Kraken Review

Kraken Review front screen

In this review, we evaluate Kraken exchange in terms of its fees, trading tools, verification requirements and deposit methods. Stay tuned as we take you through the platform and evaluate the company on how the service their clients.

General Information

Kraken is an online cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform, specialized in margin trading services. Its services are available for traders from all around the world. The company is the top exchanger when it comes to EUR transactions while USD trade grows as well. The company offers a wide variety of trade tools and cryptocurrencies in its platform.

Apart from web marketplace, the company offers iOS app as well, downloadable free from Apple Store. Android users still wait for the release on Google Play Store. Without Smartphone support, a large portion of the market does not have access to mobile trading experience.

Account Creation and Verification

Creating an account at Kraken right now is a bit of a mess although the process itself is straightforward. The issue lies in email verification as you get a code and link to use in next stage of the registration process.

If you click on the link, you will be directed towards the page that would not log you in. You have to copy the code and paste it in already opened registration page. If you go through link route, you have to click “Account Reversal” and start over again.

As for the verification requirements, Kraken organizes the trade limits on documents and information you provide about yourself.

You can start trading with coins when you provide personal details and the address where you live. At the beginning tier, you do not have to upload documents such as proof of address and ID.

This is really important, as many traders would wish to trade without long verification process and privacy invasion. Ability to buy and sell digital currency anonymously is what made Kraken so popular in the first place. Many other exchanges would immediately demand from your scans and photos, such as Coinbase, Bitstamp, and CEX.io.

Cryptocurrencies

Kraken also shows strength in a number of crypto and fiat currencies that you can trade at their platform. The accepted fiat currencies are EUR, USD, JPY, GBP, and CAD. Available cryptocurrencies are bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum, Ethereum classic, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, Zcash, Stellar, DASH, GNO, ICN, MLN, and REP. Kraken in mentioned as one of the best available Ripple exchange in our blog post, Best Ripple Exchange 2018.

Deposit/Payment Methods

Kraken offers bank transfers only as deposit methods, much like Bitfinex and other similar platforms. When compared to Coinbase for example, Kraken would be at the disadvantage, as Coinbase offers two additional deposit options, PayPal and credit cards. The difference is even wider when compared with P2P platforms (LocalBitcoins and Paxful), where over 100 deposit channels are available.

Fees range between 0 to $15, depending on the type of bank transfer used. SEPA and CAD wire transfers are free while EUR/USD wire and SWIFT deposits range between $5 and $15.

Fees and Exchange Rates

Kraken allows orders to shape the exchange rate of coins it offers for trade while fees are organized through taker and maker transactions. The taker fees can range between 0.1% and 0.26% while makers range between completely free and 0.16%. The costs depend on the monthly trade volumes, with larger number decreasing the costs.

Do take into account that there is a fee for margin order opening/rolling and it stands between 0.01% and 0.02% every 4 hours, depending on the currency trade pair.

Liquidity

Kraken is one of the largest EUR service providers and the liquidity rate is biggest with the Euro market. USD and other currencies do have deep liquidity as well but not at the EUR level. The EUR/BTC pair is the largest market, where more than 4.500 bitcoins are traded with EUR currency.

History

The company started its operations in 2011, opened by the owner Payward Inc. Based in San Francisco, a platform focused its services towards EUR markets, specifically in Europe. It was one of the first exchanges that had price and volume of coins displayed in Bloomberg Terminal.

The trade itself started in 2013 and reached the top spot in EUR trade in 2014. In the same year, the company released iOS platform and added USD trade as well. In 2015, it introduced BitGo security function and launched Ethereum trading.

In 2016, the company launched Iconomi (ICN) and Zcash (ZEC) currency trading while in 2017 Monero (XMR) was launched.

Security

Kraken offers several safety functions that are must-have to protect your funds:

  • two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • PGP/GPG for email encryption and email signature/verification
  • Global settings lock preventing hackers to withdraw funds or digital currencies from the account

Kraken itself stores al coins in cold storage capacities while only a portion is really circulating n the market.

Being the largest EUR platform, the security features are adequate though more tools would be necessary for future. Bitstamp offers password change system, something that Kraken can use as well.

Pros

  • services are globally available
  • 14 crypto and 5 fiat currencies available for trade
  • largest EUR trader in the world
  • unverified users can trade and withdraw funds from the exchange
  • low transaction and deposit fees

Cons

  • Android devices not supported
  • registration issues still not resolved
  • only bank transfers accepted as a deposit option

Concluding Remarks

If you are looking for an exchange that facilitates a number of fiat and cryptocurrencies, then Kraken is a place to go. With low fees and deep liquidity, the exchange has established itself as a trustworthy partner.

Issues do need to be solved, especially availability of the platform in Android phones and limited deposit methods. Introducing Smartphone app and more funding choices (credit card in particular), Kraken would improve its performance even more in the future. Kraken is mentioned as one of the best Bitcoin trading platforms in our blog post, Best Bitcoin Trading Platform 2018.

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