Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Review 

By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 11/14/19

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 one of the lowest trading fees around.

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, 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.


3. Currencies and Payment Methods

Kraken accepts the following fiat currencies:

  • Euros (EUR)
  • US dollars (USD)
  • Canadian dollars (CAD)

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 $5 and $10, whereas it costs €10 or £10 from outside of the United States.

In terms of cryptocurrencies, Kraken currently supports 20 different coins:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Gnosis (GNO)
  • Iconomi (ICN)
  • Melon (MLN)
  • Augur (REP)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Qtum (QTUM)
  • Tezos (XTZ)

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% – 0.06%.
  • Stablecoin trading 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
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • North Korea
  • 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, CoinbasePro.

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.

Kraken

7.8

Newbie friendly

7.0/10

Currency support

8.9/10

Platform reliability

6.5/10

Fees

8.8/10

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not beginner friendly
  • Slow support

Bitcoin Video Crash Course 

Dummy-proof explainer videos enjoyed by over 100,000 students. One email a day for 7 days, short and educational, guaranteed.

We hate spam as much as you do. You can unsubscribe with one click.

26
Leave a Reply

avatar
17 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
17 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
23 Comment authors
JohnNobleKraken is a scam!Mousagamesimadeforfreya Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
John
Guest
John

BEWARE!!!
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!
Guest
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 »

Mousa
Guest
Mousa

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 »

gamesimadeforfreya
Guest
gamesimadeforfreya

Kraken is a scam and you were obviously paid to say nice things about them. Don’t put your money anywhere near kraken.
https://ie.trustpilot.com/review/kraken.com

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

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 »

Ben Peterson
Guest
Ben Peterson

I‘ve been using Kraken since 2016 now and they never let me down! I‘m managing the funds from my clients and I need a number of charting tools on a daily basis. The tools you get on their trading site are top notch, far better than what the competition offers. I had a minor issue with my login information a couple weeks back and got a friendly reply followed by restoring my access within a few hours. Really impressive! So, after using Kraken for 3 years, I‘m a happy client and would not consider switching to a different exchange anytime… Read more »

Ben jones
Guest
Ben jones

Hay…….this is Ben jones form Miami United state. i want to know that what kraken exchange is secure for treding cryptocurrencies ?

Puder
Guest
Puder

Useless platform – laggy, buggy and lots of downtime. NOT recommended, there are much better options out there.

Omi1knbe
Member
Omi1knbe

SO THERE TECH TEAM WANT ME TO UPLOAD ID BUT CANT BECAUSE THEY CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO REMOVE THE ONE THEY REJECTED ….

OH AND GET THIS THEY DONT CONSIDER CYTO LIQUID ENOUGH TO BE A BACKING CURRENCY ON LEVERAGED TRADES … THERE A EXCHANGE FOR GOD SAKE!!!

CS ARE COMPLETE IDIOTS WHO JUST WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO COME U WITH BS WAYS ITS YOUR FAULT … ITS TERRIBLE

Chantal
Guest
Chantal

Hi every one. Im. waiting almost an month for my wire transfer. I send kraken an email and there explaination was that my bank refuse to except the wire transfef. So i mailled my bank. My bank denied ever recieving or refusing a bank wire from kraken. So i mailed kraken back they said wire stranfer bounce back but they are having trouble returning my money or my bitcoin back. Im despointed and very upset about this situation. Im waiting for them to resolve my case for a month now. And now theyre not even responding my mails back. My… Read more »