Bitfinex and Kraken are two popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the crypto space. Registered in the British Virgin Islands, Bitfinex has a daily spot trading volume of $888 million. In contrast, Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange with a daily spot trading volume of $1.3 billion. Both exchanges support margin trading and derivatives trading.
The two exchanges may look similar on the surface, but there are several nuances users must know before choosing a crypto exchange. In this Kraken Bitfinex vs. comparison, we’ll compare the two exchanges based on factors like fees, funding methods, trading platform performance, and more.
Let’s get started.
Bitfinex vs. Kraken: Supported Cryptocurrencies and Other Features
Both Bitfinex and Kraken support a wide range of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs. Let’s look at the available cryptocurrencies and other trading products offered by the two exchanges.
Kraken supports close to 100 cryptocurrencies and is constantly adding new coins. You can trade popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Thurman, as well as trending names like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. Kraken allows you to trade crypto against 50 assets, including fiat currencies, stablecoins, and other cryptocurrencies.
Like Bitfinex, Kraken supports margin trading, derivatives trading, and financial products like staking, borrowing, etc.
Bitfinex supports over 70 cryptocurrencies and 150+ trading pairs. These include everything from popular coins like BTC, ETH, XRP, DASH, and Tether to newly listed cryptocurrencies like FTT, EOSDT, and VELO.
On Bitfinex, users can trade cryptos against USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, BTC, ETH, USDT, EOS, XCHF, CNHT, EURT, and XAUT. Some other trading products available on Bitfinex are:
- Magic Internet Money (MIM)
Bitfinex has services for lenders too. These include staking, borrowing, Lending Pro, and other lending products.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges support multiple cryptocurrencies and offer various trading and financial products.
Before registering for any crypto exchange, learn about its fee schedule. Both Kraken and Bitfinex have a tiered fee structure — your fee depends on your last 30-day trading volume. Let’s dig deep into the trading fees charged by the two exchanges.
Bitfinex has 16 trading fee tiers! Users with a 30d trading volume of less than $500,000 are in the first tier. The market maker/taker fee for first-tier traders is 0.10%/0.10%.
Users with a 30d trading volume of over $30 billion are in the final tier, and the market/maker fee for them is 0.0%/0.055%.
Please note that LEO holders get an additional discount of up to 25% + 6kbps. Also, this fee schedule is applicable for spot trading only. The following is the fee schedule for derivatives order execution.
Users with a 30d trading volume of less than $2 million are in the first tier. The market maker/taker fee for them is 0.02%/0.065%. Similarly, users with a 30d trading volume of over $3 billion are in the final tier. The market maker/taker fee for them is –0.01%(rebate)/o.035%. LEO holders can get up to a 0.02% discount on the market maker/taker fee.
Additionally, there are fees for Bitfinex borrow, Margin funding, and OTC desk. Check the Bitfinex fee schedule in detail for more information.
Bitfinex doesn’t charge any deposit fee on crypto and stablecoin deposits. However, there’s a 0.100% fee on bank wire deposits. Bitfinex also charges a nominal withdrawal fee, which is unique for each crypto. For instance, the withdrawal fee for Bitcoin is 0.004 BTC, and for Ethereum, it is 0.0024 ETH.
If you use the Instant Buy feature, you’ll have to pay a 0.9% fee on stablecoins and a 1.5% fee on other crypto or FX pairs. For spot trading, Kraken Pro uses a tiered fee structure. It has nine trading fee tiers.
Users with a 30d trading volume of less than $50,000 are in the first tier and have to pay a 0.16%/0.26% maker/taker fee. Users with a 30d trading volume of over $10 million are in the final tier and need to pay a maker/taker fee of 0.0%/0.10%. The levels are slightly different when you trade stablecoins and FX pairs, but the payable fee is almost the same.
For margin trading, Kraken charges a flat rollover fee of 0.02%, regardless of the base currency. There’s an additional opening fee for all cryptocurrency margin contracts and a 0.01% fee for stable coins margin contracts.
The tiers are slightly different from futures as well. The maker/taker fee is 0.02%/0.05% for tier 1 traders and 0.0%/0.01% for final-tier traders.
Like Bitfinex, Kraken doesn’t charge a deposit fee on crypto and stablecoin deposits. It has a nominal fee for withdrawals.
Verdict: Bitfinex is the winner, as it charges lower fees than Kraken.
Account Funding Methods
Both Bitfinex and Kraken accept fiat deposits. Bitfinex allows you to fund your account using cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, JPY, CNH, and GBP. To deposit fiat currencies, you can use bank wire transfers, credit cards, and debit cards.
Kraken also allows you to fund your cryptocurrency wallet using cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies. Kraken accepts the following cryptocurrencies: USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, GBP, CHF, and AUD. You can deposit fiat currencies using wire transfer, Etana custody, and Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN).
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both crypto exchanges accept payments via cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies.
Opening Account & Account Limits
Let’s now discuss the process of opening an account on Kraken, along with their KYC requirements and account limitations.
Kraken also has four verification levels: Starter, Express, Intermediate, and Pro. The Starter and Express verification levels don’t need KYC verification, while the other two need it. Without identity verification, you can deposit $9k in a lifetime and withdraw up to $9k a month.
Also, unverified users don’t have access to features like staking, margin trading, futures trading, etc. Verifying your identity unlocks all these capabilities.
Bitfinex has a seamless account opening process. All you need to do is visit the Bitfinex website homepage and click on Sign Up. A registration form will open. Fill the form, confirm your email ID, and create an account.
Bitfinex has four KYC levels: Basic, Basic Plus, Intermediate, and Full. By default, your profile will have the Basic verification level. Bitfinex allows you to do exchange and margin trading, OTC trading, and crypto transfers without verifying your identity.
If you want access to additional features like derivatives trading, lending products, fiat transfers, etc., you’ll need to complete KYC verification.
Verdict: Bitfinex is the winner, as it offers more features without identity verification.
Ease Of Use & Interface
Bitfinex and Kraken both have powerful and user-friendly trading platforms. Let’s compare the two platforms and determine which one is better.
Kraken also has a great trading terminal. It has a proprietary charting system that covers the entire left side of the trading terminal, right below the Kraken logo. The charting system is inspired by TradingView, but it has fewer features. But don’t let that discourage you from using Kraken. It still has all the features you’ll need to trade cryptos comfortably.
Coming to the chart, Kraken has two chart types: Line and Candle Sticks. You can select up to 1 Week timeframe. There are also a few handy drawing tools.
As you move right, you get the depth chart, followed by the Order Book and Live Trades sections. These three sections help you evaluate the market sentiment. There’s also a Watchlist option.
The extreme right side of the terminal has the Order Book where you can place Buy and Sell orders. Kraken also supports all order types like Bitfinex.
Kraken also has a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges have powerful and feature-rich trading terminals.
Bitfinex offers one of the most intuitive trading platforms in the crypto space. It provides a charting system powered by TradingView. Hence, you get all TradingView features, including multiple time frames, hundreds of indicators, various chart types, drawing tools, and more.
The left side of the terminal has the most section. You have the Tickers section on the top that shows all the trading pairs available for trading. Below the Tickers section is the Order Form that lets you place buy and sell orders.
Bitfinex supports the following order types: Limit, Market, Stop, Stop-Limit, Trailing Stop, Fill or Kill, Immediate or Cancel, and Limit Order. You can also select advanced order types, including OCO, Hidden, Post-Only, and TIF.
As you move down, there are sections for Balances, Summary, and Liquidations. Let’s return to the chart again, which is located at the top center of the terminal. Below the chart, you have the Positions tab, followed by Orders, Order History, Depth Chart, and Order Book. The Depth Chart and Order Book help you analyze the market’s sentiment.
Bitfinex has a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices.
Security remains to be one of the most crucial factors to consider before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange. Let’s discuss the security features of the two exchanges.
Bitfinex implements all the essential security features, like:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) and universal 2nd factor (U2F)
- Offline, multi-signature cold wallets
- SSL encryption
- IP allowlisting and DDoS protection
- Advanced verification tools
Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and one of the safest crypto exchanges out there. It takes the same security measures as Bitfinex, including:
- Safe coin storage
- Information security, platform security, and penetration testing
- Two-factor authentication
- Manual withdrawal authentication
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges take best-in-class security measures.
Bitfinex has a comprehensive help section with help guides and FAQs to answer various commonly-asked questions. If you need further help, you can visit the Bitfinex Contact page and raise a ticket. The Bitfinex team will contact you in a few hours.
Kraken also has a help center with various help guides, blog posts, and FAQs. However, Kraken excels at providing customer support. You can reach Kraken support by:
- Open Chat
- Phone Support
Verdict: Kraken is the winner, as it provides support by live chat, phone, and email.
- Is Bitfinex a safe exchange?
Yes, Bitfinex is a safe exchange. It deploys all the security features to provide a secure crypto trading and investing experience to its users. Hence, you can use Bitfinex and start trading crypto without any worries.
- Is Kraken a safe exchange?
Yes, Kraken is one of the safest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It’s registered in the US, and hence, complies with the local regulations. Besides, it implements all the major security features, such as cold storage wallets, 2FA, encryption, etc.
Bitfinex and Kraken are two very close competitors, and we don’t have a clear winner between the two. Both exchanges support various cryptocurrencies and trading products like margin trading and futures trading.
Bitfinex can be a better choice if you need an exchange with a lower trading fee and flexible KYC requirements. Kraken will be a better choice if customer support and diversity of options are your priority.