San Francisco-based Kraken is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, and is considered the largest bitcoin exchange based on the euro volume, liquidity, and the trading of Canadian dollars, US dollars, British pounds, and Japanese yen.
Kraken landed in the international scene in 2011, and was the first Bitcoin exchange to have trading price and volume displayed in the Bloomberg Terminal. Kraken’s recognitions also include being the first to pass a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit, is the Tokyo government’s court-appointed trustee, and Germany’s BaFin regulated Fidor Bank.
Accolades aside however, Kraken is yet another one of the many exchanges that users can buy and sell Bitcoin.
So, how good is Kraken?
The following review will get you up to speed.
As far as the court of public opinion is concerned, Kraken has mixed reviews across the board.
The good: Positive reviews of Kraken largely credit the exchange with being able to trade and have a smooth experience. Most positive review, however, all note that the software (for trading) has a lot of room for improvement. The fact that Kraken is very internationally accessible makes it the top choice of many international users.
The bad: A quick Google search reveals a slew of vehemently negative reviews about the exchange and Kraken’s customer service. Keep in mind that many negative reviews are often the result of customers who had a very unpleasant experience, and took to the Internet to vent. While these reviews may be accurate depictions, there are still people that have had good experiences with the platform. The negative reviews of Kraken mainly point out that the lack of customer service makes the experience extremely frustrating. Additionally, the withdrawal times can be very slow and some users report limited access to their funds.
Kraken Review: Key Information
Owned by Payward, Inc. and having received millions from investors, Kraken is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
Kraken has a fairly large variety of cryptocurrencies (more so than Coinbase), and makes it easy for international traders.
In order to get started, you need to get verified by Kraken. Users are sorted into different tiers which specify things such as how much a user in a specific tier can deposit per day. Each tier requires a different set of details.
A point of interest is that the Kraken portfolio provides you with either a USD, EUR, etc amount that your portfolio is worth.
Ordering on Kraken is relatively simple using their basic interface, but their trading tools provide a more robust functionality should you choose to use them. You can place simple market or limit orders. On average, limit orders come with a 0.16% fee, and market orders come with a 0.26% fee. The fees mostly vary based on the volume of the trade. For the main trading pairs, the fees are usually between .1% and .35%, and for other less common crypto pairs the range can be anywhere between .05% and .75%. Traders who offer liquidity get 0% fees.
Additionally, you can trade do margin trading but this is an incredibly risk way of going about it and not recommended unless you really (REALLY) know what you’re doing.
Kraken has plenty of fiat and cryptocurrency pairs. People can buy a variety of cryptos directly using USD and EUR, instead of having to buy BTC first and then using a secondary exchange to buy a specified alt-coin. This is one of the distinct advantages Kraken has over Coinbase and other exchanges that are limited to only a handful of cryptocurrencies and fiat/crypto pairs.
Withdrawals are relatively straightforward on the platform. All you have to do is go to the withdrawal section and withdraw money straight to your bank account. If you want to withdraw Euro and have a European bank account, that is also an option via SEPA for only 9 cents.
The withdrawal and deposit fees largely vary on the method, but they generally hang around 0.19% with a $20 minimum. For Japanese Yen, however, there is a minimum deposit of 5000 Yen with no transaction fee for deposit, but it takes 20 Yen to withdraw.
Security: Kraken allows you to set up 2 Factor Authentication (2-FA), but you must go to the Security tab to do so. You can never be too safe, and if you use Kraken be sure to enable 2-FA.
Kraken Review Summary
Kraken has been in the cryptocurrency exchange world since 2011, a year before its more popular (in the United States) competitor Coinbase. Kraken has spent a relatively long time establishing its reputation in the cryptocurrency world and is the first choice of many international cryptocurrency traders.
While many online reviews reflect some rough patches and kinks the Kraken team needs to work out (mainly the apparent lack of customer service), Kraken still provides a huge value to traders within the United States and in the international scene.
It’s a relatively secure platform and has been a major player in the evolution of the cryptocurrency world. Kraken has lower fees than Coinbase with access to a much more robust trading platform from within Kraken. It requires a little less than an intermediate understanding of how to trade cryptocurrencies, but be sure to watch a few guides to learn how to make sure you are doing everything correctly.