The more popular cryptocurrencies and crypto trading becomes the more crypto exchanges you will see in the market. Consequently choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange can be difficult. Hence, my desire is to provide honest third-party insight into the Kraken review.
Additionally, the more people and institutions are investing in crypto everyone is looking for the optimal trading platform. The Kraken trading platform is proving to be a safe, reliable exchange.
The company was founded in the United States and, due to their laser-focused security, has never had its platform hacked!
Let’s take a journey together as we unpackage the good, bad, and ugly in this Kraken TradeStation Review.
Alternatives to consider
Before we unwrap today’s Kraken review, let me just point out some alternatives that can be used as a backdrop foundation of our consideration. Since you are looking for a cryptocurrency exchange you are aware that there are several highly rated possibilities. Let me just mention the three crypto exchanges here that I use and that is worthy of notice.
Coinbase– Coinbase is probably my favorite crypto trading platform due to several reasons that are discussed in another article.
Binance– Has one of, if not the largest selection of available crypto coins.
Kraken – We will review the Kraken crypto platform in detail below.
Any of these three exchanges listed above meet my strict recommendation criteria and will serve you well. In short, the main points I look for in a crypto exchange are the following:
Advanced trading features
Instant buy sell features
- Futures trading
Now let’s get right to the meat of this Kraken review!
Who is Kraken?
Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges founded in 2011. The company is based in San Francisco, CA. Further, the Kraken exchange is one of the largest exchanges in the world in terms of volume.
Jose Powel and Thanh Luu founded Kraken while working on a security issue with the Gox platform. As the founders saw the coming inevitable collapse of Gox they envisioned a new platform that would close all the security issues of its predecessor.
Kraken exchange history and background reviewed
The lead founder of Kraken, Jesse Powel is an alumnus of California State University. In addition to founding Kraken, Powell was a major player in the establishment of the “Committee for the Establishment of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority.”
Significant events timeline
September 2013 Kraken launched by offering Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Euro trades.
Late 2013 saw the addition of margin and futures trading on the crypto platform.
The exchange has been adding fiat currencies and additional crypto coins since.
In March 2014 investors posted a 5 Million dollar investment. which was used to get Kraken listed on the Bloomberg Terminal.
In January 2016 Coinsetter, an exchange based in New York City, was purchased by Kraken.
One month later in February 2016, Kraken completed the purchase of Glidera. This acquisition launched Kraken into the Crypto wallet service. The security of this wallet is a centerpiece of Kraken’s selling features.
Kraken became the first cryptocurrency exchange to be granted a charter as a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) in the United States.
On January 2021 Kraken’s first mobile app was released. The following June saw the Mobile app release in the USA.
In January 2022 Kraken made the anticipated announcement that they would be developing an NFT Marketplace.
Kraken has unquestionably outperformed many upstart cryptocurrency exchanges. The team’s dedication to customer service, security, and maintaining low trading fees has established the exchange as an industry leader.
How Kraken works?
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange. As such it operates under the crypto exchange business model.
For the sake of time and the length of this Kraken review, I will touch only briefly on this. We have other articles that can give you deeper insight into how exchanges work.
Basically, a crypto exchange provides a place for you to buy and sell crypto and altcoins. The crypto exchange simply acts as an intermediary to transactions. So, by bringing buyers and sellers together the exchange provides liquidity. Thus you have an online meeting place for buyers and sellers. For the service, the exchange provides users they charge fees according to a predetermined fee structure.
Is my money safe?
The short answer is, yes, Kraken’s security is second to none! As a matter of fact, I have tested and personally used Kraken. I have been impressed by and attracted to their proactive approach to security.
Kraken utilizes a unique future called Bug Bounties. Through the features of their bug bounty system users are encouraged to report any system bug.
Krakens bug bounty system is a win-win. Users win rewards when they report a valid bug and Kraken wins by staying ahead of any platform vulnerability.
Let’s take a closer look at security details in the Kraken review below.
The Kraken platform focuses heavily on securing and protecting users’ data. As Such, the company employs renowned professionals who are committed to protecting client accounts from hacking threats in the most effective manner. Kraken’s security stands out in a day when cyber security is at the forefront of everyone’s thinking.
Of course, theft by hacking is not the only threat that a platform such as Kraken must face. Before opening an account you will want to understand the financial stability of the digital wallet.
Cryptocurrency exchanges that have their digital wallet, such as Kraken, must maintain the highest standard of security and legal compliance.
A few of the key security features are listed here:
Over 95% of all assets under Kraken’s custody are kept offline. They use what is called “Air gapped cold storage” placed in a variety of strategic geographic locations.
As opposed to using cloud-based services, Kraken hosts their servers in house.
Systematic routine security audit systems + running a robust bug bounty program.
Highly encrypted personal data with restricted access.
Servers and data centers are under 24/7 video and live guard surveillance.
Second-Factor authentication (2FA)
Super fast customer service response for emergency issues.
Global Settings Lock (GSL) prevents unauthorized platform access
Proactive anti-hacking protocol
Thanks to Kraken’s dedication to cyber security and the security of its information management systems, the platform has been awarded ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification. ISO certification is a rigorous grading system aimed at holding software companies to cutting-edge security standards.
Kraken maintains an expert team that is dedicated to continually review and test its security. Basically, they hire hackers to continually test their security platform.
All your sensitive account information is maintained in under double encryption. In addition, two factor authentication access is strictly monitored and users are required to utilize two factor authentication.
Cold Storage and Security
While the security of your digital wallet and the Kraken trading platform is cutting edge. I always recommend that users take advantage of the security that is available in a hardware wallet. Simply put, a cold storage wallet is a hardware wallet that is not connected to the internet.
Low fees are an attraction to many Kraken users. As a matter of fact, Kraken has some of the lowest maker taker fees in the industry. In general, Kraken has across the board lower fees that are super competitive. Any fees are charged on a per trade basis.
The trading fees you incur will vary depending on your trade volume for a period of the past 30 days. Additionally, Kraken charges deposit fees and withdrawal fees depending on the fiat currency used.
For trading, Kraken uses a typical maker taker fees system. Chiefly, dependent on the amount of cryptocurrency to be traded and the number of transactions logged. Generally, trading fees are found in 4 categories. You can expect trading charges to range between 0.36% for the maker fee, and 0.46% for the taker fees. However, they are usually lower than the rate of 0.17% (maker) and 0.50% (taker).
Generally speaking, the maker taker fee structures favor makers as opposed to takers. Makers are the creators of liquidity. Therefore, they are rewarded with a lower maker fee. Conversely, Takers remove liquidity by fulfilling the orders. As a result taker fees are generally higher.
Typical Fee nomenclature:
Spread fee – Most exchanges use the maker taker system. However, a few may use a spread system for collecting fees. A spread fee is calculated simply by the difference between the cost of a coin and the amount the seller was paid. When liquidity is high the spread will be lower, Conversely, when liquidity is low the spread will increase.
Staking fee – Staking rewards are an exciting way to earn passive income by providing collateral for the Proof of State system. Staking helps provide liquidity across your exchange for which you are paid a reward. As such, from your rewards will be deducted the low fees charged for processing.
Withdrawal/deposit fees – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, this is the fees you incur when you make a deposit or withdrawal.
Gas Fee – The Ethereum blockchain has made this a household term in the crypto world. Essentially, the gas fee is charged to cover the energy cost for the processing power used to complete a transaction.
Rollover fee – Rollover fees are rare in cryptocurrency trading. It is more common in the Forex market. However, it is a fee accolated with having an open position over a closing period.
Taker fee – Most crypto platforms operate on a maker taker fee system. The taker pays a fee to remove an offer (crypto coin) from the books (this reduces exchange liquidity).
Maker Fee – The other side of the maker taker fee system is the fee that is collected from the market maker. Basically, this fee is what is charged by the platform for listing your asset for sale. Many cryptocurrency platforms reward makers by charging them a lower fee. The rationale is, that makers, as the name suggests make liquidity on the exchange.
Special Note on Kraken fees
Note: Fees vary and Kraken may change its fee structure at its discretion. Additionally, the maker taker fees will vary on stable coins.
As traders, we like to avoid fees as much as possible. However, it is fair to expect that the company providing the cryptocurrency liquidity platform is entitled to charge fees to cover their costs. Unfortunately, some of the crypto exchanges available today are charging trading fees that are nothing short of price gouging.
In my experience, you will be hard-pressed to beat Kraken’s low fees!
How to fund your Kraken Account
With Kraken, you have two primary funding options. You can use fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies.
Let’s review a list of some of the top fiat currencies and the associated funding options for each:
U.S. dollars (USD) – Wire transfers, SWIFT, ACH, in-person deposits.
Euros (EUR) – SEPA, Wire transfers
Great Britain Pound (GBP) – Clear Junction, SWIFT, Etana Custody
Canadian Dollar (CAD) – Canada Post, Wire, SWIFT
Recently Kraken announced support for Apple Pay and Google pay. Once again Kraken is on the cutting edge!
Unfortunately, funding your account with a debit card or a credit card is not currently an available option.
For a comprehensive list see the Kraken funding offerings web page.
Cryptocurrency Staking on Kraken
Cryptocurrency users love staking! As a result, staking has become increasingly popular because it is a great way to earn passive income.
Staking is simply, holding a given asset in your wallet. However, the wallet does have to be accessible to the network to validate transactions and influence the governance of the specific network.
In comparison to mining, staking is far more attractive due to the low barrier to entry. With staking you do not have to purchase or rent any computer equipment. Mater of fact, it costs almost nothing to get started staking and earning staking rewards.
Kraken offers support covering several networks which allow staking in their consensus mechanism. Each blockchain pays unique reward rates to its validators.
As of the time of this publication here are a few of the staking coins and rates offered by Kraken:
Ethereum – 5%-17%
Tezos – 12%
Flow – 9%
Cosmos – 7%
Kusama – 12%
Kava – 4.5%
Polkadot – 12%
Kraken has a great video to introduce you to Staking:
Kraken Customer Support
Let’s talk about customer service, a key aspect of exchange consideration. The Kraken exchange has some of the best customer support on the Internet with 24×7 features.
When looking at Kraken our discovery was amazing. They employ more than 200 customer service people across all regions to answer any customer questions or concerns. There is also online and live telephone customer service as well as email support. Obveasly, I am very impressed by the help offered by them.
Kraken offers numerous trading opportunities. The platform allows high-volume Kraken traders to utilize the OTC services and receive a dedicated account manager for individual trading.
The Kraken platform is an ideal exchange for both intermediate and pro traders in terms of usability. They have made great strides until today Kraken is considered one of the most beginner trader-friendly, exchanges available.
New to crypto trading, users will be impressed with the array of trading tools available. On the Kraken web site you will find thousands of educational recourses suited for both advanced trading and beginner trading alike.
The Charting capabilities on the Kraken platform are impressive to say the least. Particularly, with the host of available indicators your technical analysis will be a breeze.
Cryptocurrencies available on Kraken
Kraken stands out among crypto exchanges due to the number of cryptocurrencies available on the platform. There are more than 200 coin options and numerous cash exchange options available.
The unique crypto coin options available for American traders totals over 130. Among the available coins, you will find several, popular coins, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum ETH, or Cardano. Additionally, you can trade less-requested tokens such as Yield Guild Games and Star Atlas.
Kraken offers stablecoins on the Ethereum and Tron Blockchains for their advanced traders looking to diversify your portfolio. Furthermore, the exchange platform works with six types of fiat currency.
For all you XR enthusiasts, Ripple is another of the numerous options on Kraken. Get the full info on the Kraken’s website Asset Support page.
Deposits and withdrawals at Kraken
Kraken supports multiple deposit methods and currencies as well as cryptocurrencies deposits.
The withdrawal fees and limits are calculated separately for deposits and withdrawals, At this time credit card, debit card, or PayPal is not available on Kraken.
Deposits and withdrawals can be made via several popular fiat currencies. As such, in your account global settings you will have the option to choose the fiat currencies that you wish to use on the trading platform.
The exchange keeps an updated listing of deposit and withdrawal fees accessible through your account settings page.
Kraken KYC and AML Account Verification Compliance
Kraken has strict KYC/ALM regulations and is friendly to the regulatory authorities. To begin trading, users need merely an e-mail address, ,phone number or postal address. Finally, You will be asked to set up two factor authentication.
After you sign up for an account, your account must be verified before connecting your bank account or making a bank transfer. The platform offers levels of verification (Starter, Express, Intermediate, and Pro). You can change these settings by going to your account’s global settings page.
Verification Documents Required
These are the documents users will be required to submit prior to getting your account verified.
Proof of address documents. Usually two pieces of official mail must be submitted. Qualifying documents include bank statements, utility bills, or tax documents to name a few.
A Valid Goverment -issued ID – This could be a passport, national id, or driver’s license. You must be 18 years old to open an account with Kraken.
USA residents must provide a Social Security Number – for institutions you must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number.
An Id Photo – can be from your passport or Drivers license.
There are four account levels that you can apply for.
Starter – Basic account with basic id requirements. This account does not support futures trading, margin trading, instant buy sell, or fiat currency withdrawals. Additionally, there is only limited crypt withdrawals.
Express – For USA residents only, excluding New York, Washington, and Texas. This account does not allow access to the mobile apps, Kraken pro, instant buy, and fiat deposits and withdrawals are limited.
Intermediate – This level offers higher limits on fiat currency deposits and withdrawals and unlimited support for crypto withdrawals. This level has no access to Kraken pro, limited margin trading, and instant buy sell.
Pro – this is the highest level. This ,transfers you access to all the Kraken pro features like instant buy sell, margin trading, and futures trading.
Due to state law, the residents of the states of Washington and New York cannot trade on the Kraken platform.
Kraken Mobile App
Kraken currently offers two mobile apps. Accordingly, they offer both ios and android versions of their apps. The apps are available for download from Kraken’s website as well as Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Futures Trading App
In the past the crypto exchange offered a mobile app for both margin and futures trading. However, in early 2022 the Kraken exchange discontinued support of their futures trading app. However, if you currently use the futures mobile app it is still functional, but Kraken is no longer supporting the app.
The Basic Kraken App
Trading features of the Basic app:
Make deposits from online bank, in the form of up to 8 different fiat currencies.
Track prices of your favorite coins
Monitor your portfolio performance
Find winners and losers with sort options
Instant buy options on predefined coin quantities (eg. $50, $100 etc)
Beginner friendly, intuitive design
The Kraken App is approve for US traders
Can deposit U.S. dollars
The Kraken Pro App
Trading features of the Kraken Pro App
All the basic features such as tracking, instant buy, low fees + advanced trading options
Kraken Pro = a professional trading experience
Access to Margin trading (up to 5x margin trading available)
Several order types for advanced traders
Stake or unstake your favorite stablecoins.
Monitor your staking rewards
Types of Trading on the Kraken Platform
At its foundation, Kraken is simply a cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows users to trade digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc. As Kraken has grown they have expanded the types of trading options available. At the time of the publication of this Kraken review 2022, these are the trade methods available on the platform.
Margin Trade– the common practice where a trader leverage borrowed assets to expand their trade coverage.
Spot Trade – this trade method is simply exchanging assets on the spot market. A trade is settled immediately and delivered on the spot. Hence, the term spot trading.
Over the counter (OTC) Trade– Usually OTC trading involves contract sizes that are too large for the exchange to list in their open order book. On Kraken the minimum OTC desk size is $100,000 US Dollars.
Futures Trade – This is only available on Kraken Pro. Futures trading is and advanced trading system that should only be done by experienced traders. Basically, a futures agreement is a contract between a buyer and seller to settle a trade at a future time for a set price. If you do not know what you are doing your can loose your shirt fast.
How do I open an account?
For starters head to the Kraken homepage. From there you will click “Create account”
When the “Create your account” page appears simply complete the information. Provide your best email address, username, a highly secure password, and your location details.
Once your information is complete confirm your consent to the terms of service then click “Create account.” Finally, now you will need to make sure that you whitelist emails from Kraken. We have an article explaining that here.
How do I contact Kraken?
If you search the internet you will find some nefarious negative reviews. Some may very well be valid. Nevertheless, Kraken does provide customer support numbers, something we do not have for most exchanges today. Below is the contact number and operating hours based upon location:
USA: +1 – 866-875-7567 USA: 3 – 7pm (EST) Mon – Fri.
UK : 408-510-5031 – 0353 223 862 Mon – Fri.
How does Kraken differ from other crypto exchanges in the United States? Kraken has its headquarters in Santa Fe, California, and is currently distributed worldwide.
Can Kraken offer staking rewards on cryptocurrency? Yes, there have not been any new cards. How many transaction fees does Kraken charge for margins? Margin trader fees are 0.12% for openings and 0.15% on rolls per day – 0.2% each hour.
What funding methods are available in the exchange? There are about 8 different fiat currencies that can as funding options for your account. Above all, with a Kraken pro account, you can use ACH bank transfer for funding and withdrawal. Finally, if you are in the San Francisco area you can deposit cash in U.S. dollars.
What are the withdrawal fees? The current fee structure can be found listed on Kraken’s website.
What are the cryptocurrencies available on kraken? Currently there are over 200 crypto coins or altcoins available to trade.
Does Kraken offer futures trading? Yes users can trade futures with Kraken pro
Kraken is one exchange that you should unquestionably consider. I recommend doing an A, and B comparison with Coinbase. Coinbase has a very comparable platform and a side-bid-side comparison with give you a strong foundation for your decision-making process.
If you have found this Kraken review 2022 to be helpful let us know in the comments below. Additionally, we like to hear your experiences with the platforms we review. Tell us your story!