of margin trading. At this point, you can choose whether you want to take advantage of leverage trading. There are the following options: None, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The higher is the leverage ratio, the higher are the risks.
Start. You can set up whether you want to start the order right now or at a certain time. In order to get the order started at a certain time, select “Custom” and specify the date and the time in the fields that have just appeared.
Expires. You can set up the order to be stopped if it is not fully executed until a certain period. There are the following settings: Good until cancelled (i.e. it is valid until you cancel it on your own), Good this day, Good this week, Good this month, and custom. If you click on the “Custom” option, you will be able a certain date and time when the order must be stopped (unless it’s fulfilled before that time).
Fee Currency. At this point, you can specify in which currency you want to pay the fees (either GNO or USD in the given example).
Post limit order. You can also opt to post a limit order.
- Once you are done with completing the order form, you should check it once again. After you have made sure that entered all the information correctly, you should click on the green “Buy GNO with USD” (or another) button.
- Then, you should confirm the transaction by using either your email address or two-step verification.
- Following it, your order will be placed on this cryptocurrency exchange.
As you could understand from this Kraken review, this cryptocurrency exchange appears to be among the most popular ones in the world. Actually, there are at least a couple of reasons for that. First of all, Kraken offers its users a combination of low fees, a large variety of assets for trading, and many fiat currencies supported. Besides, Kraken is one of the very few cryptocurrency exchanges that allow the users to take advantage of leverage trading. All in all, this cryptocurrency exchange is tailored towards intermediate and advanced traders.
On the other hand, it appears to be obvious that this exchange does not come without drawbacks as well. For instance, many users complain that the customer support of this exchange appears to be quite slow. Also, Kraken doesn’t support depositing money with credit cards, while depositing and withdrawing funds through SWIFT transfers appears to be quite expensive. Yet, one way or another, Kraken remains one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges and among the best places for trading digital coins.