Kraken is a digital asset trading platform that allows users to buy, sell and margin trade cryptocurrencies. It is considered one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange due to its high liquidity and trading volume.
Really low fees, 50+ cryptocurrencies, and industry-leading security features.
In a crowded field of crypto exchanges, Kraken stands out.
But how does it stand up to other exchanges? Read our full review to find out if Kraken is right for you.
How to Buy Digital Currency on Kraken
Kraken allows its users to buy digital currency using fiat or cryptocurrencies.
Many platforms, particularly those for beginners, prove quite limited in the currencies they accept. But such is not the case with Kraken. When it comes to fiat currencies, Kraken accepts:
- US dollars (USD)
- Euros (EUR)
- Australian dollars (AUD)
- Japanese yen (JPY)
- Canadian dollars (CAD)
- British pound (GBP)
- Swiss franc (CHF)
Apart from fiat, Kraken Exchange allows users to buy one digital currency using another, provided that the currency pair is supported.
For example, let’s take a look at how to buy Bitcoin with EUR:
- Login to your Kraken account.
- Click the ‘Trade’ tab and select the currency pair (Eg. XBT/EUR) that you would like to buy from the drop-down menu located above the tab.
- Click the ‘New order’ link from your account dashboard. It shows different ways to place an order like Simple, Intermediate and Advanced. In this example, let’s choose the Simple option as the intermediate/advanced options are intended for margin/leverage trading.
- Then, select the type of order: Market/Limit. If the option Market is selected, then the order will be processed immediately. In the case of limit orders, the order will be processed only if the market price matches with the value set for the limit. Otherwise, you must wait till the price drops or cancel the order to create a new one. (In this example, we are using Market order).
- Enter the amount of XBT you would like to buy. (The estimated amount of EUR will be shown on the box labelled EUR).
- Next, click the button ‘Buy XBT with EUR’. You will see your order details on your screen with two buttons ‘Back’ and ‘Submit Order’.
- Click the ‘Submit Order’ button.
Common Kraken Cryptocurrency
Which cryptocurrencies does the company accept? You’ll be impressed by the vast list.
Kraken currently offers 57 cryptocurrencies, including:
- Aave, Algorand, Aragon, Augur, Augur v2, Balancer, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Chainlink, Compound, Cosmos, Curve, DAI, Dash, Decentraland, Dogecoin, EOS, Energy Web Token, Enzyme Finance, Ethereum, Ethereum 2, Ethereum Classic, Filecoin, Flow, Gnosis, ICON, Kava, Keep Network, Kusama, Kyber Network, Lisk, Litecoin, Monero, Nano, OMG Network, Ocean Protocol, Orchid, PAX Gold, Polkadot, Qtum, Ripple, Siacoin, Stellar, Storj, Synthetix Network Token, tBTC, Tether, Tezos, The Graph, Tron, USD Coin, Uniswap, Waves, yearn.finance, Zcash
Kraken has even more available pairs. When it comes to pairs, the more popular they are, the more trading pairs they have.
What are trading pairs? These are currencies that get paired and given a relative value, such as 1 Bitcoin (BTC) = 15,340 Euro (EUR). Think of pairs like money exchanges at airports where you’ll see fiat currencies paired as 1 USD = 104 JPY.
Kraken Supported Countries
At this point, you may feel enthused about the idea of giving Kraken a whirl. You likely also have questions about which countries are supported by Kraken. Fortunately, the company’s got a massive reach.
It’s easier to list the countries where you can’t transact in Kraken than it is to list the ones where you can. Nations where the platform doesn’t operate include:
- North Korea
Pros and Cons
- Lowest fees compared to other exchanges
- When it comes to security, no exchange can outdo Kraken
- Users who are new to the crypto world will find it quite easy to start trading on Kraken as it is beginner-friendly
- Kraken is one of the most liquid crypto exchanges today as it is quite popular among both professional traders and crypto enthusiasts
- Regulated in the US and they have a US banking license
- Kraken is very transparent, and that is how it has become one of the most trustworthy exchanges in the world. In fact, Kraken is the first exchange that carried out proof of reserves.
- Bonuses for high-volume traders
- Available worldwide
- Upgraded support and features for advanced traders
- Kraken does not support credit/debit card transactions.
- Email or phone support not available to all users
Kraken provides a wide variety of trading options that range from the regular limit orders and stop-loss orders to several advanced features like margin trading and dark pool. Kraken not only supports crypto to crypto trading but also between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, making it a great fiat-to-crypto gateway. The following are some of the unique features specific to Kraken.
- Unique Landing Page: The sleek, easy-to-navigate interface crafted with a perfect blend of appealing illustrations creates a rich user experience.
- Liquidity: Kraken provides high trading volumes and high liquidity levels.
- Functionality: Kraken is also beginner-friendly whose simple interface with detailed instructions on how to use the exchange makes trading an easy process for first-time traders.
- Staking: Kraken Staking allows users to increase their holdings by simply storing their coins in their Kraken account. Kraken provides staking rewards for the staked assets on top of the holdings, thereby increasing asset value. Kraken currently supports staking for the following assets: Bitcoin, Tezos, Polkadot, Cosmos, Euro, and US Dollar.
- 24/7 Customer Support.
- Strong user security with 2 Factor Authentication.
- Dark Pool: This unique feature allows users to anonymously buy and sell orders without alerting the rest of the market. Such orders lessen the market impact and allow large trades at potentially better prices. This feature is currently available for Bitcoin and Ethereum currency pairs.
- OTC (Over-the-counter) Exchange: Kraken supports OTC trading that takes place off the Kraken’s traditional exchange. Institutional and High net-worth individuals who trade with large orders can opt for OTC exchange, as large orders, might be too expensive when placed on the open market.
- Margin trading: In margin trading, Kraken provides the necessary funds for the entire value of trade when a user trades with leverage.
- Futures trading: Futures trading allows traders to enter an agreement to buy or sell a digital asset at a future date without holding the digital asset in question. Kraken allows users to trade BTC, XRP, ETH, LTC, and BCH in future contracts.
We’ve already touched on the fees associated with Kraken. But it’s time to dive more deeply into the company’s fee schedule. It boasts some of the lowest in the industry and a compelling reason for many investors to hop on board.
With Kraken, the fees you owe depend on your trading volume over the past 30 days. These fees are also generally based on the maker-taker model. That means makers who add limit orders to the platform pay lower fees than takers who complete existing orders.
Fees are as follows:
- Stablecoin trading fees fall into the 0.2 percent to 0 percent range
- Spot trading fees range from 0.26 percent to 0 percent
- Dark pool fees come in at 0.36 percent to 0.2 percent
Because Kraken fees are volume-based, the more you trade, the less you pay on subsequent trades. Kraken uses this fee schedule to motivate traders to engage with the market. They also do this to drive maximum liquidity.
Payment and Withdrawal Methods
- SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) transfers.
- Etana Custody. (1-5 business days).
- Silvergate Exchange Network transfer for both domestic and international transfers (1-5 business days)
- Fedwire transfer services. (1-3 business days).
- International transfers are processed via SWIFT.
- SIC – near-instant transfers on business days.
- Traders can easily fund the digital assets supported by Kraken to their account. Crypto deposits get credited instantly, and users are ready to trade in under 10 minutes.
Kraken exchange aims to provide maximum protection to its customer’s accounts by enforcing several security factors like two-factor authentication, master key, global settings lock and strong passwords. 2FA can be configured using Authenticator app, Yubikey or a static password. Master Key is a security feature that can be used to recover your account if you lose your login credentials.
Global Settings Lock (GSL) will safeguard the settings on your account. Kraken recommends that GSL is turned on when storing cryptocurrency for an extended period of time. In doing so, you set a lock, which must be unlocked to perform any changes such as changing your personal Bitcoin wallet address. This lock can only be opened after a pre-set day limit. So, if someone had to hack a customer’s account, they wouldn’t be able to immediately steal their coins, because they would have to wait the 6 days to pass, by which time the customer would be able to contact the Kraken customer support to recover your account. In addition to the GSL, Kraken recommends its users to create a strong password made up of characters which are difficult for potential hackers to crack.
As you can see, Kraken has set itself apart from the competition in many different ways.
Kraken’s website contains an extensive support guide to help customers navigate and utilize the site to its fullest. This guide covers every topic, from the basics like verifying your account to more complex processes like trading.
When such situations arise, simply submit a support ticket. Or you can talk with a live representative using the website’s built-in chat.
Bottom Line: Should You Use Kraken?
Kraken Exchange is not only a good option for novice traders but also for serious traders as it allows its users to trade more than 50+ currency pairs on its exchange. Kraken Exchange provides much better security using its advanced security features when compared with other cryptocurrency exchanges. Couple with its lowest fee in the industry, one can never go wrong with Kraken.