Kraken Review 2021 – Advanced Cryptocurrency Exchange
Kraken is a large cryptocurrency exchange offering a wide range of investing options. While there’s no guarantee on your returns, you’ll find that the platform is easy to use, safe, and has a great user experience.
At a Glance
What we like
- Provides a platform for the exchange of approximately 60 cryptocurrencies
- Gives users a chance to access tutorials and other resources to learn more about cryptocurrencies
- Yields staking rewards on a bi-weekly basis
What Needs Work
- Limited access to customer support
- The app isn’t available in the U.S.
- Does not provide any tax support
- Investors who prefer to take part in futures and margin trading
- Investors who are looking for a broad selection of cryptocurrencies to trade
Safety and security
Ease of use
If you are looking for a reliable crypto-exchange platform with a wide reach across countries, Kraken might be the right option. But before you dive deep into the world of cryptocurrency and crypto-trade, you need to familiarize yourself with the platform and its pros and cons.
Crypto-trade requires quick thinking and might not be for everyone. If you are looking to learn everything there is to know about Kraken, and whether this is the right trading platform for you, you’re in the right place.
In this Kraken review, I’ll take you through what Kraken is, what it has to offer, and a list of its pros and cons.
What is Kraken?
Kraken is one of the many crypto exchange platforms, offering services to both beginner and experienced investors at a low fee. The platform made a name for itself due to its strong security system — and you’ll be psyched to know that it hasn’t been subject to hacking even once.
Kraken stands out due to the range of cryptocurrencies it allows traders to buy and sell. It also offers advanced trading options such as margins and futures, making it a good option for seasoned investors.
Where is Kraken available?
The majority of the world can access Kraken and use its trading platform. However, within the United States, those who live in New York and Washington face restrictions and cannot access Kraken.
Outside the United States, most countries allow the Kraken trading platform. Some exceptions include Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Cuba.
Who can use Kraken?
Although Kraken is accessible to all investors, it works best for institutional investors or professional traders. This is partly due to its regulatory compliance. It also offers advanced features such as futures and margins, which may not be what beginners should get involved with.
Another feature of Kraken that makes it useful for professional traders is its low fee. Trading fees are below average, and once a trader moves beyond $50,000 a month, the fees will drop further.
Institutional investors who carry out a large volume of investments every month at a high value will make the most of Kraken.
As mentioned earlier, the fee you will have to pay on Kraken is lower than others out there. However, there are some differences between the instant buy fees, trading fees, and withdrawal fees.
Instant buy fees
You can easily calculate your instant buy fees on Kraken. For instance, stable coins charge 0.9%, and any other crypto will charge 1.5%. Kraken will charge a flat 0.5% fee when you make an online bank deposit.
When you start trading on Kraken, your monthly volume will be less than $50,000. Traders will pay a 0.26% taker fee and a 0.16% maker fee. However, you will be offered discounts as your trading volume increases.
If you trade a volume of $10,000,000 a month, you will not be charged any maker fee and a small amount of taker fee (0.10%).
Maker fee and taker fee reduce by 0.02% as your volume of trade starts to increase.
Kraken’s rates for withdrawal are standardized and comparable to other crypto-exchange platforms.
Stellar Lumens (XLM)
The above list gives you a quick run-through of some of the most common and popular Kraken cryptocurrencies. However, there are several other options available. If you do not see your coin in this list, you can visit Kraken’s official fee page to find out more.
How safe is Kraken?
If you are looking for uncompromised security, then Kraken is your answer. It has not been hacked since its launch in 2013. However, security in crypto-trade is questionable, and the website is still susceptible to hacks.
Here are some more details on Kraken’s security system.
- Security testing: Kraken conducts ongoing security tests with their bug bounty program and internal security team. These work to protect Kraken’s platform. Ethical hackers use the bug bounty program to report bugs and any other issues that they may come across.
- Information security: All of Kraken’s physical servers are subject to 24/7 surveillance, and all sensitive information is fully encrypted.
- Coin storage: 95% of Kraken’s crypto assets are offline and protected from the risk of hacks (cold storage). The platform also has full reserves and undertakes external proof of all reserve audits.
- Educational resources and user security: All users must complete two-step authentication, including Kraken’s built-in security features. This ensures that trades are protected from the company’s side and users’ side. All traders also get optional tutorials on keeping their accounts as safe as possible.
How to make an account on Kraken
Kraken’s services only crypto exchange and trade. You will not find any savings account or loan options on Kraken. You also don’t have the option of maintaining an online wallet with them.
For users located in the United States, Kraken’s services are available only on their website. The mobile application is not yet available.
A basic account setup on Kraken requires some essential information such as your name, address, and date of birth. The minimum age requirement to use Kraken is 18 years old. Unfortunately, if you live in either New York or Washington state, Kraken’s services are unavailable to you.
When you get started with Kraken, you will go through three verification levels:
- Starter: The most basic account, the starter pack, allows traders to exchange, deposit, and withdraw any available cryptocurrencies. However, you can’t trade any of the fiat cryptocurrencies. So, if you are looking to work with dollars in crypto, you will need to upgrade.
- Intermediate: An intermediate account will require a valid photo I.D. (passport, driver’s license, or any other I.D.), Social Security number, and proof of residence (electricity bill, utility bill, etc.) Apart from the photo I.D. requirement, all the other basic details such as name, age, and address will be required.
- Pro: Similar to an intermediate account, a pro account will require essential details such as name and age, as well as a valid photo I.D. However, opening a pro account allows traders to have higher account limits. It also gives access to an over-the-counter desk for trading that allows big trades to run smoothly without price disruption.
Primary features of Kraken
Kraken is one of the first reliable cryptocurrency platforms that offer a lot to investors at multiple levels.
Here are some of its top features.
If you are just getting started with crypto-trade, Kraken has no barriers you will have to power through. While starting through the Instant Buy platform can seem slightly expensive, it is easy to use and highly adaptable.
Verification of all account types takes only minutes, except for a Pro account, which may take up to a few days. This is because some documents that need verification for a Pro account are run through manual checks for a high-quality trading experience.
If you are a novice without much investing experience, you might feel a little overwhelmed by Kraken’s variety of investment options. However, the platform also offers users the option of educational programs that will teach you everything about your investment options and how to make the most of them.
Safe and secure
Cryptocurrency platforms are highly susceptible to hacks, and many websites have lost millions of dollars. Kraken has taken extra steps to ensure that security is their highest priority and ranks first on the crypto exchange security review site (CER).
There were no instances of hacking at all, and they also offer safe coin storage. Their servers are completely secure with 24/7 surveillance. In addition, they offer physical security measures and encrypt all users’ contact information to prevent vulnerability to hacks.
Higher-level investing options
Kraken is the best platform for sophisticated and seasoned investors. It is one of the few platforms that gives traders access to margin trading. This type of trading will allow you to increase your gains exponentially. However, it is also highly risky.
Investors can also participate in staking select coins. So, you lock your currency, and Kraken will give you rewards when transactions are verified. These rewards are usually given out on a bi-weekly basis.
Looking for a trading platform that has a variety of cryptocurrencies to choose from?
Kraken could be a good fit for experienced investors wanting low fees and over 60 cryptocurrency options.GET STARTED WITH KRAKEN
Kraken pros and cons
- Over 60 supported cryptocurrencies: Compared to other crypto-trade platforms, Kraken supports many currencies to cater to a wider audience. For instance, Coinbase, one of the largest crypto-trade platforms, offers approximately 50 cryptocurrencies that can be traded vs. Kraken’s 60.
- Strong security system: Kraken has one of the strongest security systems among all crypto-trade platforms. It offers 24/7 surveillance manned by the presence of real guards. It also provides complete end-to-end encryptions of all contact information so that traders can work safely and without fear of losing their money. The platform has not been hacked even once since its inception in 2013.
- Ideal for experienced investors: With the availability of margins and futures trading and a reward staking system, the Kraken crypto exchange is perfect for investors who have a few years of experience behind them. Novices may get confused by the platform’s wide availability of currencies. However, you can also go through the resources to know more.
- Low fees: Even though the Instant Buy investment option may seem a little expensive for novice investors, Kraken trading fees are much lower than the rest of the industry. Aside from a lower fee, it also offers progressive discounts to investors as the investment volume increases over time.
- Longer verification for some account types: While most of the account types on Kraken have a quick and reliable verification system, the Pro account verification can take several days. This ensures maximum safety, but the waiting period can get frustrating for investors who want to start immediately.
- Limited options for U.S. investors: Despite their massive list of available currencies and the option of trading margins and futures, many of these features are not yet available to users in the U.S. Moreover, if you are a resident of New York or Washington state, you won’t have access to the Kraken platform at all.
- Unfriendly user interface: The interface may seem confusing and chaotic for Kraken’s first-time users. This is due to the range of trading options that it offers. However, this is not very pleasant for investors trying to navigate the website quickly and efficiently.
- Doesn’t support debit and credit card usage: Another limitation of Kraken is that users can’t complete transactions with either debit or credit cards. Moreover, Kraken offers only trading services with no online wallet availability. Other competitors in the industry allow investors to make transactions with their cards and use online wallets linked to the platform.
The bottom line
Kraken is a good trading platform for investors looking to expand into margin and futures trading or investors who want to move beyond Bitcoin and try other cryptocurrencies.
However, if you are a beginner looking to make an entry into the world of crypto-trade, Kraken may not be the best option for you. You have other options to choose from that are better for novice investors, such as Coinbase and Bitpanda.
I hope this Kraken review was helpful and answered all your questions on Kraken. You can now decide whether this is the perfect platform for your crypto-trading needs!
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About Millennial Money Man
Bobby Hoyt is a former band director who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in 18 months on his teaching salary and then left his job to run Millennial Money Man full-time. He helps other Millennials earn more through side hustles, save more through budgeting tools and apps, and pay off debt. He is a personal finance expert who has been seen on Forbes, Reuters, MarketWatch, CNBC, International Business Times, Business Insider, US News, Yahoo Finance, and many other personal finance and entrepreneurship media outlets.