Kraken vs. Coinbase: Which Crypto Exchange Is Right for You?

Kraken and Coinbase, both ranking among the top 10 crypto exchanges by trading volume, offer a broad spectrum of features catering to the needs of cryptocurrency investors…

Kraken and Coinbase, both ranking among the top 10 crypto exchanges by trading volume, offer a broad spectrum of features catering to the needs of cryptocurrency investors.

This comparison will examine security, fees, available cryptos, and more to help you determine which of these two popular exchanges is the best fit for your needs.

Kraken vs. Coinbase: Fees

Kraken has a slight advantage over Coinbase in terms of fees, although they are quite similar. This is partly due to Kraken’s lower trading fees and transparent fee structure. For those new to crypto investing, adapting to the advanced platforms quickly can result in lower crypto trading fees. Using the pro platforms (Kraken Pro and Advanced Trade) can be more cost-effective, especially with fee-free deposits. Both pro and basic options are compared here for a fair assessment.

Kraken Instant Buy vs. Coinbase

Kraken’s Instant Buy feature shares many similarities with Coinbase’s entry-level exchange. Both platforms simplify the buying or selling of crypto, especially for newcomers. The fees for buying Bitcoin (BTC) worth $100 are at least $1.50 on either platform, though slightly more on Coinbase.

  • Kraken charges 1.5% for buying or selling crypto, and 0.9% for stablecoins, with potential additional fees depending on the payment method.
  • Coinbase’s charges range from $0.99 to $2.99 on purchases or sales below $205, plus a variable spread, and 1.5% plus the spread on larger transactions. Additional fees may apply for certain payment methods.

Kraken Pro vs. Coinbase Advanced Trade

Both advanced platforms employ a tiered maker/taker fee that decreases for investors with higher trading volumes.

  • Kraken Pro’s highest maker/taker fees are 0.26% / 0.16% for low volume traders, reducing to 0.00% / 0.10% for those trading over $10 million a month.
  • Coinbase Advanced Trade’s highest fees are 0.60% / 0.40% for low volume traders, reducing to 0.05% / 0.00% for top-level investors trading $500 million a month.

When evaluating fees on cryptocurrency exchanges, consider how you intend to use the platform, including deposit methods, trading frequency, and withdrawal methods. Both platforms offer free ways to deposit money, and in most countries, bank transfers to both Kraken and Coinbase are free. However, debit card usage can incur additional costs.

Kraken vs. Coinbase: Cryptos Available

Both Kraken and Coinbase offer major cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), or Cardano (ADA), along with many smaller coins and tokens. In terms of numbers, Coinbase has a slight edge with over 210 cryptos, while Kraken lists almost 200. Some restrictions apply based on location.

Kraken vs. Coinbase: Wallets

Crypto wallets are vital for those who want to securely store their assets. Kraken and Coinbase have different approaches to external wallets:

  • Kraken encourages the use of third-party wallet providers but doesn’t offer its own wallet.
  • Coinbase provides its own hot wallet and collaborates with other wallet providers.

Kraken vs. Coinbase: Security

Security is paramount for every crypto trader. Both Coinbase and Kraken prioritize security through measures like cold storage, bug bounty programs, user-level protection, and more. However, they differ in insurance, with Kraken not offering third-party insurance, while Coinbase attempts to replace losses from covered events.

Final Thoughts

Kraken and Coinbase are both reputable digital currency trading platforms with similar fee structures, educational resources, and available cryptocurrencies. The choice between them depends on individual preferences and needs.

Kraken has a slight edge in fees and offers more coins for staking at higher rates. However, it doesn’t promote keeping assets on the exchange and lacks its own wallet capabilities.

Coinbase is known for its user-friendly interface and is a preferred choice for new crypto investors. It offers more available cryptos and deposit methods, along with wallet functionality.