Kraken is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges out there. It was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and is used by people all over the world, making it the biggest platform in terms of Euro to Bitcoin trading. Kraken was the first one to provide verifiable cryptographic proof of reserve audit system and is available to residents in US, Canada, Japan and most of Europe. Available fiat includes USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, YEN.
Kraken’s interface works well with both beginners and more advanced traders. The iOS mobile app works pretty well and the cold storage, as well as the PGP/GPG encryption, make sure everything is kept safe, other than two-factor authentication, global settings lock and the master key.
It’s possible to operate Margin Trading with up to 5x of shorting is available on selected pairs, and features such as stop-loss or automated trading are also provided. The high level of liquidity allows quick operations, plus Kraken also operates a dark pool, enabling anonymous large volume trades.
Other than BTC and ETH, Tether, Monero, Litecoin, Ripple and a lot more altcurrencies are available on the exchange. Payments can be carried out through bank or sepa transfer.
Signup is pretty standard. You’ll be asked for a nickname, email address and password. You’ll need to upload an ID and proof of residence, plus a social security number if you’re American. After setting up two-factor authentication and uploading the documents, you’ll have to add the bank account you’ll be using for transfers or wires.
You can then click on the “Trade” tab and select “New Order” in order to get started.
Fees on deposits and withdrawals depend on the type of transaction you’ll be conducting and the currency or cryptocurrency involved. You can check them out in the website to find the one you’re interested in.
When it comes to trading fees, if you’re under 50,000 of whatever currency you’re trading, you’ll pay a 0.16% maker fee and 0.26% taker fee. If you’re trading a higher volume, the fees fall to 0.14% and 0.24%. If you’re trading more than 10,000,000 it’ll just be 0% and 0.10%.
Trading limits depend on your tier verification:
You can’t do anything; you just put your email address and only navigate the site.
You can deposit and withdraw digital currencies only but can trade both crypto and fiat; however, you’ll need to provide full name, date of birth, country and phone number.
Allows fiat currency funding for selected countries. To reach this, you’ll be asked your address.
It requires an ID and proof-of-residence but allows higher fiat funding.
It is the last one; it allows for the highest levels of funding limits and works for both individual and corporate; however, it requires a signed application and KYC documents.
With the crypto market booming last year, Kraken experienced numerous outages due to the influx of users. It even went offline for 2 whole days while installing a new engine. As of now, it seems everything is working smoothly again.
Overall, Kraken is one of the oldest and most reliable exchanges out there. It’s secure and has low fees. For these reasons, it appeals to both beginners and experts, individuals and institutions, whether you just want to invest in crypto or operate margin trading, short selling etc.
However, the user experience could be improved and customer service should be quicker and more responsive. New registrations will probably have to wait as much as a week in order to be fully verified, which is intense if you’re in a hurry to invest on something, but if you can wait a few days, Kraken is definitely one of the safest choices for you out there.