Introduction: Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011 that offers a solid range of well known cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and Avalanche. Kraken has been around for many years but where does it have an edge over the competition? Continue reading to find out where Kraken shines and when it makes sense to use it.
Kraken was founded in the United States in 2011 by Jesse Powell and is one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. From their San Fransisco headquarters, they serve over 9M registered clients across 190 countries.
Kraken complies with all legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions where they operate. Kraken has raised over $140M and have over 2000 employees around the world. Kraken offers fewer products than an exchange like Binance and as such, their interface is less cluttered and easier for beginners to navigate.
Kraken KYC Requirements
The signup process on Kraken is straightforward and users can easily get started in less than a minute by following the steps outlined below.
1. Visit the Kraken Website 2. Click on the “Create Account”(top right corner) and enter your information 3. Add the security settings & preferred payment method 4. Deposit funds and start trading
To unlock all features on Kraken you will need to provide identifying information using your passport, driving license, or national id.
Estimated verification time ranges from a few minutes for the intermediate levels and a few days for the Pro levels. The intermediate level will satisfy the needs of most users.
Kraken Crypto Products
When it comes to products and services, Kraken offers a diverse range while at the same time adhering to the stringent regulations of the United States. Despite the constraints, Kraken boasts a product suite that caters to both beginner and advanced traders, as well as institutional clients.
At the heart of Kraken's offerings is spot trading, enabling users to directly buy and sell over 200 different cryptocurrencies.
The platform's robust liquidity ensures smooth transactions, with daily spot trading volumes typically ranging between $300 to $600 million, placing Kraken frequently among the top 10 exchanges worldwide.
For those interested in derivatives, Kraken provides cash-settled futures trading. These futures contracts come with various maturities, including monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual, along with perpetual futures. This flexibility allows traders to choose a contract that best suits their investment strategy and risk appetite.
Furthermore, Kraken accommodates traders looking to amplify their trading results through leverage. The platform offers leverage up to a maximum of 50X for certain trades, and up to 5X for margin trading. This feature can enhance potential profits but users should be aware that it also increases the risk of losses.
Staking is another feature that Kraken extends to its non-US users. Through staking, users can earn rewards by participating in a network's operations, such as validating transactions and securing the network.
Kraken has also recently launched it's very own NFT marketplace that allows users to buy, sell, and explore unique digital assets, further broadening Kraken's product offerings.
Kraken also understands the unique needs of institutional clients. To cater to these high-volume traders, the exchange provides an Over-The-Counter (OTC) trading desk for private, more personalized service.
Institutional clients also benefit from dedicated 24/7 account management teams, ensuring seamless trading experiences.
Kraken supports trading against other fiat currencies like EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CHF and CAD and Crypto-to-Crypto pairs where the main pairs are BTC and ETH. The main products and services that Kraken offer are spot trading, margin trading, futures trading, OTC exchange and staking.
Kraken spot trading fees for Kraken Pros users (under $50K 30 day trading volume) are 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers. A user is a Taker whenhis order is immediately matched and a Maker when a limit order is not immediately matched.
If you place a $100 purchase order on Kraken Pro that executes immediately, your fee will be $100 * (0.26/100) = $0.26. Krakens full fee schedule for Kraken Pro users can be found in the table below:
Kraken futures trading fees are 0.02% for makers and 0.05% for takers for trading volumes under $100,000 per month.Fees for Single-Collateral contracts are charged in the collateral currency of the traded contract and Multi-Collateral contract fees are charged in USD.
Kraken allows deposits with the 7 fiat currencies, USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, JPY. In all cases there are SWIFT deposits available for free with a processing time between 0-5 business days.
For Europe, SEPA deposits are available for free with a processing time between 0-3 business days. You can also buy directly using your Visa or Mastercard though we would advice against that considering the fees.
Every crypto purchase made with your card comes with a fee of 3.75% + 0.25c that is deducted + 0.9-1.5% fee applied by Kraken depending on the asset pair being purchased.
How to withdraw from Kraken?
Kraken offers users the ability to withdraw funds either via fiat or cryptocurrencies. Withdrawal methods vary depending on the country of residence and the account verification level.
For fiat withdrawals, Kraken supports several options such as bank wire transfer, SWIFT, and SEPA. These methods allow users to withdraw their funds in their local currency directly to their bank account.
The processing time and fees associated with each method vary, with some methods taking longer and incurring higher fees than others. For crypto withdrawals, Kraken supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others.
Users can withdraw their funds to their personal wallets or other exchange accounts. The processing time and fees associated with each withdrawal depend on the specific cryptocurrency being withdrawn, with some being faster and less expensive than others.
Below we have outlined Krakens crypto withdrawal fees for a set of popular cryptocurrencies:
BTC: 0.00001 BTC ETH: 0.0035 ETH SOL: 0.01 SOL (0.4$) ATOM: 0.1 ATOM DOT: 0.05 DOT USDT (ERC-20): 3.55 USDT
Kraken: Apps & Wallet
Kraken can be used either through the browser or by downloading their mobile app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store.
The Kraken app offers a range of features such as the ability to place buy and sell orders, track market prices and more advanced trading features like margin and futures trading.
Kraken has over 1 million IOS & Android downloads. They have a 4.7 star rating with over 1.7K reviews on the App Store and 4 star rating with almost 27K reviews on the Play Store.
Is Kraken Safe?
Kraken employees a team of top security professionals to ensure their clients assets are protected at the highest levels. Kraken keeps 95% of all deposits offline in geographically distributed cold storage facilities not connected to the internet.
In the unlikely event that a hack occurs, this significantly limits the amount of funds that are exposed and makes it less likely that Kraken becomes insolvent.
All sensitive account information is encrypted and their servers reside in secure cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and video monitors.
Has Kraken ever been hacked?
Kraken has never been hacked in over 10 years of operations and has a perfect 10/10 Coingecko Trust Score.
Is Kraken licensed or regulated?
Kraken complies with all the legal and regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions they operate in. Kraken is registered and regulated:
As a Money Services Business (MSB) with FinCen in the US and FINTRAC in Canada By the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK By the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) With the FSA in Japan By the Wyoming division of banking
Kraken client funds are held directly by clients in their own bank accounts at our partner banks, which are heavily regulated.
Kraken security features
Kraken offers the most common security features such as two-factor authentication, withdrawal address management to make it harder for attackers to both access accounts and transfer funds to unverified addresses.
Constant, real-time monitoring for suspicious activityand Security notifications are used if the system detects suspicious activity. Sensitive data is fully encrypted at rest and in transit.
While Kraken provides world class security, to be one the safe side, we suggest that you never store your crypto on any exchange. Instead, safeguard your crypto assets by storing them in hot or cold non custodial wallets that nobody else can access.
eToro USA LLC: Investments are subject to market risk. Including the possible loss of principal.
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.