A crypto exchange with a solid track record and good customer service
BTC, ETH, DOT, DOGE, 90+ Cryptos
- Excellent security features
- Low fees on Kraken Pro
- Established exchange
- The lowest fees can only be accessed on the Pro area. There is a learning curve to learn how to use it
In this Kraken review we cover everything there is to know about the Kraken exchange. Kraken is a renowned exchange and bank. It has been around since the beginning of the crypto market. It is consistently rated as one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges and the most secure for good reason.
Kraken is built on good reputation
Back in 2011 a court of law appointed Kraken as the bankruptcy trustee to oversee the liquidation of Mt. Gox. For those that do not know Mt. Gox was the largest cryptocurrency exchange at the time. It got compromised by hackers and client funds were stolen.
Kraken was chosen because it had experience in the industry and is and was highly secure. Their systems at the time had not suffered any breaches. Note that Kraken have not suffered any breaches until today which is a fantastic track record for an exchange.
The court assigned Kraken the task of returning remaining funds to creditors. Additionally they had to investigate the stolen Bitcoin funds.
Kraken started gaining notoriety during those times. They handled the tasks assigned by the court professionally. Additionally they even managed to return some of the stolen funds.
Another notable mention is Kraken’s commitment to transparency. The exchange provides accurate data on cryptocurrencies. As a result products and tool can use their data for their own platforms.
In fact the Bloomberg Terminal directly feeds Kraken’s data into the terminal. Professionals in financial services access the terminal for accurate real-time market data and place trades. More information about Kraken’s development and its achievements as a company can be found in the history section.
Kraken review: Fees
Another good thing about Kraken is that you can benefit from drastically reduced fees. Kraken has some of the lowest fees in the industry. Reducing your fees would depend on the area within Kraken where you chose to make your exchange.
Kraken’s platform has three separate areas where you can buy or sell crypto. Firstly it has the standard exchange area and it has two trading areas.
The exchange area is mostly for beginners. It is a simple interface that allows you to easily buy or sell crypto. When you select to ‘buy crypto’ from the top navigation menu the interface will look like this:
Follow this simple tutorial to learn how to buy crypto from Kraken:
On the other hand the trading areas are more complex. One trading area can be accessed from by selecting ‘trade’ from the top navigation.
However you can save more on fees and get the lowest rates in the industry if you navigate to Kraken Pro. You can access Kraken Pro by clicking the 4 squares next to ‘available balances’ in the header menu. In the drop down you can click on the Kraken Terminal. There is a what it should look like:
If you do not know how to use the trading area on Kraken you can have a look at this video.
Lowering your fees
Note that before bank transfers are the most cost effective way of depositing money into any exchange. There is no charge on Kraken’s end when you make a bank transfer. There may be bank charges however. You may want to check what your charges will be with your bank before you make the transfer.
Credit cards have additional processing fees. In Kraken’s case it’s 3.75% plus a €0.25 fee. Similarly digital wallet payments also incur these same fees.
When it comes to purchasing crypto there are some other fees. The fees for using the standard exchange areas will charge a flat 0.5% processing fee. Additionally there is fee of 0.9%-1.5% depending on the crypto you purchase. If you purchase a stablecoin you will be charged 0.9%. If you buy any other cryptocurrency or a forex pair you will be charged 1.5%.
On the other hand if you use Kraken Pro you can benefit from much lower fees. The cheapest fees charged are if you trade as a Maker. Here is the fees structure:
|30- Day Volume (USD)||Maker||Taker|
Kraken supports 90+ cryptocurrencies. To clarify it supports the most popular ones such as: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Cardano and Solana. It also supports privacy coins such as Dash, Monero and Zcash.
Note that ever since the SEC investigation of XRP, it is not supported on Kraken. If you are interested in XRP you can read more about it here on buy XRP.
You can have a look at Kraken’s support section. ‘Support’ is listed in the top menu navigation. Click here to view all the supported cryptos.
Kraken supports most countries around the world except a few because of international or local regulations. It is worth mentioning that Kraken provides all sorts of services and not just exchange or trading.
All English speaking countries are supported and have all or most services available to them. However the United States has several restrictions. If you just want to purchase the most popular cryptocurrencies this should not be a problem.
If you would like to find out more you can have a look in their support section for supported countries.
Kraken offers its platform to: exchange, trade, stake, parachain auctions, futures and spot trading.
Kraken has three separate mobile applications. It has the standard Kraken app where you can make exchanges. Like the desktop browser version it is perfect for beginners. However it is convenient because you can buy and sell from anywhere at any time.
If you wanted to trade you can use Kraken Pro which is a separate app. As outlined in the fees section, on this app you can access the lowest fees.
Moreover there is the Kraken Futures app for futures trading. It gives you 50x leverage and access to Kraken spot trading. However be aware that leverage is dangerous and should only be used by experienced traders only.
Kraken Review: Customer Ratings
Most customer Kraken reviews rate Kraken well. They are happy with Kraken and are loyal clients that you don’t hear about. However there are others that are not at all happy with them. These clients are the ones that are the most vocal.
Kraken reviews generally receive the same sort of complaints centred around a few topics.
Firstly some customers complain about the Know Your Customer, KYC regulations. As a regulated exchange Kraken is obliged to comply with the law. Although the KYC processes are inconvenient it is something all clients need to go through. Additionally it is not something that is unique to Kraken. Other regulated exchanges require the same paperwork.
Secondly, customers complain that their first deposit amount does not go through. As a result they need to contact customer service to resolve their issue. If you intend to transfer a large amount, we suggest you transfer a small sum of money initially. Like this you can test the waters and make sure it goes through. If the money goes through then you can transfer a larger amount later.
Other clients complain about not being able to withdraw their funds. This is because Kraken is pedantic about security. Your first withdrawal has a 72 hour hold. This means that you cannot withdraw any fiat before 72 hours after your first-time cash deposit.
Subsequently some customers find this frustrating. This is especially more frustrating because they do not notify clients about this procedure. However this only done once unless you deposit from what are labelled as ‘high risk banks’.
Analysing overall customer service in this Kraken review
All exchanges suffer from bad rating in general. However from the top exchanges it is good to note that Kraken has the least amount of complaints.
There are always those clients that accidentally slip through the cracks even though they contact support. However in general Kraken are prompt with addressing customer complaints and do their best with rectifying client issues.
Kraken Review: Security
Kraken’s commitment to security is second to none. In fact they can be pedantic, but the effort has paid off. As a result they are known as the most secure cryptocurrency exchange out of all the exchanges. Since its time in operation it has maintained a clean track record with no recorded breaches.
This is especially considering the sheer amount of security breaches that happened on various exchanges. You can have a look at a list of exchange hacks here to get the idea. This list is by no means comprehensive either.
Moreover because of their impeccable track record a lot of people tend to leave funds on Kraken. This would also include large investors who have openly mentioned they do so. However large investors only usually keep fiat in the exchange and not crypto just in case. Additionally they specify they only do so for a short amount of time up to several month.
In fact we recommend that you always store your crypto on a hardware wallet. This is because unlike exchanges hardware wallets have not been hacked. They have strong security, they are easy to maintain and inexpensive. If you are interested you can have a look at recommended hardware wallets here.
Kraken takes pride with maintaining its coveted top spot as being the most secure exchange. For this reason they have hired and put together a top notch team of security experts with decades of experience.
The team have implemented a number of security features that do not impede on the performance of the platform. These features ensure their platform and most importantly their client funds safe.
Here are the procedures they have in place:
Client account information is controlled and monitored and encrypted.
Their servers are in secure cages under lock and key and secured 24/7 by armed guards.
Kraken continually test their platform for any vulnerabilities internally. Moreover they have a bounty program for the wider security research community. They reward anyone that is able to find vulnerabilities in their system.
Cold coin storage
All coins are 100% backed, but 95% are kept in offline cold storage at different locations around the world.
Here are some of the features Kraken have in place:
- All withdrawals automatically send email confirmation. In the email you have the option to lock your account if the withdrawal is out of place.
- Urgent issues are prioritised in their 24/7 live chat or email support
- Accounts require two factor authentication 2FA for login. It can be done either by Google Authenticator or Yubikey.
- No mobile or SMS account recovery is possible.
- The site has SSL encryption
- Kraken will lock you out of your account if you have been inactive for a while
- No chargeback fraud for crypto
- 24/7 monitoring for suspicious activity
Kraken is based in San Francisco in the United States. It was founded in 2011 and launched 2 years after rigorous development and testing. Kraken was one of the first crypto exchanges on the market. It had a lot of opportunities to take advantage of.
In fact Kraken was the first cryptocurrency exchange that received a state chartered banking license. Moreover it was the first to offer spot trading with margin, index services and regulated derivatives.
Kraken has a lot of wealthy investors backing it up. Including Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Hummingbird Ventures and Tribal Capital.
Kraken Review Conclusion
To sum up this Kraken review, Kraken is a great crypto exchange. There are two important aspects as to why it is one of the most popular exchanges. Firstly it has tight nit security features and procedures. Secondly it has a competitive fee structure.
These are two important aspects that customers look for in an exchange. Some clients may find their security procedures rather inconvenient, but most appreciate the additional security.
Their exchange interface is easy to use, their trading area is a little more complex. However their trading area interface is not much different from other trading platform. So it is really just a matter of learning how to use the Kraken Pro interface.
We feel we can easily recommend this exchange because of its proven professional experience. In fact we use Kraken ourselves as we feel it is a safe exchange.
If you are interested you can sign up to Kraken here: