Kraken Exchange Review: Security, Fees, And More

If you are looking to venture into the cryptocurrency business, you must use the most secure features to prevent losses. One place to start is by signing up on one of the most reliable and secure exchange platforms. Not sure where to sign up? Our detailed Kraken review will help you decide if it is a good fit. 

What is Kraken?

In the cryptocurrency world, you need a place you can transact, meaning buy or sell cryptocurrency and assets affiliated with them. This place is called an exchange platform, and it allows you to transact crypto easily using a fiat currency. Kraken is one such platform and one of the oldest and most secure. 

In 2011, the then most dominant crypto exchange, Mt. Gox, was hacked, resulting in several thousand bitcoins getting lost. At the time, this exchange was responsible for about 70% of Bitcoin transactions, so this hack destabilized the market. 

In 2013, while the crypto world was still reeling from this loss, Jesse Powell founded Kraken as a reliably safe Mt. Gox replacement. Mt. Gox finally declared bankruptcy in 2014 after another serious security breach, and its downfall paved the way for Kraken to enjoy a good market share. 

Today, Kraken is one of the biggest crypto exchange platforms competing with other exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Gemini. The platform hosts large daily trading volumes estimated at 17000 BTC, supports different fiat currencies, and trades more than 150 tokens. 

Kraken is based in San Francisco, USA, but is open to global cryptocurrency transactions. As a global brand, the exchange supports 13 international languages, including US and UK English, Espanol, Italian, Turkish, and more.

Who Can Use Kraken?

As a leading cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken is available to users worldwide. In fact, the exchange announced that it had 3 million new signups in 2021 alone, which is a testament to how fast and far the company is growing. In addition, 60% of Kraken’s users are USA-based. 

However, before you sign up, it is good to understand who the exchange is designed for. According to the website, the exchange is ideal for everyone, including: 

  1. New crypto investors who are looking to learn more about the industry. 
  2. Experienced crypto investors who are looking to expand their business.
  3. Experienced crypto traders who are looking for a better exchange platform.
  4. A firm that is looking for crypto solutions.

In the following sections, we dive into the features that make this exchange platform successful and worth your consideration. 

Kraken Exchange Features

Here are the best features from Kraken. 

a) Easy account setup

If you sign up to an exchange platform, the process needs to be straightforward to save you time. Luckily, when you need to signup to Kraken, you will only need your email address, a strong and private password, and a few minutes to spare. When you fill in your email and password, Kraken will ask you to verify your account via email, and you will be ready to start investing. 

b) Security

As you know, the crypto world is delicate; a few rumors or FUDs have brought down cryptocurrencies and businesses, while other businesses like Mt. Gox have suffered irreparable damage from illegal hacks. So before you sign up for an exchange account, you have to guarantee they have the best features to cushion your account from hacks and your business from FUDs and other hoaxes. 

Seeing as it was formed to majorly replace Mt. Gox, Kraken invested in some of the best security features. For example, when you sign up, they ask for a very strong and private password that you must enter every time you log in. 

Additionally, you must set up advanced security features such as 2-factor authentication for safe logins and email confirmations for any withdrawals. The exchange also offers encrypted storage services, and they store about 95% of crypto deposits offline in air-gapped and geographically distributed cold storage. 

Kraken also allows you to verify that their incoming emails are legit. For this, they allow you to import their PGP public key after enabling PGP/GPG email encryption. The downloadable key verifies the authenticity of all emails you receive from Kraken, thus eliminating the risk of hacks or email fraud.

While the exchange hosts 95% of deposits offline, you need not worry when you need to make an urgent withdrawal. Kraken maintains 100% reserves, so your withdrawals can be processed immediately after you confirm the transactions via email. Kraken also has a global settings time lock that allows you to prevent transactions when you travel.

Finally, Kraken has SSL website encryption to guarantee any sensitive data exchanged online between you and them is safeguarded privately. It is very important to sign up for exchanges with this standard encryption to prevent data breaches that caused incidents like the Mt. Gox hack, where hackers gained access to users’ emails and passwords and thus, accessed their accounts. 

c) Customer support

As the cryptocurrency world is highly volatile, you need an exchange that offers expeditious support whenever you have worries or questions. Kraken offers 24/7 global support from hundreds of finance specialists.

Whenever you need something cleared up, you can contact these specialists through email, chat and phone calls. The company’s standard is to resolve questions, recommendations, or worries in 24 hours regardless of where in the world you are. 

d) Resource Center

As mentioned above, Kraken is designed for all types of traders, from beginners to experienced traders and even firms. Regardless of your trading level, it would be best if you always kept learning in this industry, which is why Kraken has a dedicated Resource Center. 

This Resource center has a blog, podcast, videos, library, and other learning features to keep you updated on various trading techniques, news, and more. 

e) Advanced trading options

Kraken is tailored to help all types of traders succeed in their crypto business. Therefore, the exchange allows the three basics of an order where you specify; 

  • The asset to trade
  • The volume of trade
  • How to execute the order in relation to the price

When deciding on these three basics of your order, you can choose any of the following order options; 

  • Market and Limit orders
  • Stop-loss orders
  • Take profit orders
  • Stop-loss limit orders
  • Take profit limit orders
  • Settle position orders

That said, Kraken’s margin trading option is one feature to look forward to. Margin trading allows you to decide how long you want to execute an order and how much profit you intend to make. As such, you can set leverage on any of the above orders, where you can only make profits of the market swings towards your prediction.

With Kraken. You can choose up to a 5X leverage on any order even if it exceeds the balance of your crypto account. However, this leverage is subject to you meeting certain eligibility criteria. In addition, Kraken only charges little fees to margin trades, including 0.02% for opening positions and 0.02% for 4-hour rollover fees.

f) Low fees

In any business, transaction fees play a vital role in determining success. Even in the crypto world, you need to always look for low transaction fees to be left with good profits after every transaction. Kraken offers some relatively affordable transaction fees on mobile and web trading. 

When you buy a stablecoin using USD or with another stablecoin, you will incur 0.9% transaction fees. On the other hand, purchasing a stablecoin with a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin incurs 1.5% transaction fees. In addition, you will also incur 0.5 fees on online banking, while withdrawing and depositing money on your crypto accounts is free. 

Kraken also offers attractive maker and taker fees for various volume-based transactions. In addition, you are charged on a per-trade basis which helps them determine the frequency and volumes of your trades. Still, if you are not a frequent trader on Kraken but transact a huge volume, they can activate their Over-The-Counter service to make your transaction easier and more affordable.

g) Mobile application support

If you have to travel frequently, keeping up with your cryptocurrency business would be hectic if you think of carrying a laptop everywhere. Luckily, Kraken allows mobile trading for beginners and pros using Apple or Android smartphone devices. 

The Kraken App is the best option for beginners or experienced traders looking to make quick transactions on the go. The app allows you to buy assets using debit or credit cards, keep tabs on your live assets, or make timely withdrawals. 

The Kraken App is available for iOS and Android smartphones but is not available in various European and Asian countries. In addition, traders in various countries might be unable to use their debit or credit cards.

The second app, The Kraken Pro, is designed for more experienced traders looking for more than buying and tracking portfolios. The app allows you to use the Margin trade option, and if eligible, you can make up to 5x leverages. However, it is important to note that margin trading options are subject to limitations and eligibility criteria.

In addition, you have access to other order options, multiple charts and order histories, deposits and withdrawals, and stake and unstake cryptocurrencies. The app is available globally for Android and iOS.

h) Different coins

When choosing a good crypto exchange platform, it is only ideal that the platform allows you different trading pairs. Kraken offers over 150 trading pairs to choose the best one for you. That said, Bitcoin is the platform’s base currency for most pairs. Alternatively, you can also use fiat currencies or other stable coins for some trading pairs. When you want to choose a successful trading pair, here are some of the crypto coins you can choose from;

  1. Bitcoin (BTC)
  2. Ethereum (ETH)
  3. Litecoin (LTC)
  4. Ripple (XRP)
  5. Monero (XMR)
  6. Tether (USDT)
  7. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  8. Stellar (XLM)
  9. Tezos (XTZ)
  10. Augur (REP)

Frequently Asked Questions About the Kraken Exchange Platform

a) Is Kraken legit? 

Yes. Kraken is a trusted crypto exchange platform based in San Francisco, USA, that reports to the IRS. It is also one of the earliest founded exchanges, having been in the business for over a decade.

b) Is Kraken available globally? 

Yes, Kraken, though based in the US, is available in many countries around the globe. However, the exchange is not available in Washington and New York.

c) How do I open an account on Kraken? 

Opening a trading account on Kraken is easy; you will need an email address and a strong password. After keying these on their website, you will need to verify your account via email and then set up your advanced security features such as the 2-factor authentication and PGP/GPG email encryption.

d) Is Kraken safe?

While being one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Kraken is also one of the few that has never faced a security breach. It was founded to replace the then-hacked Mt. Gox exchange, meaning Kraken came with advanced security features. 

Today, Kraken is one of the safest exchanges you can trade on, but it would still be good to use a crypto VPN if you need more safety to trade anonymously.

e) Does Kraken have a minimum deposit when I open an account?

In most cases, you wil need to deposit some money in your account before you can trade. For example, if you live in the US, you must have a minimum of $20 in your Kraken account before trading. In Europe, you can deposit as little as 1EUR, while other countries will also have different minimum deposit requirements. 

f) Does Kraken have high trading fees?

Kraken does not have high trading fees. However, it is important to note that all Kraken fees are charged per order. The fees range from 0% to 0.26% of the value of your order, but there will be the attractive maker and taker fees for large trade volumes, even if you are not a frequent trader.

g) How long will it take to get verified on Kraken? 

If you are a beginner without a cryptocurrency portfolio, your Kraken verification can take as little as a few minutes. However, if you have an extensive crypto portfolio, your account verification can take anywhere between minutes and days. 

h) Will I need an ID when opening a Kraken account?

Yes, to open an account and trade on Kraken, you must be at least 18 years old. For successful verification, you will also need to provide a government-issued identification document such as a driver’s license, ID card, or passport.

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