Kraken vs Binance: Which Exchange Should You Use? 
7 min to read
Introduction: When it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges, two of the most popular names in the industry are Kraken and Binance. Both exchanges offer a wide range of features and services, but there are also some key differences between them. In this Kraken vs Binance comparison, we'll take a look at those differences and see which exchange is best suited for which type of user.
Kraken and Binance are two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges with their own unique features and benefits. Kraken is one of the oldest (founded 2011) and most well-established cryptocurrency exchange based in San Francisco.
Binance, which was founded 6 years after Kraken has grown into the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world with over 120 million users. Binance is available in 186 countries while Kraken is available in 190 countries. Kraken however has been much more proactive to ensure that it complies with all regulations across different jurisdictions. This is contrary to Binance which takes a much more liberal approach where it asks for forgiveness rather than permission.
Kraken offers 190 cryptocurrencies to trade compared with over 350 for Binance. The most traded cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, SOL, USDT, USDC, ATOM, DOT, DOGE can of course be found on both exchanges.
Kraken vs Binance: Signup & KYC
Every exchange is continuously optimizing its website to make it user-friendly and seamless for users. Kraken has in our opinion created one of the most beginner-friendly exchanges in the world.
In part, this has to do with the fact that Kraken offers fewer products than most exchanges which allows them a less cluttered interface. This user centric simplicity also manifests itself in an easy to signup process, educational material for new users and different trading interfaces for beginners and professionals.
Binance on the other hand offers many more features than Kraken and has as such been forced to cram as much as possible in a limited amount of space.
While we would give the user experience advantage to Kraken based on simplicity, the truth is that Kraken is more tailored to beginners while Binance caters to both beginners and professionals alike. As such, we think both exchanges have done a great job creating intuitive products that are easy to use.
Kraken vs Binance: Products & Services
When it comes to the number of products and services offered, Binance has a clear advantage over Kraken. In the table below we have summarized the key features that each exchange offers.
Kraken is not really venturing very far away from traditional trading services such as spot, margin, futures and options. If you are looking for additional features like earning yield, lending and borrowing and NFT marketplaces, you will have to turn to exchanges like Binance.
The one feature that Kraken excels at that Binance lacks is its learn section for beginners. They have created some great written and video content to help educate new users in the space.
While Kraken and Binance offer comparable futures trading fees, the spot trading fees are quite a bit cheaper on Binance. The table below showcases how much each exchange charges for Makers and Takers based on spot or futures fees. As we can see above, Binance has overall lower trading fees than Kraken both for spot and futures trading. Kraken’s spot trading fees can go down to 0% for Makers and 0.1% for Takers for users that can achieve higher trading volumes between $50k-$10M.
With Binance, Makers and Takers can also further lower their trading fees depending on trading volumes and the number of BNB tokens that they hold.
Kraken supports deposits via cryptocurrencies, bank transfers and card deposits. Binance supports all of the above plus p2p trading and other third-party deposit methods. Bank and SEPA transfers are in many cases free of charge and processing times for deposits on Kraken range between 1-5 business days. If you buy instantly through VISA/Mastercard you will pay a processing fee of 3.75% + $0.25.
Binance has more deposit options than Kraken while also supporting more fiat currencies (30 fiat currencies vs 8). Binance also charges a lower transaction fee (1.8%) for VISA and Mastercard deposits, no fees for SWIFT transfers and 1 euro for EUR deposits. To better understand the deposit options offered by Kraken and Binance, we have compared them against 5 popular fiat currencies.
Users can withdraw funds either in cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH or in fiat currencies like USD and EUR. First, let’s begin by comparing whether Kraken or Binance charges the lowest cryptocurrency withdrawal fees. Binance has overall lower withdrawal fees for cryptocurrencies.
Overall, Binance and Kraken offer a range of fiat withdrawal methods for many different currencies. Binance generally has cheaper fees for the same method of withdrawal compared to Kraken, however Kraken does have some methods that Binance does not.
In terms of fiat withdrawals, once again Binance has more options available and support more fiat currencies than Kraken. Below we have outlined the fiat withdrawal options for 7 popular fiat currencies on Binance and Kraken:
One of the main advantages of Kraken is its security. Kraken has never been hacked because it takes a range of measures to keep user funds safe. For example, Kraken stores the vast majority (95%) of its digital assets in geographically distributed cold storage facilities not connected to the internet.
Despite being one of the oldest exchanges on the market, Kraken has never been hacked. On top of this, Kraken is also one of the most forthcoming exchanges when it comes to regulation, licenses and transparency around custodied assets.
Binance, while having been hacked once in the past, offers world-class security with all the top-of-range security bells and whistles. One advantage that Binance has over Kraken is its insurance fund which at the time of writing has almost $600 million ready to be distributed should a hack occur.
So where does this leave us, who has created the most secure exchange, Kraken or Binance? While both exchanges offer great security with plenty of features to safeguard users assets, we have to pick Kraken and it's stellar decade-long track record.
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Jack is a crypto writer and reviewer who has been active in the space since he caught the crypto bug in 2017. With a passion for trying out new shiny things, Jack is always eager to try the latest cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets or DeFi applications.