Welcome to our Kraken Crypto Review here at TradersBest.com.
Here we’ll tell you all about how this slick and modern crypto exchange is one of our experts’ top-rated in terms of security.
On top of that, there’s the fact that Kraken makes life easy for traders of all experience levels by dividing their site and accounts in four different sections – beginner, intermediate, expert and industrial.
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There’s no dedicated downloadable desktop trader required in order to use the Kraken crypto exchange. Instead, all trading is done via the web browser when logging into your account via the Kraken site. Now understandably some of you, particularly industrial or high volume traders may have concerns here about the functionality of the web trader platform, given that downloadable trading apps for desktops are generally better in terms of high performance. However, we’re pleased to say that the web trader functions work to a very high standard overall.
For everyone from intermediate to industrial traders, there is very little to speak of here in the way of negatives actually. However, beginner traders may find the trading platform a little bit baffling at first, especially compared to some of the other bubbly modern web traders out there. Kraken does, however, have detailed guides to help you get started. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t a demo trader you can use to practise with by trading virtual funds.
For mobile traders, Kraken offers a mobile-optimized version of the website as well as a downloadable trading app that’s available via both the Apple Apps Store and Google Play. The website is fine for logging in and checking out your account information, however, if you want a more versatile trading experience on the go, then the trading app is definitely the way to go.
Like every online journey, the first step to your Kraken trading experience is creating your account and then funding it. This process is fairly straightforward with Kraken and the accounts are extremely secure. We’ve explained everything for you step by step below:
This is the quickest and easiest part of the account opening process. All that’s required here is your name, email, date of birth contact phone number address and the two-factor login requirements. There’s no box to enter a Kraken referral code here.
This stage of the process is a little longer, depending on the level of account you wish to open. As we detailed earlier in our Kraken review, there are four Kraken account levels tp choose from depending on your experience, trading volume and requirements. The verification times for each account level are as follows:
Starter Level: Up to one hour
Intermediate Level: Up to six hours
Pro Level: Up to five days
Pro Corporate Level: Minimum of six days
You can now make your first Kraken deposit in either one of the seven fiat currencies (including USD) or using cryptocurrencies. You can do this via bank or wire transfer – as detailed in the “Payments” section of this Kraken Crypto Review.
Once your account is verified, secured and funded, you’re ready to start trading with the Kraken Crypto Platform. Now you can find our guide on buying and selling coins below.
When buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with Kraken, you have access to 24-hour trader support, chartering tools, advanced order types and leveraged trading. If you’re completely new to buying crypto and this all sounds a bit flummoxing – that’s because it is. In all honesty, even with the starter level account, buying crypto for the first time with Kraken can be a little complicated, as there are several steps to complete before you can actually complete the buy. Fortunately, Kraken does provide you with a step by step guide the first time around.
Again, selling coins can be tricky for the first time, fortunately though Karen does provide a detailed guide to get you through it the first time. If you do have any problems then Kraken does have the 24/7 client support which we recommend making use of if you’re just starting out. You should also remember that Kraken doesn’t provide you with a crypto wallet – they only let you keep your funds while they’re being used to trade. It’s therefore important to make sure you have a crypto wallet set up in advance that you can withdraw your funds into.
|Headquarter||6th Floor, One London Wall, London EC2Y 5EB, United Kingdom|
|Year of Founding||2011|
|Available Languages||English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese|
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|Phone||+44 (1783) 1007965|
|Licence||CNMV – Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores|
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You can make your Kraken deposit using either one of seven fiat currencies or one of 57 cryptocurrencies. The Kraken minimum deposit and withdrawal limit depends on the currency and method used to make your deposit. If using fiat currencies, you can make your deposit via banking or wire transfer using an account that must be in your name. We should point out that depositing using a fiat currency will result in a 72 hour Kraken withdrawal account freeze. This is frustrating, however, it is for your protection and is one of the reasons why Kraken has such an excellent safety record.
You can contact the Kraken US customer support team 24/7 via the live chat – which is a huge bonus for a crypto exchange given that cryptos can be traded outside of normal trading hours. In our experience the live chat service was very helpful, however, the waiting times when using the service during ‘unsociable hours’ are much longer. They do have an extensive FAQs section and plenty of step-by-step guides to help first-time trades get through everything from opening their account to depositing and making their first buy.
Like a lot of customer help services with trading platforms and exchanges, the Kraken support system works via electronic ticket, however, you can also message the live chat directly. There’s no contact number, which is a bit of a setback as having a human voice readily available is much more preferable. In summary, the 24/7 availability of the customer support is great, but the quality of the service definitely needs some improving.
Let’s start off with the question of safety here, as Kraken has an exceptional record here. Kraken keeps 95% of all digital assets in cold storage – meaning they’re kept offline and are therefore harder for even the best hackers to access.
This is common practice among financial service companies these days, however, Kraken have done it better than most. Since launching in 2011, the Kraken crypto exchange has never been successfully hacked. Additionally, there has been no evidence of any Kraken scams. To protect you against scams, Kraken freezes your account for 72 hours the first time you make a withdrawal using a fiat currency.
This is, of course, frustrating and some users who haven’t read the terms and conditions properly have actually put it down to being a malfunction or theft on Kraken’s part. You can rest assured it’s not though, it’s for your protection.
Overall, Kraken has received strong customer feedback, with most lauding the excellent trading platform, modern website and range of cryptocurrencies on offer. In terms of security and protection of client funds, they have also scored highly and have built up a trusted reputation – thanks in no small part to the fact that Kraken has not been successfully hacked at the time of writing. There are, however, some exceptions – one Kraken review we read from a client who complained about their account being ‘frozen’ for three days after withdrawing funds. As we mentioned in the “Licensing and Security” section above, this is actually part of Kraken’s safety measures.
When you first head to the landing page of the Kraken website, you have the option to click on one of four cards, which will take you forward with information catered towards your crypto trading experience. Essentially the choices are; complete beginner, intermediate, experienced trader looking to switch brokerage and induration/company traders.
Going forward from here, the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange has a range of services to suit traders of all the above descriptions. Users of all levels have access to cryptocurrency investments, with 33 currencies and 131 pairs available on the exchange at the time of writing – however, Kraken is constantly coveting new coins to add. High volume traders can benefit from the OTC desks that cater for trades over $100K with a one-to-one service. In terms of rewards and freebies, there is a rewards system for stacked coins twice a week and Kraken Free Credits which are occasionally deposited into users’ accounts.
Buying and selling crypto with Kraken can be tricky for first time traders, however, they do provide extremely detailed guides to take you through each step.
Overall, Kraken’s trading fees are in and around the lowest of all the major crypto exchanges around today. The fees are set on a maker-taker basis, meaning that the higher your trading volume, the lower your trading fees will be – with high volume traders getting zero-fee trades. To give you an idea of how the fees look, spot trading fees range between 0.26% and 0%, stable coin fees range between 0.2% and 0% and dark pool fees range from 0.36% and 0.2%. The full trading fee system for all Kraken markets can be found on the website.
Fees for withdrawals made using one of the seven available fiat currencies depend on the payment method that you use to withdraw. You can also withdraw in any one of over 50 cryptocurrencies, for which there is no Kraken withdrawal limit. There’s a flat fee charged for each cryptocurrency available no matter the volume of your withdrawal. For example, the bitcoin withdrawal fee is 0.00015 XBT.
As well as being available here in the United States, the Kraken Crypto Exchange is available in most countries across the world. The few exceptions are Afghanistan, Cuba, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, and Tajikistan. Here in the US, Kraken is available in 48 states, with the two exceptions being Washington state and New York.
Due to the introduction of the requirement for a BitLicense in the state of New York, Kraken stopped its operations there back in 2015. Kraken were quite vocal about their opposition to the BitLicense, so we’re unsure if and when we’ll see the reintroduction of Kraken’s availability to New York residents. With Washington State, things look a little more optimistic. If you’re looking for alternatives in the meantime, then check out our Binance Review and Coinbase Review.
And so to summarize, Kraken is definitely one of our top go-to recommendations in terms of security. Additionally, if you’re an experienced crypto trader or trading as a company, Kraken has a lot to offer. For beginner traders, Kraken is doing everything right on the face of it, however, a few things need to be tweaked – a more basic version of the web trader and a simpler buying process would be a great start. All in all though, if you were to ask the simple question, would we recommend Kraken? – the answer would be a definite yes.
Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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