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Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Review 

By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 1/8/21

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.

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

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luca
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luca

Really bad. They closed our account without a reason and we lost a lot of money.

Joseph
Guest
Joseph

Complete Scam i invest 100k, all gone and banned me, all security is lie, millions gone

Joseph
Guest
Joseph

Kraken is really Scam, dont trust money with they, the costumer support is really bad.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Your money is not safe on this exchange,
My has been in limbo for weeks with no help from support.

Mitch
Guest
Mitch

Have to say, I’m new to this, and its seems pretty simple, to verify and deposit. Watch the values up and down, buy at the right time. So far its earning me more money than a UK bank account.

Alan
Guest
Alan

Kraken is horrible – I’ve been waiting a week for them to clear $20k – yes, I had all the correct info and have funded the account in the past already – it takes them over 24 hours to let you know they have an issue or delay – then I respond to get things moving forward and it takes them 24 to 36 hours to get back…. the support is the worst – they have email tickets and that’s it – you can go thru their automated chat, but it’s bullshit – they send you to email tickets I… Read more »

Tal
Guest
Tal

Has anyone else noticed on the kraken the way the price of coins vastly fluctuates from the time of checking the price and then the price at the order screen. It literally takes 1 second and the price difference is ridiculous.

For example, I am buying GRT and kraken is showing it to be $1.50 so then I quickly press buy and then the price is suddenly $1.55?!

and to top it all off you cant even use the krakens graph on its website because that completely out of sync aswell?!

Am I missing something?

HIMMY
Guest
HIMMY

DO NOT EVER JOIN THIS GARBAGE EXCHANGE OR GIVE THEM A DOLLAR. THEY ARE TOO INCOMPETENT TO EXIST. TRASH SITE WILL CRASH AT RANDOM INTERVALS FOR HOURS OR FULL DAYS AND YOU WILL BE UP SHITS CREEK. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

Ozzie H
Guest
Ozzie H

We lost over $50,000 two years ago with Kraken exchange. Our Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin and Ripple, were sold for Yen, exchanged in a flash crash. Kraken customer service would not help at all, said we’d have to take it up with the “authorities”. Got nowhere. Don’t use Kraken!

Artem
Guest
Artem

32,932 EUR BLOCKED I used the kraken 2 weeks and a week ago my account was blocked, I was allowed to withdraw USDT, but the deposit in EUR that was on the balance was not returned, then they wrote that my funds had already been sent to me, I waited a week but still nothing, I wrote again in support and they said that no one had sent my money, because they needed to do it manually and that today or tomorrow they would do it, but my money did not reach my account, I am writing to them again.… Read more »

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