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Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Review 

By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 10/18/20

Kraken, headquartered in San Francisco, California, claims to be the largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of euro volume and liquidity. In the following post, I will review the exchange, its different services, and the customer opinion about it.

Kraken Review Summary

Kraken is a veteran US-based cryptocurrency exchange that supplies an advanced trading platform, complete with margin trading and OTC options.

Previously scorned for the platform’s instability, the site has since revamped its service with a focus on security and customer support. Kraken also offers some very competitive trading fees.

That’s Kraken in a nutshell. For a more detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Kraken Overview
  2. Kraken Services
  3. Currencies and Payment Methods
  4. Kraken Fees
  5. Supported Countries
  6. Customer Support and Reviews
  7. Kraken vs. Coinbase
  8. Conclusion – Is Kraken Legit?

1. Kraken Overview

Founded by Jesse Powell in 2011, Kraken is known for its low transaction fees, a wide range of features, and overall security. Following the bankruptcy of former bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, the Kraken platform assisted in processing claims.

Kraken operates across the United States (with the exception of New York due to the BitLicense) and Canada, as well as in the European Union and Japan.

The exchange itself was launched in 2013 and has since raised over $100m, with the latest round closing in February 2019. Kraken boasts about its high liquidity, industry leading security measures and 24/7 live customer support.

Kraken holds full reserves of their customer funds. Kraken employs an independent, cryptographically-verified audit in order to prove to third parties and the exchange’s customers, that funds are properly held.

2. Kraken Services

Kraken offers its customers an advanced trading platform that includes spot and margin trading for more experienced users. Kraken’s interface offers plenty of options, but it isn’t the most beginner friendly—something to consider if you’re new to cryptocurrency.

For high volume trades (over $100K) Kraken offers Over The Counter (OTC) services with a 1-on -1 service. Additionally, frequent high volume traders can receive a dedicated account manager to take care of their trading needs.

Kraken also offers a dark pool – an order book not visible to the rest of the market. Each trader only knows their own orders. Traders can anonymously place large buy or sell orders without revealing their interest to other traders.

Typically, outsized orders, when seen by other traders will cause the market to move unfavorably, making it more difficult to fill the order at the desired price. This unfavorable price movement may be avoided in a dark pool.

Finally, Kraken also provides a staking service that allows users to earn a return on assets that would be otherwise held and unused by its users.

3. Currencies and Payment Methods

Kraken accepts the following fiat currencies:

  • Euros (EUR)
  • US dollars (USD)
  • Canadian dollars (CAD)
  • Australian dollars (AUD)
  • British pound (GBP)
  • Swiss franc (CHF)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)

Deposits and withdrawals can be made via SEPA, SWIFT, wire and domestic transfers. In almost all cases, deposits and withdrawals can be expected to take 1–5 business days.

In my experience, the average deposit takes as little as 24 hours. It’s free to deposit most of the accepted cryptocurrencies, but there’s a small address setup fee in a few cases.

With regard to fiat deposits, SEPA deposits are free, making Kraken particularly convenient if you’re in the European Union and your location is on the list of SEPA countries.

A bank wire transfer from within the United States costs between $5 and $25, whereas it usually costs under $10 equivalent from outside of the United States.

In terms of cryptocurrencies, Kraken currently supports more than 40 different coins:

  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Augur (REP)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Curve (CRV)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Gnosis (GNO)
  • ICON (ICX)
  • Kava (KAVA)
  • Kusama (KSM)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Lisk (LSK)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Nano (NANO)
  • OMG Network (OMG)
  • Orchid (OXT)
  • PAX Gold (PAXG)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Qtum (QTUM)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Siacoin (SC)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Storj (STORJ)
  • Synthetix (SNX)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Melon (MLN)
  • Waves (WAVES)
  • Zcash (ZEC)

4. Kraken Fees

Kraken’s fees are among the lowest of all the major bitcoin exchanges. The fees you pay depend on your last 30 days’ trading volume. In general, fees are based on a maker-taker basis.

Makers, who add limit orders to the exchange, pay a lower fee than takers, who fulfill existing orders.

  • Spot trading fees range from 0.26% – 0%.
  • Stablecoin trading fees range from 0.2% – 0%.
  • Dark pool fees range from 0.36% – 0.2%.

The complete fee schedule can be viewed here.

5. Supported Countries

Kraken is available worldwide except for the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Congo
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan

Kraken accepts US traders on its platform except for residents of Washington state (WA) and New York (NY).

6. Customer support and reviews

Kraken’s website features an extensive support guide, which covers everything from verifying your account to trading. In most cases, you’ll find what you’re looking for there.

However, in the event that you do need support, you can always submit a support ticket or talk with a live rep via the site’s built-in chat.

The general consensus online is that Kraken’s main strengths lie in its low fees, advanced features, and strong security. While Kraken certainly has its advantages, it has its share of criticism, receiving a “poor” grade on TrustPilot.

Overall it seems that since the site was revamped not long ago, the level of support and platform stability has improved.

7. Kraken vs. Coinbase

I found many similarities when comparing Kraken to another major US-based exchange, Coinbase, or more accurately, Coinbase Pro.

Both exchanges have a pretty similar fee structure and available services (OTC, margin trading, account management). However, Coinbase supports a smaller variety of cryptocurrencies.

The main difference would probably be in terms of support – where Kraken seems to be putting a lot more emphasis on support than Coinbase. Overall, if your desired coin is listed on both, it seems that there isn’t much of a difference between these two exchanges.

You can read my complete Coinbase review here.

8. Conclusion – Is Kraken Legit?

It’s fair to say that Kraken is an option well worth considering thanks to its excellent security features and low transaction fees. However, it’s not the best option for beginners due to its more complex interface.

This veteran Bitcoin exchange has gained a considerable amount of reputation throughout the years and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Have you used Kraken yourself? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.



Newbie friendly


Currency support


Platform reliability





  • Good reputation
  • Fast and free SEPA deposits in Europe
  • Available worldwide
  • Advanced trading options


  • Not beginner friendly
  • Slow support

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DavidKevinSteven HayShamanFred Recent comment authors
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I’d be real careful on believing these negative reviews. It appears that Kimble is none other than the infamous Krassenstein brothers who were raided by the FBI for running a Ponzi scheme. Of course they can’t withdraw their assets from Kraken because they’re under investigation by the US Justice Department.

These com-men are flooding crypto-sites with negative reviews because Kraken is following the law and freezing their assets.

Here’s a link to the Reddit posts exposing these characters:


I’m on about 7 exchanges, and while the team and security are great, Kraken has (hands down) the worst UX/UI of them all. Really horrible. Honestly I’m shocked they think this is ok. I hate almost everything about it.

Joseph Kimble
Joseph Kimble

I have been with Kraken for many years and I would VERY STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT EVER use their services. They are acting like a bank (which we crypto enthusiasts are trying to avoid) and will, have and can freeze your account together with your funds without warning – giving you just 24h to withdraw funds until they freeze them and keep them to themselves(?). This is a snippet from a mail I’ve gotten: “We must inform you that we will be closing down your Kraken account. For security purposes, we cannot disclose the reason for this action. We… Read more »

Monalisa Sakheni HLONGWANE
Monalisa Sakheni HLONGWANE

Confused. Com

Onno klink
Onno klink

i am already 3 months busy to unlocking my Kraken account, without any luck . Their helpdesk is a disaster and should not be called HELP desk

i am curious at your experience


Kraken has the worst customer service. They really don’t care about you, don’t value your business, your time… definitely do your research

Kraken is a scam!
Kraken is a scam!

Kraken is a scam i purchased some bitcoins than i send these bitcoins to one of my other wallets after that i purchased other bitcoins now they say that i have been tricked and that i have sent money to other company that are not secure even so why the fuck they should care for fuck sake its my fucking money if i get scammed why the fuck they should not let me purchase and spread my coins to others! do not purchase on kraken anything they do this because they do not have to much liquidity and they create… Read more »


Here is my review of Kraken. I had an account opened for almost less than a year, and it got hacked, kraken disabled the account and locked me out, after months of trying to get my access back i was finally successful, to find that all my funds were just waste traded with huge losses, I have contacted them and it seems that its the customer support job to make the client’s life hard. up to this moment I have not been able to get my funds back, and all because of the security of Kraken. It seems that the… Read more »


Kraken is a scam and you were obviously paid to say nice things about them. Don’t put your money anywhere near kraken.


Their website just got updated, and there has been less errors now that I’ve encountered while using their website! Also, I like how some of their Support Articles have videos to show a step-by-step guide on how to use their platform. Kraken definitely has a lot of advanced features like Leverage, even though I am just a very simple user (very new to crypto!). But I like Kraken because of their security! Also, the fact that they have LiveChat support for a few months now is a big plus. I had to wait for all eternity just to get my… Read more »

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