Among the hundreds of crypto trading platforms in the market, there are only a few platforms that are consistently rated the best and the most secure one. And, one such exchange is Kraken, the biggest and the most trusted crypto exchange platform in the world.
Kraken happens to be in the scene since 2011 when crypto was at its very nascent stage, and then only Bitcoin was traded. By 2014, it became the most respected crypto exchange in the market and also played a key role in developing the trust of users in cryptocurrencies.
Therefore let’s evaluate how this exchange meets the trading and security needs of investors and matches up with today’s new-age crypto trading platforms.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Review
Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange platform founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and launched its services two years later in September 2013.
The idea to launch Kraken hit Powell’s mind following the security breach of that time’s world’s biggest crypto exchange platform Mt. Gox. Powell, in an interview with a media house, told, Kraken will work as a replacement for Mt. Gox if that company closes, which it did in 2014.
The exchange initially offered Bitcoin trading and added the ability to trade in Ether in 2015. It soon became the second-largest exchange in terms of volume in BTC ETH pair. Currently, Kraken has the highest Euro volume in Bitcoin trading and is consistently ranked within the top 5 for liquidity.
The exchange is also listed Bloomberg terminal, which indicates its reliability in the financial world.
Except for Afghanistan, Cuba, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, Tajikistan, and two states of the United States, New York & Washington Area, Kraken is supported all over the world.
And, residents of New Hampshire and Texas cannot hold or deposit Euro and trade in any EUR pair.
Apart from Bitcoin and Ethereum trading, Kraken offers trading support for more 30 cryptocurrencies, and those are:
Algorand (ALGO), Augur (REP), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), Cosmos (ATOM), DAI, DASH, Dogecoin (XDG), EOS, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Gnosis (GNO), ICON, Lisk (LSK), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), NANO, OmiseGo (OMG), PAX Gold (PAXG), QTUM, Ripple (XRP), Siacoin (SC), Stellar Lumen (XLM), Tether (USDT), Tezos (XTZ), USD Coin (USDC), waterMelon (MLN), WAVES, Zcash (ZEC).
Not all coins are traded against each other on the platform, and only those trading pairs are listed, which attracts healthy volume. You can check the list of trading pairs here.
Kraken also allows Bitcoin trading against USD, EUR, Canadian Dollar (CAD), British Pound (GBP), Swiss francs (CHF) and Japanese Yen (JPY).
Trading in Kraken
Kraken offers advanced trading features to its users, and the platform is mainly popular amongst professional traders and beginners for SPOT trading. The following are the additional trading services offered by Kraken to its users.
- Margin trading
Kraken offers a leverage of up to 5X on long and short trades with the lowest rollover fees of 0.02% per 4 hours. Eligible clients (subject to verification) enjoy a higher borrowing limit of up to $500,000.
Currently, margin trading is offered in the following cryptocurrency:
Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Monero (XMR), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Augur (REP), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
- Futures trading
Kraken is the most preferred option among traders for futures trading and is also witnessing a surge in volume in recent months. Also, the Kraken futures is licensed by the UK’s financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
It offers a leverage of up to 50X and has multiple timeframes, including perpetual, monthly, and quarterly. It provides futures contract trading on the following pairs:
Kraken offers several unique benefits on futures trading, which helps it to drive in massive liquidity, including revenue sharing with traders.
- Kraken OTC desk
For institutional and high-net-worth users, Kraken offers an OTC desk, off the open Kraken exchange with deeper liquidity and more personalized service. The OTC desk provides both execution and settlement service, which is discreet, secure, and is ultra-competitive.
The users are entitled to the following benefits:
- Expert market insight
- 1-on-1 service
- Full asset support
- 24/7 global asset support
It allows you to trade across multiple crypto trading exchanges and markets from a single platform.
Kraken has the lowest fees in the industry for all its services, and trading fees decrease on a sliding scale basis on increasing trade volume. The trading fees range between 0% to 0.26% and is charged on a per-trade basis.
For more information on the trading fee, stablecoin fees, dark pool fees, and margin trading fees, click the given link.
The account creation process is quite simple and easy and is completed in the following three steps.
- In the sign-up or Create Account page, enter your email id, username, and password
- Now enter the code sent to your email onto the verification page to activate your account.
- Now, you will be prompted to set up a 2FA using the authenticator app or Yubikey hardware device.
Following this, your account creation process is complete, but still, you need to verify your identity at any of the three levels, started, intermediate, and pro.
Each verification level has a specific deposit and withdrawal limits and requires different sets of documents. For example, the starter level requires you to provide your full name, email address, primary address, and phone number.
And, for the intermediate level, you need to provide govt. The ID card, proof of residence, ID confirmation photo, and occupation details in addition to the information required under the starter level.
Kraken allows you to fund your account through both traditional currencies and crypto coins. You can deposit fiat currencies through different modes of bank transfers and wire transfers, which has a processing time of 1-5 business days.
You can also fund your account using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, QTUM, Cardano, and Zcash.
Kraken platform integrates some of the top class security features that ensure safe and secure trading operations. Some of the security features incorporated in the platform are:
- Geographically distributed cold storage of crypto funds
- Two-factor authentication
- Email confirmation for withdrawals
- No phone/SMS account recovery
- PGP signed and encrypted email for secure communication
- SSL encryption when browsing Kraken
- Customizable, granular API key permissions with range boundaries
- Configurable account timeout for an added layer of protection
The website includes a knowledge base in its support page, which includes all the information that is required to get started on Kraken and all its functionalities.
Apart from this, it also offers a 24/7 live chat feature with a client engagement specialist to solve your specific issues.
Kraken has been able to continue its legacy of providing a safe and secure crypto trading environment to its users, and it is also one of the most well-built crypto exchange platforms. Some of the pros and cons of Kraken are:
- High platform security
- Worldwide coverage
- Deep liquidity
- Major trading pair available
- Low fees
- Fiat support
- Advanced trading instrument
- Lack of support for credit and debit card
- Long customer service response time
- Unregulated exchange
Kraken offers a lot to its users, from beginners to professional traders, and is also one of the most reputable exchanges internationally.
Going ahead, Kraken is expanding to other areas like staking, hoping to attract a new class of investors in cryptos.