Kraken Review

Kraken-review

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011 with a mission to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies since its inception. Kraken has expanded heavily throughout the years adding new trading instruments while at the same time operating under a strict regulatory framework.

Kraken is one of the oldest, secure and amongst the most trusted exchanges for buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies in the industry. During the years, the platform continued to expand while building its infrastructure and acquiring other prominent crypto businesses to its portfolio.

Kraken Features Review

MarketsCrypto, fiat
Supported countriesWorldwide
KYCYes
Leverage50x
DepositsMultiple
Min. Deposit0.001 BTC
Max. Withdrawal LimitDepends on the verification level
Trading fee0.05%
Supportlive chat, email
Mobile appiOS/Android

Kraken Security Review

Kraken has implemented a series of remarkable triggers to its security and safeguarding of user funds. The global team is comprised of professionals with rich experience in the security industry.

kraken-security-page

The platform servers are situated in cages with 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and heavy video monitoring. Nothing goes in or out without a strict evaluation and review by the team. It is one of the exchanges that never fell victim to hackers, of course, user accounts were compromised during the years, but the fault rests on the users for not securing their accounts with all of the available options.

Sensitive account information is heavily secured and controlled with only a limited number of staff members having access to it. Regular penetration and security tests are conducted on the exchange by an expert team dedicated to this task. Kraken also has a bug bounty program, assuring that users will have the incentive to report bugs and help to strengthen the platform’s stability.

Kraken stores 95% of the deposits in offline cold storages located in different geolocations, the other 5% is kept in the hot wallet for instant access to cover the withdrawal demands from customers.

Security options

  • 2FA (Google Authenticator or Yubikey)
  • Email confirmation for withdrawals
  • A customizable granular API key
  • PGP signed and encrypted email for secure communication
  • Constant real-time monitoring
  • Configurable account timeout
  • Global settings time lock
  • SSL encryption
  • Zero settlement risk
  • Sensitive data fully encrypted
  • 24/7 Support for urgent cases

Where is Kraken Located?

The headquarters of the Kraken exchange are located in San Francisco, California, United States (USA)

Is Kraken Regulated?

Kraken is compliant with the regulatory requirements of all of the jurisdictions they operate in. The exchange is registered as a Money Service Business (MSB) in:

  • USA – FinCEN, Registration Number 31000136371793.
  • Canada – FINTRAC, Registration Number M19343731.

Kraken Futures is registered and regulated by the FCA in the UK – Registration number 757895.

The platform has an extensive KYC process due to AML (Anti-Money Laundering) requirements with 3 options present on the website.

KYC

The 3 levels of verification will decide your limits for deposits and withdrawals. The three levels are:

  • Starter
  • Intermediate
  • Pro

kraken-kyc-page

Starter Level – Low limits

To acquire the Starter level you need to provide Full Name, Email Address, Primary Address, and Phone Number. Passing KYC level 1 grants access to depositing and withdrawing with certain limits on cryptocurrencies, buy, sell and trade, trade with margin. 

Deposit Limits

Crypto

  • Daily – Unlimited
  • Monthly – Unlimited

Fiat deposits are not available with the starter level KYC.

Withdrawal Limits

Crypto

  • Daily – 5000$
  • Monthly – Unlimited

Fiat withdrawals are not available with the starter level KYC.

Intermediate Level – Higher Limits

To level up and get access to much higher limits and the opportunity to deposit and withdraw fiat, buy/sell and trade with fiat, higher funding limits, and crypto futures trading you need to provide occupation, government-issued ID, proof of residence and ID confirmation photo.

Deposit Limits

Crypto

  • Daily – Unlimited
  • Monthly – Unlimited

fiat

  • Daily – $100 000
  • Monthly – $500 000

Withdrawal Limits

Crypto

  • Daily – $500 000
  • Monthly – Unlimited

fiat

  • Daily – $100 000
  • Monthly – $500 000

Pro Level – Highest Limits

Acquiring the pro level gives you access to personalized funding limits, higher-margin limits, higher API limits, and OTC (Over the counter) trading. You need to provide AML verification and Financial statements.

Deposit Limits

Crypto

  • Daily – Unlimited
  • Monthly – Unlimited

fiat

  • Daily – $10 million+
  • Monthly – $100 million+

Withdrawal Limits

Crypto

  • Daily – $10 million+
  • Monthly – Unlimited

fiat

  • Daily – $10 million+
  • Monthly – $100 million+

Note: Kraken also provides institutional accounts.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Kraken serves in many jurisdictions and thanks to its positive relations with banks you can deposit and withdraw 6 different types of fiat currencies:

  • Canadian Dollar (CND)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Pound Sterling (GPB)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Yen (JPY) 

kraken-funding-page

You can deposit and withdraw in 25+ cryptocurrencies on Kraken:

  • Augur (REP)
  • BAT
  • Bitcoin (BTC/XBT)
  • Bitcoin cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin SV (BSV)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Dogecoin (XDG)
  • EOS
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Gnosis (GNO)
  • ICON (ICX)
  • Lisk (LSK)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Lumen (XLM)
  • Melon (MLN)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Nano (NANO)
  • OmiseGO (OMG)
  • PAX Gold (PAXG)
  • Qtum (QTUM)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Siacoin (SC)
  • Tether USD (USDT)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • USDC
  • WAVES
  • Zcash (ZEC)

Example for withdrawal minimums:

Bitcoin (BTC) 

  • Withdrawal minimum – 0.005 BTC

Ethereum (ETH) 

  • Withdrawal minimum – 0.01 ETH

Deposit and withdrawal limits depend on the verification level. The minimum deposit for each cryptocurrency is different, usually, it is around 10$.

Trading Instruments

Kraken is a diversified exchange offering a good number of instruments for trading, buying and selling cryptocurrencies. From Spot trading numerous cryptocurrencies (crypto to crypto and crypto to fiat) to futures. 

You can margin trade the following cryptocurrencies with up to 5x leverage:

  • BTC
  • ETH
  • USDT
  • XMR
  • ETC
  • REP
  • XRP
  • BCH

kraken-pro-trading-pairs

Over-the-counter (OTC) trading is present on Kraken offering high liquidity and a service tailored towards personalized experience for high-net-worth individuals. Kraken OTC supports 4 types of fiat currencies and 6+ cryptocurrencies. Over-the-counter trading is available for the highest level of verification (Pro) with few terms set in place:

  • Minimum order size – $100 000 (Possibility for negotiating lower limit is possible)
  • Kraken OTC does not act as a custodian of the assets belonging to the trading counterparties
  • AML/KYC is present for OTC trading through Kraken

Futures trading

Trading futures with up to 50x leverage is available to those users who take their account verification to the intermediate level. Perpetual, monthly and quarterly time frame contracts are available for the following trading pairs:

  • BTCUSD
  • ETHUSD
  • LTCUSD
  • BCHUSD
  • XRPUSD
  • XRPBTC

A separate and completely different user-interface is created on the platform designed specifically for futures trading with very high leverage. 

Order types

Kraken has the following order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Settle position
  • Stop loss
  • Take profit

The orders are accompanied with advanced order options like:

  • Good until Cancelled
  • Good this day
  • Good this week
  • Good this month
  • Custom (You set your own parameters)

kraken-trade-page

User Interface

Recently Kraken has introduced an updated version of their UI, providing a more user-friendly environment. There are two versions on the exchange – standard and Pro. The standard version design leans more to providing an environment for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. It is not customizable, it offers only white UI but it serves its purpose to a high degree.

kraken-overview-page

Pro UI design is the complete opposite, providing a much more suitable environment for professional trading sessions and a lot of options for customization. This is one of the most robust and customizable user interfaces in terms of color schemes, however, you cannot fully customize the tabs to your own personal liking.

kraken-pro-ui

kraken-blueprint-UI

For customizing the interface color you have 14 options. Some are taking the set-up to the extreme:  

  • Standard
  • Albuquerque
  • Ballmer
  • Blueprint
  • Bushido
  • Candy Cane
  • Delek
  • EPaper
  • Ishihara
  • Kraken Dark
  • Kraken Light
  • Frankenstein

Besides colors, you can customize the interface with advanced options present in the settings tab.

kraken-customize-settings

Overall, the Pro UI design is good, not flashy, doesn’t have a killer design but it does the perfect job for those searching to trade on a high profile compliant exchange.

Kraken positions itself between Coinbase and Bitpanda. When it comes to design it is completely different and unique. The standard version is balanced between simple and technical at the same time while the Pro version sticks up to a highly technical design providing a higher standard trading environment.

Kraken Mobile Application

The mobile app is available both for Android and iOS, boasting friendly UI and providing full control over the capital held on the exchange. All of the options for effective bitcoin and altcoins trading is present on the app.

Kraken-mobile-app-log-in Kraken-mobile-app-assetsKraken-android-app-chart

Kraken exchange fees

Cryptocurrency deposits are free for most of the digital assets with a few exceptions where you are required to pay a fee for the setup of the address. Withdrawal fees are different for all of the cryptocurrencies and there is a required minimum that must be met before withdrawing. 

Example:

Bitcoin (BTC) 

  • Withdrawal fee – 0.0005 BTC

Ethereum (ETH) 

  • Withdrawal fee – 0.005 ETH

Fiat deposits and withdrawals fees

Deposit and withdrawal fees for fiat will depend on the method that you will use. Keep note that Kraken reserves the right to change the fees at any given moment without any notice.

USD (US Dollar) deposit options

AvailabilityDeposit – Method/PartnerDeposit MinimumDeposit FeeProcessing Time
USA onlyACH (Normal)20 USD5 USD3-5 business days
USA onlyFedWire (Normal)20 USD5 USD1-3 business days
USA onlyFedWire (Etana Custody)150 USD35 USD1-5 business days or instant
USA onlyFedWire (High Limit)50,000 USD5 USD<1 business days (cutoff at 3pm EST)
WorldwideSWIFT (Etana Custody)150 USD35 USD3-5 business days or instant
Worldwide Corporate ProSWIFT (High Limit)50,000 USD5 USD2-5 business days
Worldwide Corporate ProSilvergate Exchange Network (SEN)Corporate:
No minimum
FreeNear-instant

 

USD (US Dollar) withdrawal options

AvailabilityWithdrawal- Method/PartnerWithdrawal MinimumWithdrawal FeeProcessing Time
US onlyACH (Normal)Not availableNot availableNot available
US onlyFedWire (Normal)20 USD5 USD1-3 business days
US onlyFedWire (Etana Custody)150 USD35 USD1-5 business days or instant
US onlyFedWire (High Limit)50,000 USD5 USD<1 business days (cutoff at 3pm EST)
WorldwideSWIFT (Etana Custody)150 USD35 USD3-5 business days or instant
WorldwideSWIFT (High Limit)50,000 USD5 USD2-5 business days
Worldwide Corporate ProSilvergate Exchange Network (SEN)No minimumFreeNear-instant

 

Spot trading fees

Kraken has a flexible fee structure based on your volume turned over on the platform during a 30 day period. The more you trade on Kraken – the lower maker and taker fees. A Flexible fee structure helps in boosting activity while providing a friendly trading environment benefiting both the platform and the trader.

30 Day VolumeMaker/PartnerTaker
$0 – $50,0000.16%0.26%
$50,001 – $100,0000.14%0.24%
$100,001 – $250,0000.12%0.22%
$250,001 – $500,0000.10%0.20%
$500,001 – $1,000,0000.08%0.18%
$1,000,001 – $2,500,0000.06%0.16%
$2,500,001 – $5,000,0000.04%0.14%
$5,000,001 – $10,000,0000.02%0.12%
$10,000,000+0.00%0.10%

Margin trading fees

The margin fee varies between 0.01 – 0.02% depending on the asset that you decide to trade. Spot trading fees are also applied when trading with leverage. Compared to some of the competitors like Bybit, Deribit or Bitmex, Kraken is much more expensive than a dedicated leverage trading platform.

Base currencyQuote currencyOpening feeRollover fee
XBT (Bitcoin)EUR/USD0.01%0.01% per 4 hours
USDT (Tether)USD0.01%0.01% per 4 hours
BCH (Bitcoin Cash)EUR/USD/XBT0.02%0.02% per 4 hours
ETH (Ethereum)EUR/USD/XBT0.02%0.02% per 4 hours
ETC (Ethereum Classic)EUR/USD/ETH/XBT0.02%0.02% per 4 hours
REP (Augur)EUR/USD/XBT0.02%0.02% per 4 hours
XMR (Monero)EUR/USD/XBT0.02%0.02% per 4 hours
XRP (Ripple)EUR/USD/XBT0.02%0.02% per 4 hours

 

Kraken’s exchange fees are flexible and well structured in providing one of the best environments in terms of fees for trading and exchanging bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies.

Kraken brands

During the years Kraken has acquired a few crypto start-ups, diversifying their company portfolio securing themselves a better position in the crypto industry.

Kraken owns the following crypto companies:

  • Cryptowat.ch
  • CryptoFacilities.com
  • CryptoFinance.ai
  • Interchange

The exchange also sponsors two podcasts – What Bitcoin Did, Stephan Livera Podcast and is a donor to Coin Center. 

Kraken exchange volume

The volume on Kraken is on the upper spectrum for the crypto industry with around $140 million flowing daily through the exchange. If you are a trader with large capital you can trade safely on Kraken due to its high liquidity. The most active pairs on the exchange are BTC/EUR and BTC/USD, followed by ETH/USD and ETH/EUR.

Affiliate Program

Kraken has introduced an affiliate program that you need to apply for in order to use. The affiliate program offers a revenue share model that captures 20% of the trading fees paid by referred users. The negative side of the Kraken’s affiliate program is that they have imposed a limit of 1000$ that you can be rewarded from each referral. The program itself does not have an expiration date, however, it’s quite limited when compared to other competitors in the crypto industry like Binance, KuCoin or Bybit.

Kraken Review Conclusion

Kraken has managed to build an exchange with lots of instruments and stay grounded at the same time for almost a decade. Following the strict regulatory requirements of the jurisdictions where it operates while creating an easy entry barrier for the small investor. Kraken is a very good offering as a whole if you are willing to pass an extensive KYC procedure to unlock all of its potentials. It also serves as an ideal when it comes to a regulated and secure exchange that isn’t going to disappear overnight.

Pros / Cons
  • 6 fiat currencies
  • Very high security
  • High liquidity
  • KYC
  • Low customization options

Min. Deposit: 10$

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011, gradually adding more crypto pairs and margin trading while growing to be one of the most versatile exchanges in the crypto market.