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Kraken – review and guide

7 min read

Kraken is an American cryptocurrency exchange that focuses on the European market. It is the largest European exchange, which is still gaining in popularity. Kraken review will include several points in which we will go through the services offered and guide in simple steps will show you how to use this exchange

For clarity, we will divide the whole article into several points:

  1. Basic information
  2. Exchange services
  3. Currencies and payment methods
  4. Fees
  5. Kraken vs other cryptocurrency exchanges
  6. Kraken guide
  7. Conclusion

1. Basic information

  • Name: Kraken
  • Fiat currencies: EUR, USD, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY and AUD
  • Cryptocurrencies: BTC, LTC, ETH, XRP, TRX ..
  • Verification: Several levels, basic does not require documents
  • Fees: 0.06% – 0.26%, depending on the traded volume
  • Customer support: Slightly below average
  • Trust in the company: High
  • Operator: Payward, Inc
  • Company headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA
  • Establishment of the company: 2011
  • Language: English, Russian, French, Spanish and more
  • Website: https://www.kraken.com/

2. Kraken review and services

Kraken founded Jesse Powell in 2011 as one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Thanks to low fees, it quickly gained popularity, which made it the most trusted exchange in the world. Its serious services made a exchange in charge of settling court orders after the collapse of Mt. Gox. Kraken regularly conducts approved third-party audits to boast the greatest security in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Kraken operates in the European Union, most of the United States and Canada. On its advanced and user-friendly platform offers classic spot trading, margin and special OTC trading for those who want to trade over USD 100,000. Of interest is the “dark pool”, where traders see only their own orders. No one can use the commands for analysis.

You may also like: Bybit Review and Guide

3. Currencies and payment methods

The exchange accept a number of currencies. These include EUR, USD, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY and AUD. The latter can only be used in Australia. In the EU are used SEPA transfers, which come to trading account from 1 to 5 working days. The usual waiting time is 24 – 32 hours.

Cryptocurrencies are free of charge, but in some cases there is a minimum fee for opening a wallet, which is special for the cryptocurrency exchange. All supported cryptocurrencies can be found HERE. Depositing FIAT via SEPA transfer is free.

4. Kraken fees

Kraken reduced fees to an absolute minimum. Instead, he monetized some standard services, which we are not used to from competing exchanges such as Binance or Bitfinex. However, if you know what you want from the platform, it won’t bother you at all. In addition, these are usually small amounts that you practically do not register at all.

Regarding trades, it is worth mentioning that Kraken rewards you for trading with them regularly. Your fees are calculated according to the volume you have traded in the last 30 days. The model is a classic maker-taker and you will save on the trade of cryptocurrencies. Kraken increases fees if you use an invisible order book (Dark pool).

Maker (whoever creates the order), the following applies:

  • Spot charges are from 0.26% to 0.06%
  • Stablecoin fees are from 0.2% to 0%
  • Dark pool fees are from 0.36% to 0.2%

5. Kraken vs other cryptocurrency exchanges

When looking at some other options, we will discover a number of similar characteristics. For example, with CoinbasePRO, a sister company of Coinbase. Both services have relatively the same fee structure, accept SEPA transferss and offer more or less the same services.

Kraken excels in having a much larger supply of cryptocurrencies. It is therefore more suitable for traders or occasional short-term investors. On the other hand, Coinbase support is a bit better and answers questions faster.

Another competitor is Binance. The largest exchange in the world has many advantages over the Kraken, however, in times of large bull runs it regularly falls and has problems with connection. Those who like to save a few gray hair, therefore, prefer to choose the Kraken exchange. It has a smaller trafiic and the traded volume is still more than sufficient. It offers the same leverage for margin trading.

We also find an advantage over Bitfinex. Although the exchanges are quite similar in the structure of fees and in the number of cryptocurrencies, Kraken offers margin trading with leverage 5x. In contrast, Bitfinex only with leverage 3.33x. This may not be enough for many traders with an appetite for risk.

Kraken guide

Creating an account

1, First you will need to create an account at this address. Fill in your email address, username and password here. Remember that you should protect your account with the strongest possible password. You will also select the coountry in which you are located.

How to create an account on Kraken – Kraken

2, Then read the terms of use of the service and confirm them. Then nothing prevents you from pressing “CREATE ACCOUNT”.

3, You will find a message in your email with the code you enter in the account activation screen. If you have closed the registration tab, the activation link is also in the e-mail. Confirm the password.

4, Log in to the platform. Click on your username in the upper right corner. Now you need to go through at least a basic verification, so open “Get Verified“.

kraken2

5, On the next page, select one of the verification levels and fill in the required data or documents.

kraken1

Deposit

Another goal of our journey to the first spot order is to deposit funds on the exchange. This is an easy matter that does not require further comments, but we will talk about the possibilities and where to find them.

1, On the main page, click on the “Funding” tab, which can be found on the top bar of the entire interface. You will be taken to the next page.

Prostředky

You can switch between FIAT and cryptocurrencies at the top of the page.

  • Cryptocurrencies: To deposit, click on “Deposit” next to the cryptocurrency of your choice and copy the address of the wallet that is linked to your account.
  • FIAT: In the top bar, select FIAT, then enter the required information and purchase by payment to the displayed account or, newly, also with the help of a debit card.
Fiat

Kraken will process the deposit within a few business days, usually after one day. Then we can move on to buying cryptocurrencies.

Spot trading

1, Click on “Trade” in the top bar.

2, In the newly displayed interface we find a table with pairs and basic information at the top. There we choose the desired pair, for example BCH / BTC.

Currency pair selection – Kraken

The first in the pair is always what you get. Second, behind the slash is what you pay.

3, Now fill in the order. It’s very intuitive. When entering one side of the pair, the other side is automatically filled in and the total price is displayed. If you select Market Order, one box will be naturally grayed out. Experienced investors and traders can use the ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’ user interface which includes conditional orders and advanced risk management to manage their portfolio as shown below. These include:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop loss
  • Take profit
  • Stop loss limit
  • Take profit limit
kraken user interface

4, Then just press the illuminated sign “Buy…”, click on the summary of the command and you’re done!

Staking With Kraken

Kraken user’s have the additional benefit of being able to stake their favorite coins and fiat currency on the platform to earn rewards. Staking allows investors to maximize holdings in digital assets within a Kraken wallet and earn compounding rewards to gradually increase the portfolio.

kraken staking

Kraken currently supports the staking of 8 popular cryptocurrency coins such as Bitcoin, Polkadot, Cosmos, Kava, Ethereum, Tezos and Kusama. The staking rewards vary across each coin between 0.25% and 20% per annumTo earn rewards, it is as simple as purchasing a supported asset and storing it within a Kraken spot wallet.

Users can also stake fiat currency such as the US Dollar (USD) or the Euro (EUR) and benefit with compounding rewards of 2% and 1.5% respectively. Compared to crypto lending and interest platforms such as BlockFi, Crypto.com and Nexo, the staking rewards is lower, however, the staking income on Kraken is still higher than most traditional institutions and banks.

Trading

Kraken offers less a few different cryptocurrencies for trading, but it is possible to make direct trades between all available pairs. Together with five fiat currencies, the exchange gives enough trading options for everyone.

For those who are looking to have maximum control over their trades, Kraken remains the best choice.

Kraken trading platform

Margin trading is not available on all of the currency pairs, but only on the following most liquid altcoins:

Augur, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Ripple, Tether. 

You can trade these coins with margin against the USD and EUR or against Bitcoin and Ethereum. The amount of leverage depends on the coin, which varies between 2x and 5x (Bitcoin and Ethereum).

The exchange recently introduced futures trading where you can trade on leverage up to 50x. Futures trading is available for verified users only outside of the US. Perpetual futures are available for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin and quoted in USD.

Users can use various order types to manage risk like limit orders, advanced orders with predefined triggers, leveraged positions, margin trading as well as short selling.

XBT is Kraken’s short for Bitcoin, used instead BTC.

7. Conclusion

Kraken is a solid and fully trustworthy. There is not the slightest reason to worry about anything when using the Kraken. It offers a sufficient number of pairs, SEPA transfers and some advanced investment tools. It is thus an ideal choice for those who are looking for a friendly exchange. The only disadvantage is the slow customer support, which in some situations can be fully represented by a robust system of instructions and educational articles.

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