Kraken Review and Tutorial 2021

Flag Traders in United States welcome
Kraken Facts & Figures

Kraken is a top crypto trading exchange offering the largest altcoins by market cap.

InstrumentsCryptos
Demo AccountYes
Min. Deposit0.0001 XBT
Payment MethodsBitcoin Payments, PayID, Silvergate Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Min. Trade0.0002 XBT
Regulated ByFCA, FinCEN, FINTRAC, AUSTRAC, FSA
MetaTrader 4No
MetaTrader 5No
cTraderNo
STP AccountNo
ECN AccountNo
DMA AccountNo
Mobile AppsYes
Margin TradingNo
Auto TradingNo
Social TradingNo
Copy TradingNo
Trade SignalsNo
Islamic AccountNo
Cryptocurrency
Spread0-2% average
CoinsAAVE, ALGO, ANT, REP, REPV2, BAT, BAL, XBT, BCH, ADA, LINK, COMP, ATOM, CRV, DAI, DASH, MANA, XDG, EWT, EOS, ETH, ETC, FIL, FLOW, GNO, ICX, KAVA, KEEP, KSM, KNC, LSK, LTC, MLN, XMR, NANO, OCEAN, OMG, OXT, PAXG, DOT, QTUM, XRP, SC, XLM, STORJ, SNX, TBTC, USDT, XTZ, GRT, TRX, UNI, USDC, WAVES, YFI, ZEC
Risk Warning – Your capital is at risk

Established in 2013, Kraken is a top-rated cryptocurrency trading platform. In fact, it is the fourth-largest exchange globally by trading volume. This review covers supported crypto coins, trading terminals, withdrawal fees, and more. Find out whether to start trading Bitcoin at Kraken.

About Kraken

Kraken is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange. Its origin dates back to 2011 when CEO and founder, Jesse Powell, visited the offices of Mt. Gox, a crypto exchange company. Mt. Gox suffered a major security breach and was hacked losing millions in client funds. This experience motivated Powell to build a crypto trading platform that was organised, secure and trusted by customers. Eventually, Kraken was established in 2013.

The company currently serves over 6 million traders and is looking to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the future. Its trading platform allows participants to buy and sell cryptos with various fiat currencies.

Kraken is licensed and regulated in all jurisdictions where it operates, such as the USA (FinCEN), Canada (FINTRAC), UK (FCA), Australia (AUSTRAC), and Japan (FSA).

Trading Coins

The exchange allows you to trade 56 cryptocurrencies and 7 different fiat currencies, with plans to add new coins in the future. Kraken offers popular cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Ripple, Monero and Dogecoin. Users can trade with a variety of fiat-to-crypto pairs, including USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, GBP, CHF and AUD.

Clients can also trade on a selection of crypto futures and indices that track the overall direction of the digital currency market.

Trading Platforms

Kraken Terminal

The Kraken Terminal is a professional charting and trading interface, which is free and available to all clients. Its software is based on Kraken’s premium trading terminal, Cryptowatch.

The platform offers:

  • Order book and depth chart which visualises market sentiment i.e. volume of orders with bids and asks
  • Toolbar with markets menu, time period selector, analysis and drawing tools
  • History scrollbar which scans through the current market’s price history
  • Trading form which allows users to submit orders from the terminal
  • A watchlist that displays selected financial markets
  • Indicator panels i.e, volume and MACD
  • Real-time customisable charts
Kraken trading platform
Trading terminal

Cryptowatch

Cryptowatch is Kraken’s premium trading terminal and provides real-time crypto market data, plus charting and investing services across 25+ cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase Pro, Kraken Futures and Gemini.

Real-time data is supplied directly from crypto exchanges through APIs and covers over 4,000 trading markets. Basic use of Cryptowatch is free, while additional premium features can be purchased with Cryptowatch credits. Credits can be purchased with Bitcoin or a credit card at $1 = 100 credits. Each account gets 250 credits to start with but users can earn credits during onboarding and via a referral system, which the exchange is looking to introduce soon.

Kraken crypto trading
Cryptowatch

Free features include:

  • Advanced charting interface which visualises price movements and analyses market trends
  • Tools and indicators i.e. Moving Averages, MACD, RSI and Bollinger Bands
  • View trade history, orders, positions, and balances across exchanges
  • Trade on multiple exchanges via one terminal including on mobile
  • Price, volume and technical analysis alerts
  • Trader chatbox

Premium features include:

  • 24/7 price, volume, technical analysis and order-fill alerts as text and emails
  • Cryptofinance.ai plugin pulls market data into Google sheets
  • Zapier integration automates orders and alerts
  • Market Data WebSocket API

Mobile Trading

Kraken offers three proprietary mobile apps, which all serve different purposes.

Kraken mobile app
Mobile app

Kraken App

The beginner-friendly app allows users to buy, sell and convert crypto. You can set up and login with two-factor authentication (2FA) to monitor prices, track portfolios, save favourite cryptos, make credit and debit card purchases, plus initiate fiat withdrawals.

The app is available on Android 8.0 and up and iOS 13 and up.

Kraken Pro

Kraken Pro provides a professional trading experience, which enables clients to place advanced orders on the go. The app offers margin trading with up to 5x leverage, candlestick price charts, plus order book display options. On the downside, funding is not available on the app, and can only be done through the website. 2FA does not work on the app and instead connects to your trading account using an API key.

Kraken Pro is available on Android 7.0 and up and iOS 11 and up.

Kraken Futures

The bespoke app provides full access to the Kraken futures system with up to 50x leverage on top cryptos. In addition to the advanced order types available on Kraken Pro, Kraken Futures allow you to trigger entry limits. Added features include personal support and educational content.

This app is compatible with Android 4.4 and up and iOS 10 and up.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Traders need to create an account and get verified to be able to deposit and withdraw funds. Each verification level is linked to an account type. The accounts available are Starter, Express, Intermediate and Pro, though the Express account is only available in the US.

Each verification level has different funding options and deposit/withdrawal limits. For example, the Pro account has an unlimited maximum withdrawal limit. Minimum orders, deposits and withdrawals also depend on the crypto. The most current information on minimums can be found on the Kraken website.

Each account requires different types of documentation with varying verification times. For example, the Starter account only requires simple personal information, which takes 1 to 2 minutes. The Pro account requires financial information and KYC verification, which can take a few days to be approved.

Deposits and withdrawals can be done with cryptos or fiat currencies. Crypto funding methods include Bitcoin, Ethererum, Litecoin, Ripple and Tether USD. Kraken does not generally accept debit or credit card transactions, though cards can be used to buy cryptos at the Express, Intermediate or Pro level. Card transactions have a 7-day card limit of €7,500.

Once you’ve completed the verification process, depositing and withdrawing from your account is simple:

  1. Head to your client area under ‘Funding’, where all limits are displayed
  2. Select ‘Deposit’ on the respective fiat or crypto
  3. For fiat currencies, select the preferred deposit method and follow the banking instructions
  4. For cryptos, connect to your e-wallet via the ‘deposit address’ and confirm the transaction
  5. Check your account balance status to ensure funds have been approved
  6. To withdraw earnings, select ‘Withdraw’ on the respective fiat or crypto
  7. For fiat currencies, select the withdrawal method, input your bank details and amount
  8. For cryptos, input your details and crypto address found in your e-wallet

Margin Trading

Leverage limits differ across spot transactions when margin and futures trading. Kraken currently offers up to 5x leverage on spot trading, depending on the currency. For example, Bitcoin vs US Dollar has a 5x maximum leverage, while Monero vs Euro has a 2x leverage limit. The conservative leverage limit comes from the high degree of risk when spot trading cryptos. On the other hand, futures trading offers 50x leverage across most contracts.

Kraken leveraged trading
Kraken cryptos available for margin trading

Fees

Kraken offers some of the most competitive fees in the crypto market. Fees on Kraken Pro range from 0% to 0.26% vs Coinbase and Gemini, which go up to 1.26%. The broker uses a taker/maker fee schedule, where the rate decreases as your 30-day volume increases, incentivising market liquidity.

On Kraken Exchange, you pay 0.9% fees for stablecoins and FX pairs or 1.5% on any other crypto. You’re also required to pay 3.75% + 0.25 EUR for card processing fees or 1.7% + $0.10 for online banking. Fees are also charged on deposits and withdrawals depending on the method and country you reside in. Generally, funding prices are cheaper with cryptocurrencies.

Kraken does not charge any fees for transferring funds with a futures wallet, staking, storing funds, account inactivity or account maintenance.

Pros

If you take Kraken vs competitors like Binance, Coinbase, Coinbase Pro and Gemini, the exchange has the following advantages:

  • Low exchange fees on Kraken Pro
  • 50x leverage on futures trading
  • Choice of 50+ cryptocurrencies
  • Fiat currency trading
  • 3D secure required
  • Mobile investing
  • Staking

Cons

  • High minimum deposits on some cryptos
  • Slow verification process on Pro account
  • Debit and credit cards not accepted
  • No customer contact number
  • Low leverage on spot trading

Other Services

As well as OTC trading, Kraken also offers other services, such as futures products. Clients can also use leverage to multiply profits while trading on Bitcoin, for example. Margin trading allows experienced traders to maximise gains from market swings with 5 times the earning potential vs regular spot trades.

Kraken also allows you to earn rewards by staking crypto and fiat currencies. This means users can stake assets on the blockchain i.e. ETH staking or via off-chain staking through Kraken’s internal programs. In addition, the broker offers up to 12% Yield APY per year on certain cryptocurrencies.

Customer Support

Should you require help, you can notify Kraken’s support team via:

  • Live chat – 24/7 chatbot on the website
  • Email – Submit a request form via the support centre

Kraken mainly advises users to search for an article related to the query on the support centre.

The broker’s US headquarters are registered at:

  • Payward Ventures, Inc., 237 Kearny Street #102, San Francisco, CA 94108

Security

Kraken hasn’t been hacked and follows industry-leading safety measures. 95% of all deposits are kept in cold storage, which ensures full reserves so that users can deposit and withdraw on demand. User information is encrypted at the system and data level and servers are under 24/7 surveillance. Kraken also enables 2FA, SSL encryption, email confirmation for withdrawals, and API keys.

Kraken Verdict

Kraken offers a good range of assets, reliable trading apps, competitive fees and strong user security. The exchange is also licensed and regulated by several reputable bodies. While Kraken could improve its customer support and verification times, it’s still an excellent platform for crypto traders.

FAQ

Who Is Kraken Best For?

Kraken’s fees favour professional investors who trade in high volumes, with additional incentives when you reach a monthly trading volume of $50,000. Kraken also offers advanced features like margin trading, staking and futures products. With that said, the exchange is still beginner-friendly, offering a simple UI and learning resources for new traders.

What Do I Need To Know As A UK Trader Using Kraken?

The UK is one of Kraken’s most active client bases for investing and staking. However, under FCA regulation, retail traders are not eligible to trade on Kraken Futures. Clients can, however, buy, sell and hold cryptos for long-term investment purposes.

Why Is My Deposit Or Withdrawal On Hold At Kraken?

Your deposit may have been flagged for a few reasons. It may have been above the funding limit based on your verification level. There might also be a name mismatch on your Kraken and bank accounts. In addition, your bank may have asked to put the deposit on hold due to irregular activities. On withdrawals, you may encounter an invalid amount error if your account balance is below the requested amount.

How Do I Set Up An Account With Kraken?

You can create an account on the Kraken website, using an email and password. You can only start trading and funding your account once you complete their verification process. Each verification level is associated with a particular account type; Starter, Express, Intermediate and Pro. Each option has different deposit and withdrawal fees, funding options and limits.

Can I Deposit Or Withdraw At Kraken Using Debit/Credit Cards?

Kraken does not typically accept cash, debit and credit cards, PayPal or similar services for fiat currency deposits. This is because accepting cash makes it difficult to comply with financial regulatory bodies. With that said, cash and cards are accepted in CAD and the ‘Buy Crypto’ feature means you can purchase a range of cryptos with cards.

Accepted Countries

Kraken accepts traders from Australia, Thailand, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar and most other countries.

Alternatives to Kraken

If you are looking for alternatives to Kraken we have compiled a list of the top 5 brokers that are similar to Kraken below. This list of brokers like Kraken is in order of similarity and only includes companies that accept traders from your location.

  1. Just2Trade – Just2Trade offer hitech trading on stocks and options with some of the lowest prices in the industry
  2. Paxful – Paxful is a crypto trading exchange and digital wallet offering low fees and easy sign-up.
  3. eToro – eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
  4. LQDFX – LQDFX offers online trading with multiple STP accounts and MT4 analysis tools.
  5. Forex.com – Forex.com boast a global reputation. Regulated in the UK, US and Canada they offer a huge range of markets, not just forex, and offer very tight spreads and a cutting edge platform.
Kraken is a top crypto trading exchange offering the largest altcoins by market cap.

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