Kraken

Kraken is a globally operating US-based crypto exchange founded in 2011 and the world's largest bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity.

What is Kraken?

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that offers a wide range of investment options to both individuals and institutions in over 200 countries across the world. Kraken also supports almost 100 different cryptocurrencies including the most popular ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Cardano, among others.

History of Kraken

Kraken was established in 2011 by Jesse Powell, its current CEO, but did not formally launch its operations until 2013. Powell recognized the importance of Bitcoin as well as the potential lucrativeness of crypto exchanges as an integral part of the crypto ecosystem.

Powell’s intention was to create value through a platform where people could promptly and securely invest in the cryptocurrency world.

Since its inception, Kraken has grown tremendously, having hired hundreds of employees around the globe while also allowing people from all walks of life to invest in cryptocurrency independently and worry-free.

How to Buy Crypto on Kraken

Create an account

To create an account at Kraken, go to their website click on “Create Account" in the right-top corner.

Next, you need to enter your email address, us_ername_, and a s_trong password_. Once you have provided this information, simply press the “Sign Up” button. You will immediately receive an email to complete the activation of your account.

Verify your identity

Next, you need to verify your identity. This is necessary because of anti-money-laundering laws.

Kraken offers different verification levels: Starter, Express, Intermediate and Pro. Depending on your verification level, you will be able to use different features of the Kraken platform. For instance, with the Starter level, you can deposit cryptocurrencies and exchange unlimited amounts of crypto. If you would like to deposit fiat money, however, you need the Express (up to $9.000) or Intermediate (unlimited deposits) level.

You can learn more about the requirements and allowances of the different verifcation levels on Kraken's helpdesk.

Deposit money

To fund your account and start trading, navigate to the “Funding” tab highlighted on the screenshot below. Next, click on the “Deposit” button and look for the currency you would like to deposit and click on it.

Now, key in the amount you wish to deposit and choose a Funding Provider from the drop-down menu. If the drop-down menu only displays a single option, you can simply skip this step and move on to completion.

Buy crypto

Instant Buy / Mobile App

The easiest way to buy crypto on Kraken is using its Instant Buy feature, which is also used by the Kraken mobile app. Simply click on the "Buy Crypto" button in the navigation bar, click on "Buy", select the crypto of your choice, and select the amount of crypto you'd like to buy.

Trading

Kraken is also a very popular platform among professional traders. For more experienced users, there are two different ways to buy crypto: either through the "Trade" section in the navigation bar, or the professional trading interface which can be accessed by clicking the chart icon in the submenu of the "Trade" webpage.

Mobile App

To login to Kraken's mobile app, simply scan the QR Code that is generated automatically at the Kraken profile settings webpage.

The Kraken app allows you to monitor your portfolio and trade on the go. However, it does not support advanced order types like limit orders and trading via the app will incur an additional fee. The app does not allow for the withdrawal or depositing of funds yet but the company has stated that it will work on incorporating the feature soon.

Features of Kraken

Available Payment Methods

Currently, Kraken only accepts deposits in:

  • US Dollar
  • Euro
  • Canadian Dollar
  • Pound Sterling
  • Japanese Yen
  • Swiss Franc

Canadian clients are able to fund their accounts through their debit and credit cards. Users from other parts of the world can only fund their accounts through wire transfers where a small fee is charged to their accounts. For European Union clients, however, SEPA wire transfers are absolutely free. Kraken also offers SEPA Instant Payments, so you don't have to wait for days for your transfer to arrive.

Limits and Fees

Most cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken included, apply a maker/taker fee model, which essentially means that the fee charged will be lower depending on whether or not you are adding liquidity in the market or taking liquidity away from it.

Maker fees refer to the fee applied whenever a client places a trade that isn’t automatically matched to an already existing order in the books. The reason this called a ‘maker’ is because it makes/increases the demand for cryptocurrency in the market.

Taker fees, on the other hand, refer to the fee applied when a client places an order that is automatically matched with an order that is already existent in the books. This reduces liquidity because it takes an existent coin off the market, which is why it is called a ‘taker’.

As you can tell, Kraken does not charge any fees until you have executed an order; that is, until your order is matched with another client’s order. As mentioned, this fee will also be dependent on whether you are a maker or a taker, which you cannot predict until you have executed your order. This fee can range anywhere between 0% to 0.3%

The fee will also be influenced by your maker/taker status as well as the currency pair that you will be trading (for example USD to Bitcoin) as well as your 30-day trading volume in dollars. The more trading you have done in the past 30 days, the lower your fee will be.

There are other options that may appeal to beginners more than the maker/taker model. For example, the ‘Instant Buy’ option which, as the name suggests, allows you to purchase crypocurrency quite easily. This comes at a higher cost than if you used the maker/trader model.

Note that with the Instant Buy option, you would have to pay a 1.5% flat rate for converting, buying, or selling. Further, you will also have to incur an additional 4% fee for each transaction if you are using a credit/debit card.

Is Kraken trustworthy?

Cryptocurrency exchanges have proven to be particularly vulnerable when it comes to hacking, which has resulted to millions in losses over the years. Although most of these platforms have reimbursed their clients for the losses incurred, you certainly don’t want to choose a trading platform with weak security because you will suffer undue inconvenience.

Kraken has on numerous occasions declared its commitment to cyber security, even ranking first on security review sites on crypto exchange platforms such as CER. Most importantly, Kraken has never, in its 10-year history, experienced any major hacking event and never has there been an incident where the platform has lost client funds.

Additionally, Kraken offers its clients safe coin storage, with about 95% of all deposits being held offline in cold storages spread out all across the globe. Onsite protection of all of Kraken’s servers is also guaranteed, with these servers being kept under 24-hour surveillance by armed guards at various locations all over the world.

Apart from the physical measures Kraken takes, the company has also encrypted all sensitive user information at the data and system level and regularly conducts vulnerability tests to ascertain the safety of its own systems.

As a personal measure, ensure that you activate the 2FA authentication setting to ensure that even the people you personally interact with cannot access your account.

Conclusion

Kraken is a great cryptocurrency exchange platform with good services. Although, the platform is more oriented towards experienced traders, it also offers beginner-friendly tools like the Instant Buy feature and its mobile app, for a small additional fee. Kraken also makes it extraordinarily easy to earn interest on your investments through onchain and offchain staking. In all, Kraken is rightly one of the most reputable crypto exchanges.

Customer Reviews

normalwert
normalwert
Verified User
4.5

No deposit fee or limit, very good support that helps you quickly. I once paid the wrong money, so not on me, I got it back quickly. I lost 2FA. Account was free again after a day

Translated from German. Show Original

Keine Einzahlungsgebühr oder limit, sehr guter Support der ein schnell hilft. Hab mal Geld falsch eingezahlt, also nicht auf mich, bekam ich schnell wieder. 2FA hab ich verloren . Konto war nach nem Tag wieder frei

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6 months ago

1korda
1korda
Verified Purchase
3.0

Despite their struggles in peak times and the confusing interface, Kraken still is my favorite bitcoin exchange offering the best liquidity in the BTC/EUR market. However, I completely understand that for newcomers there are way better portals.

4 years ago

Flury
Flury
5.0

For Germans the best option. Working with Fidor Bank will transfer Fiat Money in minutes. The surface of Kraken is getting used to and not in German. Nevertheless, the best option for me and my friends.

Translated from German. Show Original

Für Deutsche die beste Option. Durch das Zusammenarbeiten mit der Fidor Bank wird Fiat Money in Minuten transferiert. Die Oberfläche von Kraken ist allerdings gewöhnungsbedürftig und nicht auf deutsch. Für mich und meine Freunde trotzdem die beste Option.

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3 years ago

bellemi
bellemi
Verified User
3.5

Interesting platform, verification isn't fast but liquidity and support makes up for it.

2 years ago

lattyined
lattyined
Verified User
3.5

One of the best out there, a few short comings I've had makes me mark a not so perfect score, but hey, back in the day this I used to convert larger amounts of btc. Recommended.

2 years ago

gmourani
gmourani
5.0

Good Exchange site for Canadian citizen who want to withdraw in their bank account in CAD fiat. Low fees for trading and bank transfer. Trading prices reflex the market.

3 years ago

Cryptonewbie
Cryptonewbie
4.2

Love their support team , very efficient in reply!

Some Interfaces are not user friendly at first, however I do not have any issues anymore after getting used to it.

3 years ago

Patrick
Patrick
2.8

Kraken is no longer recommended.
After a proven and even confirmed by the support internal system error, all positions were liquidated and blocked for "security reasons" continue, so I could not create any new. The whole thing has led to real capital loss.

Initially, I was fed standard answers until I could prove that a regular liquidation was not possible (proof by invoice and log entries).

Only then did you continue to search and find the mistake. A faulty transfer to my account, which never landed as a credit on my account, was probably deducted in the remittance and triggered the liquidation!

But one was only willing to "credit" me (not even the full amount) as future trading costs.
Restoring or compensating for the previous condition is not possible.

Translated from German. Show Original

Kraken ist nicht mehr zu empfehlen.
Nach einem nachgewiesenen und sogar durch den Support bestätigten internen Systemfehler, wurden alle Positionen liquidiert und aus „Sicherheitsgründen“ weiterhin gesperrt, ich konnte also auch keine neuen anlegen. Das Ganze hat zu realem Kapitalverlust geführt.

Anfänglich speiste man mich mit Standardantworten ab bis ich nachweisen konnte, dass eine reguläre Liquidiereung nicht möglich war (Nachweis durch Rechnung und Logeinträge).

Erst dann forschte man weiter und fand den Fehler. Eine fehlerhafte Überweisung zu meinem Konto, welche nie als Guthaben auf meinem Account gelandet ist, wurde bei der Rücküberweisung vermutlich abgezogen und löste die Liquidierung aus!!!

Man war aber lediglich bereit mir (nicht mal den vollen Betrag) als zukünftige Tradingkosten „gutzuschreiben“.
Den vorherigen Zustand wiederherzustellen oder zu entschädigen sei nicht möglich.

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3 years ago

Tommy74
Tommy74
Verified User
4.5

Offers everything you need.

Translated from German. Show Original

Bietet alles was man benötigt.

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2 years ago

Kingjohn
Kingjohn
3.2

Buying was often possible at the best price.

Translated from German. Show Original

Kauf war oftmals zum günstigsten Preis möglich.

Show English translation

2 years ago

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