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Kraken Review 2023

Best of Kraken
  • Security
  • Range of cryptocurrencies
  • Advanced trading features
  • Reasonable fees
James Bishop Crypto Enthusiast
Kraken is more than just a Bitcoin trading platform. Come see why our cryptocurrency exchange is the best place to buy, sell, trade and learn about crypto.

Kraken Review 2023: Advanced Crypto Trading and Low Fees

Kraken is a comprehensive cryptocurrency exchange offering a diverse selection of coins and boasting low fees. Setting itself apart from other U.S. exchanges, Kraken provides advanced trading tools like margin trading, albeit limited to specific clients. The platform strives to be the pinnacle of excellence and security. To determine the veracity of this claim and to ascertain if Kraken is the optimal exchange and trading platform for your needs, we recommend perusing our detailed review of Kraken.


Complete review of Kraken

Kraken Exchange is particularly suitable for experienced investors who can fully leverage advanced features such as margin trading. Here are the key pros and cons:


  • Security
  • Range of cryptocurrencies
  • Advanced trading features
  • Reasonable fees
  • Strong staking options


  • Not for beginners
  • Limited starter account
  • Slow account funding
  • Questionable customer service
  • No tax support

In conclusion, Kraken stands as a robust and reliable crypto exchange, offering a broad range of features and benefits. It caters to experienced investors who can capitalize on its advanced trading tools, including margin trading. It’s crucial to review the comprehensive assessment provided to gauge if Kraken aligns with your specific trading requirements and preferences.

Key Benefits of Kraken

Reputation and Security

Kraken has established itself as a reputable cryptocurrency exchange, having been in operation for nearly a decade. Since its inception in 2011 and launch in 2013, Kraken has prioritized security and, impressively, has not experienced any hacks in its nine-year history. As one of the largest and oldest exchanges globally, Kraken sets industry standards for security, focusing on both physical and financial security measures. The platform also actively encourages users to adopt robust security practices.

Wide Range of Cryptocurrencies

Kraken offers a selection of over 160 cryptocurrencies, paired with seven fiat currencies. While it may not offer the most extensive variety available, it remains comparable to some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges. This diverse range surpasses what many brokers provide, as they often limit their offerings to a few well-known coins. Moreover, Kraken boasts high liquidity, ensuring easier buying and selling of assets at fair prices.

Advanced Trading Features

Kraken stands out among exchanges by providing advanced trading features such as margin trading, stop orders, and crypto short sales. Additionally, it offers a dark pool, enabling high-volume investors to trade anonymously. With margin trading, users can leverage a currency pair up to 5x, and eligible pro clients have access to margins of up to $500,000. However, it is essential to exercise caution when utilizing margin trading, as it involves borrowing funds to invest. While it amplifies potential gains, it also increases the risk of losses, considering the already volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.

Competitive Fees

Kraken’s fee structure is reasonably competitive compared to several other exchanges. While it may not be the most cost-effective option available, its maker-taker fees are lower than those of platforms like Coinbase. Trading fees vary across exchanges and are often based on monthly trading volumes. It is crucial to consider deposit and withdrawal costs, as well as transaction fees. Note that fees can accumulate if using the instant buy feature instead of the pro platform, as I discovered from personal experience.

Robust Staking Opportunities

Users highly value Kraken’s staking services, which offer the opportunity to earn impressive annual percentage yields (APY) on staked assets. You can stake over 15 different cryptocurrencies and potentially earn between 0.25% and over 20% APY. Staking typically involves locking up your coins to contribute to the overall security of a particular blockchain. This feature presents a lucrative opportunity for passive income generation with your crypto holdings.

In summary, Kraken excels in various aspects, including its solid reputation, commitment to security, wide range of cryptocurrencies, advanced trading features, competitive fee structure, and strong staking options. Considering these factors, Kraken emerges as a noteworthy cryptocurrency exchange worth exploring further.

Areas for Improvement in Kraken

Not Suitable for Beginner Investors

Kraken offers educational resources like currency guides and explainer videos for those new to cryptocurrency trading, but it primarily targets experienced traders with its platform design. The abundance of advanced features and a vast selection of coins can be overwhelming for beginners. Navigating the site may prove challenging initially, as it is not as intuitive as other user-friendly platforms.

Limited Functionality for Starter Accounts

Kraken offers three account levels: starter, intermediate, and pro. The starter account, which is accessible without submitting a photo ID and additional documents, offers minimal functionality. This limitation may frustrate users, but it is essential for maintaining the platform’s security and supporting the availability of advanced features.

Slow Account Funding

FedWire can be used to deposit cash, but it requires ID verification. Sadly, US citizens are not permitted to deposit using credit or debit cards. Deposits made in fiat money could also take one to five business days to process. It is important to note, though, that coin deposits can be performed with simply a beginning account and take about five minutes. Kraken offers tools to let users move money from other exchanges.

Customer Service

Kraken claims to offer 24/7 customer service and maintains an easily accessible help center. However, it has a Trustpilot rating of only 2.2 out of 5. While the reliability of such reviews can be uncertain, it is essential to have confidence in the exchange handling your funds. Some reviewers have reported delays in receiving their funds and a lack of response from the support desk. On a positive note, Kraken does provide live support and a phone number for assistance, which is not commonly offered by many other crypto exchanges.

In summary, Kraken could improve its user experience for beginners by providing more intuitive navigation and simplified features. It may also benefit from addressing delays in customer support response times and enhancing overall customer satisfaction.


Alternative Options to Consider:

  • Robinhood: If you want a simple strategy and are new to the world of cryptocurrencies, Robinhood is a good alternative. Even though Robinhood only accepts a few cryptocurrencies, customers can buy stocks and ETFs with little cost by using it to make purchases. This platform provides a smooth experience for users who want to examine both analog and digital content.
  • Coinbase: If you prefer the convenience of making purchases using a debit card, Coinbase is a popular choice. Customers can rapidly make debit card payments utilizing Coinbase’s well-known user-friendly interface or electronically transfer money from their bank accounts. Compared to Robinhood, Coinbase offers a wider selection of cryptocurrencies, making it more desirable for trading and investing.

Kraken rivals Robinhood and Coinbase both offer strong substitutes while accommodating various needs and preferences. These platforms provide accessible options for entering the cryptocurrency market, whether you’re looking for simplicity or the capability to utilize a debit card for purchases.


How Kraken works

Kraken is a specialised cryptocurrency exchange that specialises in offering a platform for exchanging cryptocurrencies. It does not offer services like loans or savings accounts, in contrast to several other platforms. Despite the fact that users can save their assets on Kraken, the service strongly advises consumers to move their holdings to external cryptocurrency wallets. Kraken places more of an emphasis on its function as an exchange than a wallet service. Nonetheless, because of its appealing staking rates, I personally use its custodial wallet. Kraken is a popular platform for staking since it supports a large variety of stakeable tokens and provides rewarding incentives.

Using its website or mobile app, Kraken can be accessed as a centralised exchange. Advanced trading capabilities including margin trading, stop orders, and crypto short sales are available to qualified customers. Also, as long as the currencies stay unaltered in their account, Kraken customers can stake their coins to receive interest.

To set up a basic account on Kraken, you’ll need to provide essential information such as your name, date of birth, and address. Eligibility requires being over 18 years old and residing in a supported area within the United States, with the exception of Washington and New York.

Three levels of verification:

  1. Starter: This entry-level account allows users to deposit, exchange, and withdraw cryptocurrencies. However, it has limitations, as you cannot deposit or withdraw fiat currencies. To convert dollars into crypto, you’ll need to upgrade your account.
  2. Intermediate: Upgrading to an Intermediate or Pro account requires providing valid photo identification (e.g., passport or driver’s license), proof of residence (e.g., utility bill), and your Social Security number or ITIN. Once you have an Intermediate account, you can deposit fiat currencies and trade on Kraken futures.
  3. Pro: The Pro level provides higher account limits and grants access to the anonymous “dark” trading pool and over-the-counter desk. The desk facilitates the execution of large orders without causing significant price disruption on the public exchange.

To fund your Kraken account, you’ll need to make a transfer following the fee structure outlined by the platform. In the United States, Kraken does not support purchasing cryptocurrencies with debit or credit cards. The funding process may take up to five days to complete.


Fee Structure at Kraken

Kraken uses a maker-taker fee structure, which is a standard practise across exchanges. Reduced fees are available on the platform for traders who conduct more transactions. Depending on the particular currency, different fees apply to deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrencies. For instance, there would be a 0.00001 BTC fee and a 0.00050 BTC minimum withdrawal amount if you wanted to withdraw Bitcoin.

Additionally, Kraken provides an instant buy feature, similar to other exchanges, but it comes with significantly higher fees. Although I don’t reside in the U.S., I have the option to purchase cryptocurrencies using a debit card, which incurs steep fees. For example, when I initially bought Ethereum on the platform, I paid a 1.5% Kraken fee, a 3.75% card fee, and an additional 0.25 euro fee. These costs can be notably reduced if you deposit fiat currency via a bank transfer and utilize the pro platform. Nevertheless, it’s important to be mindful of potential fees as they can accumulate over time.

Funding and Transaction Fees:

Transaction Minimum Fee
FedWire (MVB Bank / Signature Bank) $1 Free
FedWire (Synapse) $20 $5
FedWire (Silvergate) $100 $10
FedWire (Etana Custody) $150 Free
Instant buy 0.9% fee for stablecoins* and FX pairs. 1.5% fee for any other crypto
Cryptocurrency deposit/withdrawal Depends on currency Depends on currency

Maker-Taker Fees:

30-Day Volume Maker Taker
$0 – $50,000 0.16% 0.26%
$50,001 – $100,000 0.14% 0.24%
$100,001 – $250,000 0.12% 0.22%
$250,001 – $500,000 0.10% 0.20%
$500,001 – $1,000,000 0.08% 0.18%
$1,000,001 – $2,500,000 0.06% 0.16%
$2,500,001 – $5,000,000 0.04% 0.14%
$5,000,001 – $10,000,000 0.02% 0.12%
$10,000,000+ 0.00% 0.10%

Stablecoin and FX Pairs Fees:

30-Day Volume Maker Taker
$0 – $50,000 0.20% 0.20%
$50,001 – $100,000 0.16% 0.16%
$100,001 – $250,000 0.12% 0.12%
$250,001 – $500,000 0.08% 0.08%
$500,001 – $1,000,000 0.04% 0.04%
$1,000,000+ 0.00% 0.00%


Cryptocurrency Availability

Kraken offers a diverse selection of cryptocurrencies. With over 160 coins available, including popular options like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano, there’s a wide range of choices. For U.S. traders, approximately 130 coins are listed. Additionally, Kraken supports seven different fiat currencies and includes three stablecoins in its offerings.

Security Measures

Security is a fundamental aspect of Kraken’s operations. Since its launch in 2013, it has maintained an impressive track record of not being hacked. While it’s important to note that no exchange is entirely immune to security risks, Kraken is widely regarded as one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges. Here are some key security measures employed by Kraken:

  1. Coin Storage: Around 95% of Kraken’s crypto assets are stored in cold storage, which ensures offline protection against hacks. The platform also conducts external proof of reserves audits to demonstrate full reserves.
  2. Platform and Information Security: Kraken maintains 24/7 surveillance over its physical servers. Sensitive information is encrypted at both the system and data level to enhance security.
  3. Security Testing: Regular penetration tests are conducted on Kraken’s systems by its internal team and through a bug bounty program. This program incentivizes ethical hackers to discover and report any vulnerabilities.
  4. User Security Features and Education: Kraken emphasizes the importance of personal security for its users. It offers two-factor authentication, secure emails, and security locks to enhance account security. Additionally, Kraken provides educational resources to help users protect their accounts effectively.


Kraken is a Suitable Choice if:

  • You are an experienced trader seeking advanced features like margin trading.
  • You are a crypto investor looking to expand your portfolio with a broader selection of coins and features.
  • Security is your top priority, and you want to entrust your funds to a highly secure platform.


Kraken Ranking

As one of the largest and oldest Bitcoin exchanges in the world, Kraken is consistently named one of the best places to buy and sell crypto online.

Ease of Use
Value for Money
  • Security
  • Range of cryptocurrencies
  • Advanced trading features
  • Reasonable fees
  • Strong staking options
  • Not for beginners
  • Limited starter account
  • Slow account funding
  • Questionable customer service
  • No tax support
User rating: 4.36 (25 votos)