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BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced

Kraken vs Binance: Do You Want Stellar Security or Unmatched Choice?

Kraken and Binance are two of the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. While Binance has seen tremendous growth over the past few years and became the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume in a rather short period of time, Kraken holds the title for one of the most trusted exchanges as it has never been hacked. Let’s take a closer look at Kraken vs Binance and see which cryptocurrency platform will be the right option for you.

Kraken vs Binance Compared

Kraken Logo

Kraken

  • Trustworthy exchange
  • Supports many different funding options
  • Accepts users from across the globe
  • High trading volume
Funding Methods Wire Transfer, ACH
Cryptocurrencies 20+
Countries 150+
Binance Logo

Binance

  • Easy sign-up process
  • Lowest transaction fees of any major exchange
  • 175+ different digital assets available
  • Free deposits
Funding Methods Debit & Credit Card, Wire Transfer, ACH
Cryptocurrencies 175+
Countries 100+

Kraken Quick Overview

Founded in 2011, Kraken has a long history of providing the most important feature of a cryptocurrency exchange: not getting hacked. The exchange offers a variety of cryptocurrency trading options, and they aren’t afraid to delist altcoins that they think do harm to the overall cryptocurrency space, such as Bitcoin SV. The flipside is that Kraken doesn’t offer as many cryptocurrency pairings as some of its competitors. To learn more check out our comprehensive Kraken review.

Kraken Exchange Homepage

Kraken Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Their track record when it comes to security is nearly unmatched in the cryptocurrency industry

  • One of the most liquid exchanges in existence

  • Can trade on multiple exchanges via their Cryptowatch platform

  • Fees at this exchange are quite competitive

Cons

  • Does not have a simple, brokerage-esque interface for Bitcoin and crypto newcomers

  • Unavailable to residents of New York and Washington

Binance Quick Overview

When measured by volume, Binance is currently the most popular crypto exchanges in the world. Low fees and the availability of a large number of trading pairs have been key to the increased popularity of this exchange, along with the fact that the trading limits on a non-verified account are quite high. For a complete evaluation on Binance, check out our comprehensive review here.

Screenshot of Binance Exchange Homepage

Binance Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can trade up to 2 Bitcoin per day without handing over personally-identifying information

  • Competitive fees with Pro account

  • Nearly 600 trading pairs listed on Binance

  • High liquidity

Cons

  • Cannot connect a bank account to this platform, stablecoins are used instead

  • Has had some bugs and security issues pop up over the years

Kraken vs Binance at a Glance

Information
Kraken
Binance
Headquarters:
San Francisco, USA
No central headquarters
Company type:
Exchange
Exchange
Fees:
Low (0% to 0.26%)
Low (0.015% to 0.1%)
Security:
High
Medium
Beginner Friendly:
No
Yes
Verification required:
Yes
Region dependant
Available cryptocurrencies:
Bitcoin, Ethereum (33 Total)
Bitcoin, Ethereum (175+ Total)
Proprietary token:
No
Yes
On-site wallet:
Yes
Yes
Buy/Deposit Methods:
Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Stablecoins and Cryptocurrencies
Sell/Withdraw Methods:
Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency
Stablecoins and Cryptocurrencies
Year established:
2011
2017
Fiat trading:
Yes
Yes (stablecoins only)
Gold:
No
No

Beginner Friendliness

Both Binance and Kraken are exchanges that are generally trusted as safe and secure for cryptocurrency traders; however, Binance has a feature that makes it a bit friendlier to beginners. When trading on Binance, users are able to choose a “basic” trading engine that makes trading as simple as possible. The interface simply asks the user to input the amount of a particular cryptocurrency they would like to trade for another cryptocurrency.

Having said that, Binance only works with stablecoins, which could be confusing for newcomers. After all, a new user will need to get some cryptocurrency from an alternative source before they’re able to use the Binance platform at all. For someone who wants to attach a bank account to their cryptocurrency exchange of choice, Kraken will be a better option here. Kraken also has a simple interface option for trading; however, it’s not as basic as what is offered by Binance.

The best exchange option between Binance and Kraken for a beginner will likely depend on whether that individual already has some cryptocurrency holdings.

Trust & Security

In terms of trust and security, it’s no contest: Kraken is clearly the better platform.

Kraken was originally founded in 2011 and has never been hacked, while Binance has faced multiple security issues since it was launched in 2017. Additionally, Binance operates in a sort of legal gray area where they don’t want to tell people where they’re actually headquartered, which could be viewed as an existential risk to the platform. Conversely Kraken is based in the USA and is one of the most audited and regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Kraken even has a bank license in the USA, which gives you a good idea about the level of accountability at Kraken.

Fees

Both Binance and Kraken use a model for fees that is commonly found in the cryptocurrency exchange industry. As a user trades more volume on their exchange of choice, they will gain access to lower fees. Choosing between Binance and Kraken based on fees will depend on how much trading you expect to do on the platform. For small amounts, Binance will be a better option; however, those trading millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency per month will, generally speaking, find lower rates on Kraken.

It should be noted that Binance has its own token, Binance Coin (BNB). It enables traders to gain access to discounted trading fees when fees are paid in BNB.

Sign-Up Process

Much like the security features found at Kraken are much better than those found at Binance, Binance is the clear winner in terms of the sign-up process. This is mainly due to the fact that Binance allows up to 2 Bitcoin of daily trading without going through any sort of serious account verification process. The only sort of identification that is required to trade on Binance is an email address.

Of course, if you want to trade large amounts of cryptocurrency with your account, you’ll need to go through the same sort of identity verification process that is found on Kraken and basically every other cryptocurrency exchange.

Kraken requires a very high degree of identification because it is a regulated exchange that’s based out of the USA. On the bright side there are some Kraken sign-up offers you might be able to take advantage of to get a nice bonus. Binance also offers sign-up bonuses new new users depending on trading volume.

Available Cryptocurrencies

Binance is well-known as the exchange to turn to when you can’t find the crypto asset you wish to trade on your current exchange. There are 175 altcoins that can be traded against Bitcoin alone on Binance, while there are only 28 cryptocurrencies available on Kraken at the time of writing. Of course the number of available cryptocurrencies should not be confused with the number of available trading pairs.

Both exchanges offer all the industry’s heavy hitters including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Cardano, Polkadot and more.

In general terms, if Binance doesn’t offer a cryptocurrency for purchase than you don’t want to buy it. That’s an exaggeration but Binance really is an industry leader when it comes to offering a wide range of cryptocurrencies. At last check the exchange offered over 500 different coins.

While Binance offers much greater variety in terms of the crypto assets on the platform, Kraken tends to do more research into a project before it is listed on their exchange. Having said that, both Binance and Kraken have de-listed sketchy coins over the years.

Standout Features

The two key stand out features found with Kraken are its Cryptowatch platform and the level of security offered by the exchange. Cryptowatch allows users to trade on multiple different cryptocurrency exchanges via a single interface. Additionally, Kraken’s record when it comes to security simply cannot be matched by anyone else in the market.

For Binance, the sheer number of altcoins available on the platform cannot be overlooked. No other liquid exchange comes close to Binance in terms of the availability of various crypto assets on the platform. Binance also offers industry-leading liquidity (or volume). That means that you’ll never have a problem buying or selling crypto on Binance. Even obscure coins are easy to purchase on Binance.

Conclusion: Kraken Better for New Crypto Converts

Instead of trying to figure out whether Binance or Kraken is better as a cryptocurrency exchange, you should think about what sorts of features you need in particular.

If you’re a cryptocurrency user who is looking for a wide variety of altcoins to trade, then Binance will definitely be your platform of choice. In addition those trading large amounts of cryptocurrency every month will want to stick with Binance due to the lower fees found at the higher trading thresholds and level of security offered by the exchange.

On the other hand it can’t be understated how important good security is when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges. Kraken is widely considered on of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges in the world thanks to the highly-regulated nature of cryptocurrency exchanges based in the USA.

Kraken will also likely be a better choice for new crypto users because, out of the two, it’s the only exchange that lets users purchase crypto with fiat cash (such as USD, CAD, GBP). Just be prepared to provide a fair amount of identification to get started on the site.

Arthur Crowson

About the Author

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson is an award-winning writer and editor who hails from the Pacific Northwest. His career began in traditional news media but he transitioned to online media in the mid-2000s and has written extensively about the online poker boom and the rise of cryptocurrency.

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