One of the biggest concerns you might have when using cryptocurrency exchanges is if they’re safe.
Whether your money is digital or not, you need to know that the exchange is going to put in effort to secure its clients’ funds. In this way, Kraken exchange goes the extra mile to keep you as under the radar (read: anonymous) as possible.
How is it a game changer?
Kraken boasts what’s known as a dark pool. This is an order ledger that’s completely hidden from the rest of the market. What this essentially means is that every trader can only know their own orders.
So, when buying or selling via Kraken exchange, traders remain anonymous because they don’t reveal their interest to the other traders on the exchange. But that’s not all that Kraken has to offer. Let’s dive into a detailed review of this intriguing exchange.
Brief History Of Kraken
Founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell, Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that’s located in Europe, Japan, Canada, and the U.S. How it came about is quite interesting.
Powell helped Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange in Japan that enjoyed a large amount of bitcoin trades for almost a year (between April 2013 to early 2014) but it experienced hacks.
The dismal management of Mt. Gox motivated Powell to establish the beta version of Kraken, with the idea of Mt. Gox having a backup exchange if it failed.
Kraken soon flourished in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its company, Payward, also raised $5 million in that same year and this became the exchange’s legal compliance and security fund.
At first, Kraken provided customers with Litecoin and bitcoin, but soon expanded. Now, you can get many top cryptocurrencies on this exchange.
What makes Kraken so appealing to traders is that it’s one of the longest-running exchanges that prides itself on its ethics, security features, and the fact that it’s an agnostic exchange – this means that the exchange doesn’t prioritize one digital asset over any others.
Supported Currencies And Cryptocurrencies
On Kraken, you can use the following fiat currencies: Euro, US dollar, and Canadian dollar. You can withdraw and deposit money by using SWIFT, SEPA, wire transfers, and domestic transfers, and the money will reflect within five days. A bonus is that SEPA deposits of fiat currencies are free.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies that are supported on the exchange, these include the following:
- Augur (REP)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Dash (DASH)
- EOS (EOS)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Gnosis (GNO)
- Melon (MLN)
- Monero (XMR)
- Iconomi (ICN)
- Tether (USDT)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Tezos (XTZ)
What About Kraken Fees?
Here’s another reason why Kraken is so popular: it doesn’t have high fees. In fact, it’s an exchange that offers one of the lowest fees on the market. Interestingly, fees depend on the trading volume of your last month.
If you’re a maker, you’ll be charged a lower fee than someone who’s a taker.
To provide more clarity on this issue, a maker places an order that can be matched at another time. He or she is said to provide liquidity for the order book. A taker, on the other hand, consumes that liquidity – he or she takes an order from the order book.
Spot trading fees are between 0.26 and 0.06 percent, while Stablecoin fees are between 0.2 and 0 percent. Dark pool fees are 0.36 percent to 0.2 percent.
How To Register On Kraken
Kraken is supported in all countries in the world, except for Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Japan, and Tajikistan. As for U.S. traders, all are accepted on the exchange, but residents of New York and Washington state are not. Why?
Many cryptocurrency exchanges don’t work in New York because the state insists they need to have a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services.
As mentioned on the Kraken website, “the cost of maintaining regulatory compliance in some states can be very high,” and this has forced them to decide not to do business in those states.
As is the case with other cryptocurrency exchanges, on Kraken you will need to be verified. How much depends on how you’ll be using the account you wish to set up on the exchange.
- So, if you are a Tier 0 member, you’ll only have to supply an email address. However, on this level, you won’t be able to make withdrawals, deposits, or trades.
- On a Tier 1 setup, you’ll be able to trade, but you’ll have to provide more personal information, such as your full name, country, phone number, and date of birth. As a Tier 1 member, you can trade in fiat and digital currencies but you can only make deposits and withdrawals with the use of digital currency.
- Tier 2 requirements involve the same ones for Tier 1 but you also need to supply an address to enable you to engage in fiat currency funding, bank deposits, and withdrawals.
- For Tier 3, you’ll need to follow the same rules as those for Tiers 1 and 2, but you’ll also be asked to supply an ID as well as proof of residence. In Tier 3 you’ll have higher fund limits and you’ll be able to deposit fiat currencies in various countries.
- Finally, Tier 4 has the same requirements as Tier 3, but you also have to have a signed application form and KYC (Know Your Customer) documents that essentially serve to verify your identity. This requirement is essential because Tier 4 is reserved for accounts of the highest value. This account can be used by both individuals and companies.
What About The Dark Pool?
Earlier, we mentioned Kraken’s dark pool which allows traders to be more anonymous when using the exchange.
This separate order book that isn’t visible to others on the market can allow you to place larger orders when buying or selling without your interest being available for other traders to see.
This means that you can benefit from reduced market impact as well as lower prices for larger trades, as the Kraken website explains. The downside?
It’s only available to people who make use of Kraken’s Pro Level.
Kraken Vs. Other Popular Cryptocurrency Exchanges
By now you might be wondering how Kraken fares when compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges so that you can find out if it’s the right choice for your trading needs.
Let’s compare Kraken to two other popular cryptocurrency exchanges – Binance and Coinbase – looking at five essential features: security, fees, payment options, platform, and customer support.
Security is one of the most appealing features of Kraken and it sets it apart from other exchanges. Every account holder needs to verify their personal identification, as we saw earlier in this article. Kraken was created to offer security – that’s one of its biggest selling points.
It provides users with two-factor authentication when making withdrawals and it also has what’s known as a “Global Settings Lock” that blocks IP addresses not used with one’s account. To date, Kraken has never been hacked!
Security is also strong on the Binance exchange.
You might recall when Binance experienced a hack in 2019. What makes Binance safe is that its users have to make use of two-factor authentication and they’re encouraged to use anti-phishing codes and whitelist addresses. Withdrawals need to be confirmed via email.
Coinbase is very secure, thanks to how it stores 99 percent of its assets in cold storage offline so no hackers can get to them.
It follows KYC rules. It also makes use of two-factor authentication. On Coinbase, you can store US Dollars and your money is backed by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
Kraken provides different fees based on whether people are makers or takers. Makers’ fees are 0.16 percent and takers’ fees are 0.26 percent.
Binance has a flat 0.10 percent fee on all their trading. This is good to know because other cryptocurrency exchanges sometimes separate clients into different categories based on their trading volumes as well as how they enter or exit transactions.
Coinbase has one of the highest fees as compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges. Fees are calculated per transaction. If you make a transaction that’s less than $200, a minimum fee will apply.
Transactions larger than that will be given a percentage fee. A fee of 1.49 percent is used for every cryptocurrency sale or purchase. You’re looking at higher fees of 3.99 percent if you’re making trades with the use of a credit card.
Kraken supports fiat currency payments via bank transfer. If you own a bank account within the European Economic Area, this can prove beneficial to you because SEPA payments are allowed on the exchange. Unfortunately, payment methods used by Kraken do not include credit cards!
Binance doesn’t support fiat currency payments. The main focus is on digital payments, so clients are able to deposit and withdraw coins that are supported on Binance. You can also buy crypto with your credit card.
Coinbase has many payment methods available to users, such as debit and credit cards, wire transfers (this includes SEPA in Europe), cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, and even PayPal for withdrawals.
You might be wondering if Kraken is suitable for beginners to use. Its platform has many advanced features that will appeal to regular traders but might be too difficult for beginners to navigate.
Binance has a clear interface that’s been called intuitive and robust. It therefore makes it easier to learn as you go.
Coinbase is one of the most user-friendly cryptocurrency exchanges, which makes it score high points for beginners. This is mainly as a result of its simple interface.
Both Kraken and Binance can make some improvements when it comes to their customer support. Kraken has experienced some negative feedback when it comes to their level of customer support, mainly due to their slow time to respond to queries.
As for Binance, their staff is responsive but the exchange doesn’t offer a phone number or live chat, which is a bit of a letdown when you need someone to help you right away.
As for Coinbase, there’s a lot of knowledge on their FAQ section that will likely solve your problems.
As for its support staff, responses to email queries are slow. The support system could do with a revamp as people have complained that they don’t receive in-depth answers to their queries.
It’s clear that Kraken seems to shine in certain areas, such as when it comes to its low fees and how it supports fiat currencies. It’s also one of the safest crypto exchanges out there!
It could improve on its customer support, as can many other exchanges, and we’d love to see more payment methods being available.
Who is Kraken best for?
If you’re looking for alternative coins and you want to sign up with a cryptocurrency exchange that has really low fees, then Kraken is a good match for your trading needs.
What is Kraken Pro?
Kraken Pro is a free professional trading terminal that all Kraken clients can use. One of its best features is that it has excellent charts that can help the serious trader interpret markets.
If you’re interested in cryptocurrency trading, you might want to check out Kraken. Known as one of the oldest crypto exchanges, it has many benefits. From its high level of security to its versatility and advanced platform features, Kraken is a solid bet.
In this article, we’ve reviewed important things to know about Kraken, as well as compared it to two other popular cryptocurrency exchanges so you can see where it comes out on top.