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Kraken review - overall score 3.7

Before reading the review, please take a moment to read our disclaimer.

Kraken is a relatively small cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. It is not listed on any stock exchange, has a track record dating back to 2011, and is much smaller than major players such as Coinbase.

The company/exchange has 175 employees as of mid-2021, a client base of 6 million and a quarterly trade volume of $1.83 billion. These numbers are by far the lowest among exchanges reviewed by BrokerChooser such as Coinbase or Binance.

Employees, client base and quarterly trade volume at Kraken and its competitors
  Kraken Coinbase Binance
# of employees 175 2,100 2,800
Client base (million) 6 56 15
Traded volume on exchange (quarterly, USD billion) 1.83 335 180
Latest available data as of June 2021

Why is this important? It is not easy to determine how safe a cryptocurrency exchange is. In most cases, cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs, so you have to be especially thorough when selecting your provider. In general, it is a good sign if

  • the exchange has a sizable client base,
  • it has a robust traded volume per quarter,
  • it is an established company (e.g. it's been around for several years and has many employees),
  • or the company that operates the exchange is listed on a stock exchange.

While Kraken is certainly not the biggest exchange out there, it has a reasonably long track record, making it a player to be reckoned with.

Kraken overall Pros and cons

Pros

Cons

Low non-instant buy fees

• Extremely high instant buy fees

Advanced trading platform

• Poor selection of educational materials

• Massive product selection

• Withdrawal fees, and high minimums

Kraken main features and highlights

🗺️ Headquartered in

USA

💰 Trading fees class

Average

💰 Inactivity fee charged

No

💰 Withdrawal fee amount

$0-35

💰 Minimum deposit

$0

🕖 Time to open an account

Less than 15 mins

💳 Depositing with bank card

Available

👛 Depositing with electronic wallet

Not available

💱 Number of coins supported

56

🛍️ Products offered

Stablecoins, altcoins, futures on coin

Kraken review
Kraken fees - 1.3

Kraken has extremely high fees for instant purchases and SWIFT withdrawals. However, non-instant trading fees are low, and there are no deposit fees.

Pros

Cons

• Low instant trading fees

• High fees for instant purchases

• No deposit fees

• High SWIFT withdrawal fees

How we ranked fees

We ranked Binance fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed crypto service exchanges.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to crypto service fees. Just as with brokers, what you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These are mostly commissions, but some exchanges may also charge spreads (the difference between the bid and ask price).

  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like deposit and withdrawal fees, inactivity fees, conversion fees and bank transfer fees, among others.

In this review, we used two different calculation methods to represent the exchange’s fee structure in a comprehensive number. This means that we replicated the two most popular 'buy' scenarios for cryptocurrencies, as suggested by our clients. In this review, we calculate the

  • fees of an instant purchase

  • fees of a non-instant purchase

Instant purchase means a model scenario where we bought a coin straight, for example with a credit card or other instant deposit. A non-instant purchase means a model scenario where we first deposit in a fiat currency (USD, EUR, etc.) then convert the deposit into a coin.

For both scenarios, we calculated with a $2,000 trade value, assuming 50,000 BTC/USDT as the market price, which means trading 0.04 BTC per transaction.

Kraken trading fees

Kraken trading fees are mixed. Like at most exchanges, the fee you pay depends on your traded volume. Kraken does not have "discounts" like using their own coin while trading, or special account types that come with preferential fees.

The standard trading fee of crypto assets on Kraken is 0.9% for stablecoins and 1.5% for any other crypto or FX pairs. This is called the "Kraken fee". Apart from the "Kraken fee", additional fees apply, depending on the type of transaction.

Kraken fees for instant purchases

Kraken has the highest instant fee among reviewed competitors. This is due to the fact that on top of the 0.9%/1.5% Kraken fee, a 3.75% + €0.25 fee is charged for credit/debit card payments.

Kraken fees for an instant $2,000 trade
  Kraken Coinbase Binance

Description of fees

3.75% + €0.25 fee charged for credit/debit card payments 3.99% fee charged for credit/debit card payments 2.00% fee charged for credit/debit card payments

Fees for an instant purchase

$105 $90 $40

Kraken fees for non-instant transactions

Kraken has low trading fees for non-instant purchases, only slightly above those charged by Binance.

Kraken trading fees for a non-instant $2,000 trade
  Kraken Coinbase Binance

Description of fees

0-0.26% depending on cumulative trade volume in last 30 days and whether you provide/take liqudity Coinbase Pro: 0-0.5% of trade value depending on cumulative trade value and whether you provide/take liqudity Between 0.024-0.100% depending on cumulative trade volume, whether you provide/take liqudity, and your BNB balance

Fees for a non-instant transaction

$5 $10 $2

Krraken non-trading fees

Kraken does not charge an inactivity fee or any account management fees. There are no deposit fees, and withdrawal fees only apply for certain withdrawal methods.

Kraken deposit fees and options

Kraken charges no deposit fees. SWIFT, Wire, SEPA transfers, and both BTC and ETH deposits are available. However, a credit/debit card deposit is only available for Canadians and for those who have qualified for an 'Intermediate' account level. To reach this, users must properly fill in their data and verify them with documents. It is quite common among crypto service providers that you have to provide additional personal data to unlock certain features.

Kraken deposit fees and options
  Kraken Binance Coinbase

ACH

NA NA $0

SWIFT

$0 $0 $6

Wire

$0 $0 $10

SEPA

€0 €0 €0

Credit/debit card

NA 1.80% NA

Electronic wallet

NA NA Paypal 2.5%

BTC deposit

$0 $0 $0

ETH deposit

$0 $0 $0

Kraken review - Deposit & withdrawal

Kraken withdrawal fees and options

Kraken charges fees for certain withdrawal methods (see table below).

Please keep in mind that withdrawal may take up to 5 business day, depending on the chosen method.

Kraken withdrawal fees and options
  Kraken Coinbase Binance

ACH

NA $0 NA

SWIFT

$35 $6 $30

Wire

$0 $25 NA

SEPA

€0.09 €0.15 €0.80

Credit/debit card

NA 2% 1%

Electronic wallet

NA Paypal 2.5% NA

BTC withdrawal

0.000150 BTC Not disclosed in advance, just right before the transaction 0.000011 BTC

ETH withdrawal

0.00170 ETH Not disclosed in advance, just right before the transaction 0.00022 ETH

Kraken review
Account opening & deposit, withdrawal - 4.1

Kraken's services are available for most residents globally, with the option for a business account as well. However, the minimum withdrawal is high, and withdrawal is not free.

Pros

Cons

• Global availability

• High minimum withdrawals

• Business account available

• Withdrawal fee

Kraken is available for almost all residents around the world, with a handful of exceptions:

Countries where Kraken is not available
Afghanistan Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Cuba Iran
Iraq North Korea Libya Syria Tajikistan
Countries where some of Kraken's services are restricted
Central African Republic Eritrea Guinea-Bissau
Lebanon Mali Namibia
Somalia Sudan Yemen

Minimum deposit amount

Kraken's minimum deposit is $0; this is ideal for those who want to invest smaller amounts only.

Account types

Kraken provides only one type of account for retail investors. This is fairly common among crypto exchanges - you can only open one type of account, and if you want to unlock additional features, you either have to subscribe or pay more in fees.

Within the account, you can opt for different trading platforms, such as the regular web trading platform or Kraken Pro. However, this doesn't mean that there is a 'Pro' account, as fee structures are the same. Fees depend on the traded volume, your chosen asset (stablecoin, altcoin, FX, etc) and whether you use instant purchases or not; but not on which platform you use.

In addition to the basic retail account, you can open a business account as well.

Kraken account types
Account type Description
Personal account Used for personal trading
Business account  For trading as a business entity

While there's only one type of retail account at Kraken, it comes with various service levels. If you add more personal info or upload additional veryfing documents, you'll get access to extra features like the possibility to deposit with a credit card. Make sure to check what services you can unlock after various sign-up levels.

How to open an account

Opening an account at Kraken is fairly easy and fully digital. Verification only takes a few minutes. To access Kraken's 'Pro' view, simply go to trade.kraken.com

What are the steps for account opening?

  1. Go to kraken.com
  2. Click the Sign-Up button
  3. Add basic info, like your email address, username, password, country of residence
  4. Follow the instructions to upload a proof of ID (personal ID, driver's license, passport) and a proof of address (such as a utility bill)
  5. You're done! Verification will take less than 15 minutes.

Kraken review - Account opening

Deposit and withdrawal

Deposit fees and options

You can deposit fiat currencies and digital currencies to your account. Kraken offers many payment options to send your money to the exchange. The simplest would be to use your credit card or debit card, but this is not available at Kraken as a default option, and is in any case usually the most costly deposit method.

Unlike at other exchanges, the costs of a deposit at Kraken are tied to the method of deposit, not whether it's a fiat currency or a digital currency. Having said that, Kraken charges no deposit fees for the majority of the available deposit options (e.g. SWIFT, Wire, SEN), with only a very few deposit scenarios involving a fee.

Withdrawal fees and options

You can initiate withdrawals from your Kraken account in fiat currencies and digital currencies as well. Kraken offers several options for both. The cost of withdrawal depends on the currency you want to transfer and the method you use.

For cash withdrawals, the cost of withdrawal and the minimum amount would depend on

  • the chosen fiat currency (USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, JPY)
  • the chosen method (SEPA, Instant SEPA, Swift, FedWire, Bank Transfer, Osko, FPS, CHAPS, SIC)

For example, you can initiate an international USD withdrawal through SWIFT via many different intermediaries:

  • SWIFT (Signature Bank) costs $4, with a minimum withdrawal amount of $100
  • SWIFT (Etana Custody) costs $35, with a minimum of $150
  • SWIFT (Silvergate Bank) costs $20, with a minimum of $100

For more info, see the table below, taken from Kraken's site:

Kraken withdrawal options and fees
Availability Withdrawal Method/Processor Withdrawal Minimum Withdrawal Fee Processing Time
USA only

FedWire
(MVB Bank)

20 USD 4 USD 0-1 business days (cutoff at 4pm EST)
USA only FedWire
(Signature Bank)
20 USD 4 USD 0-1 business days (cutoff at 3pm EST)
USA only FedWire
(Silvergate Bank)
100 USD 20 USD 0-1 business days
USA only FedWire
(Etana Custody)
150 USD 35 USD 1-5 business days or instant
USA only* FedWire
(Synapse)
20 USD 5 USD 1-3 business days
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Etana Custody)
150 USD 35 USD 3-5 business days or instant
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Signature Bank)
20 USD 4 USD 0-5 business days
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Silvergate Bank)
100 USD 20 USD 0-5 business days

EEA
Individual
EEA & US
Business Pro

SWIFT
(Bank Frick)
100 USD 13 USD 1-5 business days

Worldwide*; 
Business Pro

Signet No Minimum Free Near-instant
Worldwide*;
Business Pro
Silvergate Exchange
Network (SEN)
No minimum Free Near-instant
SEPA only

SEPA
(Fidor)

5 EUR 0.09 EUR 0-5 business days or instant
SEPA only SEPA
(Bank Frick)
2 EUR 1 EUR 0-5 business days
SEPA only* SEPA
(InCore Bank)
2 EUR 1 EUR 0-5 business days
SEPA only SEPA
(ClearJunction)
3 EUR 0.90 EUR 0-5 business days
Instant SEPA only Instant SEPA
(ClearJunction)
3 EUR 0.90 EUR Near Instant

Worldwide*

SWIFT
(Bank Frick)
100 EUR 5 EUR 1-5 business days
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Etana Custody)
150 EUR 35 EUR 3-5 business days or instant
Canada only

EFT
(POSCONNECT)

50 CAD 0.25% 2-5 business days
Worldwide*; Business Pro Wire transfer (InterFIN) 1,000 CAD Free 0-10 min
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Bank Frick)
100 CAD 13 CAD 1-5 business days
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Etana Custody)
150 CAD 35 CAD 3-5 business days or instant
Australia only

Bank Transfer

5 AUD Free 0-2 business days
Australia only Osko 5 AUD Free near instant
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Etana Custody)
150 AUD 35 AUD 3-5 business days or instant
UK and Gibraltar*

FPS (ClearJunction)

5 GBP 1.95 GBP Near Instant*
UK and Gibraltar* CHAPS
(ClearJunction)
25 GBP 21 GBP Same day
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Bank Frick)
100 GBP 13 GBP 1-5 business days
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Etana Custody)
150 GBP 35 GBP 3-5 business days or instant
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Bank Frick)
100 CHF 1 CHF 1-5 business days
Worldwide* SWIFT
(Etana Custody)
150 CHF 35 GBP 3-5 business days or instant
Worldwide*

SWIFT
(Etana Custody)

15,000 JPY 35 USD
equivalent in JPY
3-5 business days or instant
*Availability for this funding provider may be limited to specific regions.

Let's see the same options for crypto withdrawals:

Kraken cryptocurrency withdrawal options and fees
Cryptocurrency Withdrawal fee Withdrawal minimum
(including fee)
0x 1.5 ZRX 15 ZRX
Aave 0.012 AAVE 0.12 AAVE
Aavegotchi 60 GHST 100 GHST
Algorand 0.01 ALGO 1 ALGO
Ankr 140 ANKR 360 ANKR
Aragon 0.95 ANT 4 ANT
Augur 0.01 REP 0.05 REP
Augur v2 0.1 REPV2 0.03 REPV2
Basic Attention Token 4 BAT 10 BAT
Balancer 0.025 BAL 0.4 BAL
Bancor 3 BNT 8 BNT
Bitcoin 0.00015 BTC 0.00050 BTC
Bitcoin Cash 0.0001 BCH 0.001 BCH
Cardano 0.6 ADA 2 ADA
Chainlink 0.12 LINK 1.4 LINK
Compound 0.01 COMP 0.025 COMP
Cosmos 0.1 ATOM 1 ATOM
Curve 0.25 CRV 3 CRV
Dash (normal send) 0.005 DASH 0.01 DASH
Dash (instant send) 0.01 DASH 0.05 DASH
Dai 2.5 DAI 5 DAI
Decentraland 12 MANA 120 MANA
Dogecoin 2 DOGE 50 DOGE
Energy Web Token 0.26 EWT 1 EWT
Enjin Coin 6 ENJ 25 ENJ
Enzyme Finance 0.003 MLN 0.1 MLN
EOS 0.05 EOS 0.5 EOS
Ethereum 0.0017 ETH 0.004 ETH
Ethereum Classic 0.005 ETC 0.01 ETC
Filecoin 0.001 FIL 0.1 FIL
Flow 0.01 FLOW 1 FLOW
Gnosis 0.005 GNO 0.01 GNO
ICON 0.02 ICX 0.03 ICX
Kava 0.1 KAVA 1 KAVA
Keep Network 10 KEEP 40 KEEP
Kusama 0.005 KSM 0.0105 KSM
Kyber Network 1 KNC 5 KNC
Lisk 0.3 LSK 1 LSK
Litecoin 0.001 LTC 0.01 LTC
Livepeer 0.6 LPT 1.6 LPT
Maker 0.0052 MKR 0.013 MKR
Mina 0.05 MINA 1.05 MINA
Monero 0.0001 XMR 0.01 XMR
Nano 0.05 NANO 0.1 NANO
Ocean 22 OCEAN 23 OCEAN
OmiseGO 0.7 OMG 1 OMG
Orchid 3 OXT 10 OXT
PAX Gold 0.0025 PAXG + 0.02% to Paxos 0.005 PAXG
Polkadot 0.05 DOT 1.05 DOT
Polygon 60 MATIC 120 MATIC
Qtum 0.01 QTUM 0.1 QTUM
Rarible 1 RARI 3 RARI
REN Protocol 20 REN 60 REN
Ripple 0.02 XRP 25 XRP
Siacoin 1 SC 2 SC
Stellar Lumens 0.00002 XLM 25 XLM
Storj 6 STORJ 10 STORJ
Sushi 1.5 SUSHI 4 SUSHI
Synthetix 0.2 SNX 2 SNX
tBTC 0.00025 TBTC 0.0008 TBTC
Tether USD (OMNI) 5 USDT 10 USDT
Tether USD (ERC20) 2.5 USDT 5 USDT
Tether USD (TRC20) 1 USDT 2 USDT
Tezos 0.2 XTZ 0.3 XTZ
The Graph 22 GRT 220 GRT
The Sandbox 38 SAND 100 SAND
Tron 0.01 TRX 2 TRX
Uniswap 0.6 UNI 2.2 UNI
USD Coin 2.5 USDC 5 USDC
Waves 0.003 WAVES 0.01 WAVES
Yearn Finance 0.00013 YFI 0.0005
Zcash (Transparent) 0.0001 ZEC 0.0005 ZEC
Zcash (Private) 0.01 ZEC 0.02 ZEC

Available fiat currencies

Kraken accepts 7 fiat currencies, listed in the table below.

Kraken fiat currencies
USD EUR CAD
AUD GBP CHF
JPY    

Kraken review
Research & platform - 4.8

Kraken has multiple trading platforms, including a 'Pro' one with great charting. Nice extras include multiple order types and an order book. However, the mobile app is a bit too basic.

Pros

Cons

• Base and Pro platform with charting tools

• Simple mobile platform 

• Extra features like multiple order types and order book

• No order types on mobile 

Kraken has many trading platforms where you can buy and sell digital currencies. There is a simple one for beginners, designed to convert fiat to crypto or one crypto to another on the spot market quickly and easily. There are advanced platforms as well, serving the needs of more experienced crypto traders. There is also a dedicated page for futures trading, Kraken Futures.

Kraken's trading platforms are available from your desktop via your browser or as a standalone application.

For mobile, there is a native app for both iOS and Android, which makes it easy to buy and sell crypto assets directly from your mobile device.

Web Platform

Look and feel 

Kraken's default web investment platform is user-friendly and easy to use. All the important functions are displayed in a well-organized manner.

Kraken review - Web trading platform - Base platform

The platform has all the necessary features, including a basic trade panel, a crypto price page, deposit options, your trading history, support links and account settings.

If you need more tools and functionalities, you can try the Kraken Pro platform, which also features a great charting tool, supporting terminal-like trading.

Kraken review - Web trading platform - Pro platform

Login and security

For first-time logins, you must use two-factor authentication. The platform sends you an email with a code each time you log in from a new device.

While this represents an adequate level of account protection, we believe that a message-based authentication system upon each and every login attempt would be even safer.

Placing trades

Both the basic platform and the Pro platform have the same order types available, which are the following:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Settle Position
  • Stop Loss
  • Take Profit
  • Stop Loss Limit
  • Take Profit Limit

Kraken review - Web trading platform - Order types

Kraken review - Web trading platform - Pro order types

Charting tools

Kraken has 30 different charting tools available, including some well-known ones like RSI, MACD, Volume and Linear Regression, among others.

Mobile Investment Platform

Kraken is available on both iOS and Android. In this review, we tested Kraken on iOS.

Look and feel

Kraken's mobile platform is much more minimalistic, with fewer features available. There are no real charting tools or any special order types. Its purpose is to simply send orders to the exchange.

Kraken review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

As on the web platforms, a first-time login requires two-step email authentication. Afterwads, you can use features such as fingerprint authentication to make subsequent logins more secure.

Placing trades

Unlike on the web platform, there are no order types available on mobile (besides simple market orders).

Kraken review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Charting tools

Sadly, charting tools are not available on the Kraken mobile app.

Kraken review
Customer service - 3.3

Kraken has 24/7 support via multiple channels including a great ticketing system; though live chat is sometimes replaced by a subpar virtual assistant. Also, Kraken has no forum presence.

Pros

Cons

• 24/7 availability

• Live chat occasionally unavailable

• Great ticketing system

• No real forum presence

You can contact Kraken 24/7 via:

  • Live chat (or virtual assistant)
  • Ticketing (email system)

Kraken offers multiple channels to interact with them. The ticketing system is automated - when you type in your issue or query, it tries to list all the relevant FAQ/Support topics based on your inputs, which is really neat.

Submitting a ticket is fairly easy, and turnaround is quick; we got an answer to our question within minutes, which was quite unexpected.

There's also a round-the-clock live chat, where we received prompts replies on most occasions. A few times during our test though (typically outside of working hours), live chat was replaced by a relatively useless Virtual Assistant, which failed to direct us to the relevant support pages. If this ever happens, try typing "I want to speak to a real person" for a chance to get in touch with a live operator.

Kraken review - Customer service

Some crypto exchanges can also be contacted via a forum (either their own forum, or a subreddit or equivalent). Sadly, that's not the case with Kraken, which does not have any real forum presence. This is definitely an area for improvement for Kraken, as forums in the crypto world are an essential place to discuss technical and trading issues.

Kraken review
Product selection - 2.8

Kraken has a solid selection of key cryptocurrencies, though still not nearly as big as some market leaders. It also offers derivative and margin trading, but options are not available.

Pros

Cons

• Good selection of the most important currencies

• No options trading on coins

• Derivatives and margin trading

• Selection far below top players like Binance

Available coins at Kraken
0x Aave Aavegotchi Algorand Ankr Aragon Augur Augur v2 Balancer Bancor Basic Attention Token
Bitcoin Bitcoin Cash Cardano Chainlink Compund Cosmos Curve Dai Das Decentraland Dogecoin
Energy Web Token Enjin Coin Enzyme Finance EOS Ethereum Ethereum Classic Filecoin Flow Gnosis Icon Kava
Keep Network Kusama Kyber Network Lisk Litecoin Livepeer Maker Mina Monero Nano Ocean
OmiseGO Orchid PAX Gold Polkadot Poygon Qtum REN Protocol Rarible Ripple Siacoin Stellar Lumens
Storj Sushi Synthetix tBTC Tether Tezos The Graph The Sandbox Tron Uniswap USD Coin
WAVES Yearn Finance Zcash                

Kraken has a great selection of the most popular coins, including BTC, Dogecoin, Ethereum, BTC Cash and Sushi, among others.

Number of coins available at Kraken vs competitors
  Kraken Coinbase Binance
# 56 73 400+

Derivatives, options and futures on coins

Kraken has a separate trading platform to trade futures on coins. Head to futures.kraken.com to check out this feature. The platform even has a demo account. You can trade futures for the following currencies: XBT, ETH, LTC, BCH and XRP.

Kraken review - Product selection - Futures trading platform

Margin trading / leveraged trading available

On trade.kraken.com (Kraken's advanced platform) you can also trade using margin. Kraken provides 5x leverage maximum, with a maximum margin level of $500,000. Margin trading is not available for all cryptos, however; only for those listed in the table below.

Kraken available crypto for margin trading
Bitcoin Tether Ethereum Classic Ripple
Tezos Cardano Dash Chainlink
Ethereum Monero Augur Bitcoin Cash
Litecoin EOSIO Tron USD Coin

Kraken review
Safety

Kraken is one of the longest-running crypto exchanges out there. However, it is one of the smaller exchanges too, with low trading volumes.

Pros

Cons

• Long track record

• Smallest exchange among reviewed competitors

 

• No FDIC/SIPC insurance

Is Kraken regulated?

Before we dive deeper into this question, please take a moment to read our disclaimer.

Cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs, as they are not savings or financial institutions. Therefore no, this service is not regulated in the same sense as broker services are. Still, there are a few signposts that may help you judge the safety of crypto exchanges. Among others, it's worth checking whether the service:

  • is listed on an exchange
  • has a long track record
  • has significant volumes traded on its platforms
  • has a big client base and workforce
  • vows to guarantee FDIC/SIPC insurance on deposits

Kraken is not exchange-listed, but it does have a long track record. It has been operating since 2011, making it the service provider with the longest track record when compared with market leaders Coinbase (2012) and Binance (2017).

For more details on the company's fundamentals, see the table below.

Kraken and its competitors' fundamentals
  Kraken Coinbase Binance
Revenue (USD million) 16.4 1,277 -
Year of revenue data NA 2020 -
Client base (million) 6 56 15
Foundation date 2011 2012 2017
Traded volume (quarterly, USD billion) 1.83 335 180
Guarantees of an investment protection scheme (for staking or any service) NA FDIC for cash for US customers NA

Background

Kraken was founded in 2011. It is one of the oldest-running crypto exchanges. However, when it comes to all other fundamentals, especially those related to the company's size, it still lags behind its biggest competitors.

Is Kraken secure and safe?

Kraken's trading platforms use two-factor authentication for first-time logins to make your account more secure. Regarding safety, you should be aware that in most cases, crypto exchanges face less stringent regulations than brokers. Investor protection schemes like SIPC in the US or FSCS in the UK are not available for investors of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Kraken legal entities
Clients in... Legal entity Legal entity's operating country
Australia Bit Trade Pty Limited Australia
Canada Payward Canada Inc. Canada
Europe Payward Ltd. United Kingdom
Japan Payward Asia K.K. Japan
USA Payward Ventures, Inc, USA
All other countries Payward Trading Ltd. British Virgin Islands

Kraken review
Education - 2.3

Kraken provides webinars and a great blog for newcomers, and a demo account for futures trading. However, unlike its competitors, it lacks quality texts and educational videos.

Pros

Cons

• Lengthy webinars, education section on the blog

• No quality texts

• Futures demo account

• No educational videos

At Kraken, you have access to the following educational tools:

  • An education section on blog.kraken.com
  • Kraken's webinars on Youtube
  • Futures demo account

Sadly, Kraken's written educational materials aren't the best. You can find some quality articles on the blog, but they are rarely updated.

There's also a separate YouTube channel with lengthy webinars on topics such as margin or hedging. Videos also include interviews and market insights.

On the plus side, Kraken has a unique take on education, as it has a demo account for futures trading. We think that demo accounts are the best way to learn how to trade on a platform. It would be great if there was a demo account for Kraken's spot platforms as well.

Kraken review - Education

Kraken review - Education - Futures demo platform

Kraken review
Extra features

Kraken's greatest extra feature is its futures trading platform. You can also trade on margin and take part in staking. Sadly, no crypto card is available.

Pros

Cons

• Futures trading platform

• No crypto card

• Staking

 

Futures trading

Kraken has a separate trading platform for futures trading called Kraken Futures. It is common among crypto exchanges to have such a dedicated place to trade cryptocurrency futures.

Staking

At Kraken, you can stake coins and fiat currencies as well, allowing you to earn staking rewards on your holdings. However, staked assets are not covered by insurance against losses and are not eligible for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protections.

Kraken is also taking various technical measures to strengthen the security of your account. You can read more about this on Kraken's security page.

Unlike its biggest competitors, though, Kraken does not offer a crypto card. Crypto cards are basically debit cards that you can use to directly spend your crypto.

Kraken review
Bottom line

Kraken is a relatively small cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. It is not listed on any stock exchange, and while its track record is similar to top players such as Coinbase, Kraken is much much smaller.

The company/exchange itself has 175 employees, a client base of 6 million users and a quarterly trade volume of $1.83 billion. These numbers are dwarfed by those of Coinbase and Binance, the two market-leading exchanges reviewed by BrokerChooser.

Kraken has low non-instant buy fees, an advanced trading platform and a solid product selection.

However, it has extremely high instant buy fees, a poor selection of educational materials, as well as restrictive and often expensive withdrawal options.

Feel free to try Kraken, but be very careful, as crypto exchanges are not overseen by financial regulators.

If you come across anything that you think would be nice to include in this review, let us know at [email protected].

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This material and any information contained herein is provided to You for information purposes only. BrokerChooser is not making any recommendation or soliciting any action based on the information contained herein or making any offer, solicitation or recommendation to invest in a particular investment or undertake any course of action.

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Recent performance of several crypto currencies might make it tempting to start trading digital currencies. However, You should be aware that these assets are extremely risky, they tend to be much more volatile than more traditional investments such as stocks, bonds or fiat currencies etc., hence it is of utmost importance that You seek your own independent advice with respect to the economic risks and merits as well as the legal, tax and accounting consequences of taking any course of action, adopting any investment strategy and/or investing in any crypto currency, crypto asset and/or crypto commodity.

You should also be aware that in most cases, crypto exchanges face less stringent regulations than brokers and other regulated financial intermediaries; and that investor protection schemes such as schemes of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in the United States or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the United Kingdom are not available for investors using crypto exchanges.

 

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Author of this article

Bence András Rózsa

Author of this article

Bence’s purpose is to help you to understand the logic behind financial services. In his master’s studies, he specialised in business economy and finance to be able to give you a clear picture of the brokerage world. Having reviewed multiple brokers and robo-advisor services, his goal will always be to guide you in the world of investing as it is.

Bence András Rózsa

Broker Analyst

Bence’s purpose is to help you to understand the logic behind financial services. In his master’s studies, he specialised in business economy and finance to be able to give you a clear picture of the brokerage world. Having reviewed multiple brokers and robo-advisor services, his goal will always be to guide you in the world of investing as it is.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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