- Coins are stored offline
- Complies with US AML and KYC regulations
- Not credit or debit card supported
|Headquarters||San Francisco, CA, USA|
|Support Types||FAQ page, “help” button, Twitter|
|Supported Countries||EU, US, JP, CA|
|Main Feature||Credit and Debit Cards Not Supported|
|Trading Currency||BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, DASH, XLM + 11 other cryptocurrencies|
|Free Demo Account|
|Fee Info||Trading Fees: 0.0%-0.26%; Processing Fee: $60 per page for paper communication; Roll-over fees: 0.01% per 4HRs; Fiat Withdrawal Fee: Varies; Cryptocurrency Withdrawal Fee: 0.00050 BTC or ETH|
|Account Types||Basic and Enhanced Accounts|
|Deposit Methods||Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency|
|Withdrawal Methods||Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency|
|Trading Currency||Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Lumens and 11 other cryptocurrencies.|
|Account Currency||Euro, GBP, USD, CAD and JPY|
|US Traders Allowed|
- Fees are competitive and low depending on trading volumes
- Advanced features available for professional traders Allows margin trading
- Top notch security in place
- Account verification and upgrade is slow
- Customer care can sometimes take ages to reply with English and Japanese being the only languages supported
- Limited payment channels availed. Not credit or debit card supported
- Downtime experienced during periods of high market volatility
KRAKEN CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE REVIEW
One of the hallmarks of a top notch exchange is its ability to fend off attackers, protect user interest and attend to customers whenever they are called upon. Kraken is one of such reputable exchange and like most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, it offers a variety for their customers.
When ranked against trading volumes and liquidity, Kraken emerges as one of the go to platform where trading of fiat currencies like the Euro, GBP, USD, CAD and Japanese Yen for a wide range of rare and common coins like Melon, Eos, Iconomi besides BTC, ETH, DASH amongst other liquid coins is allowed.
Kraken was launched in September 2011 and its founder is Jesse Powell, a California State University alumni. It is services are available for clients in North America, Europe and Japan. However, these are not the only countries where Kraken services are available.
Figure 2: Jesse Powell
Besides some few countries which are sanctioned, Kraken is available worldwide.
Once you register and create an account with them, they often verify them. If you are applying from jurisdictions which are banned or where trading cryptocurrencies are illegal then your account will remain inactive with a “pre-verified” tag.
Overly, Kraken pride itself as the first cryptocurrency exchange whose charts and coins prices were featured in Bloomberg. As such, this platform is a go to platform for professional traders or large scale investors who want to invest their coins.
The interface is quite complex, allows margin trading apart from fast trade execution. It was actually designed for expert traders in mind and not recommended for beginner traders.
In the last 2 years, this platform has been in the top 10 exchange by volume.It is not hard to see why because other than buying and selling of BTC against other coins, traders can actually buy and sell coins against fiat currencies like USD/EUR/Yen. This gives it the much needed volumes and liquidity that is needed if coins are to thrive.
Since launch, Kraken has continued to be on a growth path. It remains secure, transparent and satisfactorily passed a proof-of-reserve-audit test conducted by Fidor Bank which is overseen by Germany’s rules and regulations.
Furthermore, they have been strengthening over time. With headlines acquisitions such as that of Coinsetter and Cryptowatch, their intentions are crystal and this is why investors are finding it easy to invest with them.
After three rounds of funding, Kraken raised $6.5M from venture capitalists and investors like Blockchain Capital who also funded CoinBase, Digital Currency Group and 11 other investors.
Setting Up and Creating an Account
Creating an account is simple and secure. First off, Kraken is under US regulatory bodies and as such, they adhere to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and regulations.
With this in hindsight, visit their websites atwww.kraken.com and proceed to create an account.
It’s pretty straight forward like most online exchange platforms. All you need is an email address and a strong 8-digit password.
Figure 4: Sign up
For added security, you can share a PGP key and Kraken will use it when sending your emails. Besides the strong password and sharing of PSG keys, users are also required to create a master key and to activate they 2FA which is indispensable in today’s account security.
The master key will especially come in handy especially if you will be using different devices or there will be need of tweaking passwords. It’s nothing complicated as it can be another strong password or private/public key pair or even authentication from third parties like from Google Authenticator.
Afterwards an activation link will be sent to your email address. In Kraken unlike other exchanges, you will have to copy the link and paste it on a different form before gaining access to your account.
Figure 5: Activation Link
Now one thing to note: like CoinBase, the exchange will provide you with a public address in case you want to fund your account BUT will always control your private keys. So, it’s upon you to decide if you are comfortable with that or not.
Kraken Account Types
Kraken offers five types of accounts segregated by fiat limits and the amount of cryptocurrency which can be deposited or withdrawn and fees.
Tier 0: Immediately you sign in, this is the account given. You cannot trade but can access trading charts and tools.
Tier 1: This tier requires submission of your full name and date of birth, phone number and country of residence. With a tier 1 account a user can withdraw a maximum of $2500 worth of coins a day and $20K a month with no limits on the amount of deposits. Trading between cryptocurrencies and fiat is also restricted.
Tier 2: Here, Kraken will need to approve your residential address before qualifying for the benefits offered by the account. Users can trade between fiat and cryptocurrencies besides withdrawing cryptocurrencies worth $5k per day and $50K a month. Furthermore, account holders are free to deposit and withdraw $2K daily or $10K monthly.
Tier 3: This account type is suitable for professional traders. Note that if you are from the US, you must submit a SSN aside from your government issued ID and utility bill which is not more than 3 months old. Furthermore, account holders must submit a hand written declaration note stating that the account is for trading cryptocurrencies only with a photo of the owner holding their ID. Account holders enjoy more flexibility because their monthly fiat deposit is raised to $200K while coin deposits are raised to $50K daily or $200K monthly.
Figure 6: Selfie Photos
Tier 4: Corporate clients are recommended to upgrade to tier 4 accounts. To qualify, corporate are required to upload their KYC documents together with an officially signed application form. These clients can deposit (fiat only) and withdraw up-to $500K per month.
Figure 7: Trading interface
Even though Kraken offer some advanced features for professional traders-can be quite overwhelming for novice traders, there is one big miss.
Traders cannot check and instantaneously know their profits or losses over time. This feature is currently being tried out and is available in Beta only.
However, this cannot stop beginner trader from placing their trades because they can readily indicate how many coins they want to purchase from a given base fiat currency and the platform will automatically show the rates of conversion.
Admittedly, it is not beginner friendly but with their well laid out documentation can help out.
Figure 8: Coins Supported
On Kraken platform, you can exchange fiat currencies like USD/CAD/GBP/YEN/Euro for more than 16 cryptocurrencies including BTC, Ripple, Lumens, ZCash or Tether. Depending on your location and preference, you can make deposits through bank wire transfers, SEPA-for Europeans or SWIFT.
Kraken stands out when compared to other exchanges in the world. There is no better way of doing so that than by allowing cheap transactions and the best way of staying ahead of competition is through minimal fees.
As mentioned before, fees depend on account type and the country where you are deposit from or withdrawing to. Remember, there are set minimum order sizes that Kraken sets. For example, the minimum you can trade BTC is 0.002
Kraken charge their clients through automated percentage fees based on trade volumes and vary from account to account. For example, Tier 1 account holders pay more than Tier 4 with fees fluctuating between 0.26% and 0.0% in maker or taker fees depending on trading volumes.They charge both ways but charges are often high on the buy side especially if it’s a conversion from fiat to crypto and vice versa.
Other charges include processing fees at $60 per page if there is any sort of paper communication and roll over fees at 0.01% eligible per 4HRS for BTCUSD/GBP open positions.
Figure 9: Withdrawal Fees
Apart from account and trade related fees, Kraken charges fees for fiat withdrawal. It is a preffered exchange for Europeans and it’s not easy to see why.
Unlike other exchanges, withdrawing Euros through SEPA attracts a €0.09 while YEN domestic withdrawals cost ¥300. For all USD-denominated SWIFT withdrawals, there is a $15 minimum fee and an additional 0.19% charge applicable for all countries supported by Kraken. Canadian account holders are charged CAD 10 for all ETF withdrawals.
As expected, transferring coins across borders is cheaper and in line with the original cryptocurrency vision. Moving Bitcoins cost 0.00050 while Ether is 0.00500.
Kraken Security Features
- Besides the wallet encryption, most of Kraken’s coins are stored offline in multi-sig cold storages and are all air-gapped.
- Their servers are secured by armed guards, has a 24/7 video surveillance and access requires top notch retina scan verification.
- They avail 2FA for all of their account holders. Even though they are not compulsory, it’s better to safeguard your accounts.
- All account passwords are required to be strong with a master key needed during recovery.
- Users can chose PGP encryption for their email communications.
- Kraken data are all backed up on daily basis
- They have put in place several measures to prevent DDOS attacks.
- Systems are segregated meaning different systems exist for different purposes. Support or ticketing systems exist for that sole purpose only.
- All of their staffs are vetted and access to sensitive data requires multiple signatures.
- Customer funds are stored in custodial accounts separate from Kraken’s operational accounts. At no time is client’s funds used or even lent for Kraken margin trading purposes.
- Kraken complies with US AML and KYC regulations.
Customer care support
Being amongst one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken is demanded to deliver. There are several methods of resolving inquires availed by Kraken.
Users can access their support or FAQ page accessible from their home page found under the drop down menu in the “help” button.
Kraken traffic is high and servers different customers from all over the world. Several customers have complained of receiving automated responses. If you cannot get help from either the help or FAQ section, you can submit a request.
Alternatively you can reach them through Twitter: https://twitter.com/krakensupport if you are not satisfied with any the above mentioned channels.
You can as well follow them on these social media platforms:
Since launch, Kraken has grown in leaps and bounds. It has made several acquisitions that make the platform attractive for European traders. Fees are low with deep liquidity and all those are what are needed in a reputable exchange besides security. Their trading features and tools are also indispensable for professional traders.Visit Broker