Kraken Review: Beginner's Guide to Kraken Exchange

What Is Kraken?

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange based in San Francisco, California, United States, founded in July 2011 by Jesse Powell, with its official launch in 2013. It is considered to be one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges on the market.

The exchange boasts a solid reputation when it comes to its security as it is the go-to trading platform for both traders and institutions across a variety of locations.

It is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of euro volume and liquidity, and it caters to clients from Europe, the U.K., the U.S., Japan and other countries from all over the globe.

It also should be mentioned that Kraken is the exchange which provides for the Bloomberg Terminal pricing data, and it also has been selected to provide Mt. Gox victims with claim support after the high-profile 2014 hack in which 650,000 Bitcoins were lost.

Supported Currencies

Kraken supports a wide range of both fiat and cryptocurrencies on the platform. In addition to Bitcoin (XBT), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT) are offered as well as currencies such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar/Lumens (XLM), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Augur (REP), ICONOMI (ICN), Melon (MLN), Zcash (ZEC), Dogecoin (XDG), Gnosis (GNO), and EOS (EOS). Bitcoin is usually abbreviated BTC, however, Kraken uses the XBT ticker on its website.

Deposits and withdrawals can be made in CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY, and USD, with fiat currency payments being made via Bank Transfer. Users with a bank account within the European Economic Area are able to use the SEPA payment system.

Kraken also accepts margin trading on these currency pairs: XBT/EUR, XBT/USD, ETH/XBT, ETH/USD, ETH/EUR, ETC/XBT, ETC/ETH, ETC/USD, ETC/EUR, REP/XBT, REP/ETH, REP/EUR.

Exchange Security

When it comes to security, Kraken is wildly believed to be one of the most secure exchanges in the crypto world, allowing it to be one of the very few exchanges to avoid the “transaction malleability” exploit which bankrupted Mt. Gox.

Kraken is also the first company to develop a verified proof of reserves, demonstrating that the company keeps all of its customer’s funds.

Most of the funds are stored offline in cold wallet in secure facilities.

Kraken also employs two-factor authentication, PGP encryption for emails and a global setting lock, which restricts how many changes can be made in an account during a certain time interval.

No major hacks have occurred so far, but users have had their accounts attacked because their 2FA security was not activated. There have also been user reports regarding capacity issues in times of high fluctuation in the market.

With all these security measures instated, Kraken has the green checkmark for safety.

Fee Structure

Users are able to buy and sell crypto assets, as well as margin trade. Deposits and withdrawals for US residents are facilitated through bank wire service which incurs a cost of $5 dollars. Bank wire transfers which are not US-based charge $10 USD, 10 EUR or 10 pounds.

Canadian users are able to deposit Canadian dollars through bank wire free of charge, while withdrawals are $10 CAD. SEPA wire transfer allow European users to make deposits free of charge, with a withdrawal fee of 0.09 EUR.

Japanese users pay no fees deposits over ¥5,000 and have a withdrawal fee of ¥20.

Maker and taker fees are 0.16% and 0.26% respectively (for the lowest volumes). The higher your trading volume is, the lower your percentage fee goes, with the possibility of reaching 0.0% for the maker and 0.10% for the taker.

Kraken Signup and Login

To open a Kraken account, you sign up on the site by entering your name, email address, and password. All passwords have to be a minimum of 8 characters in length and contain letters, numbers, and special characters.

Kraken features basic and advanced accounts to cater to traders of all levels of experience. To open a basic account the user must provide their full name, date of birth, address and phone number.

Advanced account users have to provide more personal data and go through a more rigorous verification process. For an advanced account, it’s necessary to upload your ID, documentation, and set up a 2FA.


Kraken is a top industry exchange that has a strong security and plenty of advanced features that are suitable for expert traders. If you are a new trader that cannot work out the complexities of trading and wish for a larger variety of coins, you should look for other options.


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