Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. Launching in 2013, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell originally viewed the platform as a potential replacement for the once-dominant exchange Mt. Gox in a hypothetical scenario where it closed. As it happens Mt. Gox eventually went bankrupt in 2014, paving the way for newer exchanges like Kraken to gain market share.
By: Arthur Crowson | Dec 11, 2019 | Modified May 26, 2020
|Trading Volume:||$60+ million|
|Daily Buy Limit||$2,000-$25,000|
|Bank Account (ACH)||Yes||Yes||3-5 business days|
|Credit Card/Debit Card||No||No||n/a|
|Wire Transfer||Yes||Yes||1-3 business days|
Only a small amount of personal information is required to set up your Kraken account; however, you will need to provide additional verification if you’d like to use your bank account for deposits or withdrawals. Additional verification is also required to raise the limits on your cryptocurrency-based deposits and withdrawals.
To create a Kraken account you will need to provide an email, username, password and country of residence.
After creating an account, you will be required to activate your account. An activation key will be sent to your email after creating an account.
Kraken offers three different account types:
Upon deciding on an account type, you will need to input additional personal information, including:
It should be noted that the amount of information you need to share with Kraken may also depend on your country of residence.
To finish setting up your Kraken account, you will need to verify your account by providing photo identification/proof of residence. This process may take up to a few days to be verified.
Upon being verified, you can fund your account. You have the option to deposit either fiat currency or cryptocurrency/digital assets.
Do not forget to secure your Kraken account using two-factor authentication.
Kraken is somewhat conservative when it comes to the cryptocurrency tokens they make available for trade, although there are still more than 100 trading pairs on the exchange.
Here is the full list of crypto assets available for trade on Kraken:
Kraken supports trading on both desktop and mobile devices. If you plan to trade via your smartphone, then you can download the official Kraken app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Kraken’s exchange only supports holding your cryptocurrencies in their custodial wallet, but you can still withdraw your coins to your own non-custodial wallet whenever you want.
Yes. Kraken is considered to be one of the safest exchanges in operation today. The exchange assisted customers who were left in the lurch when Mt. Gox famously went belly up in 2014, which garnered them considerable good favor in the cryptocurrency community.
Kraken utilities the latest in security including two-factor authentication and Global Settings Locks.
There were reports of customers missing funds in 2016 and Kraken was accused of being hacked. The site was able to prove conclusively, however, that its integrity was never breached and the missing funds were due to phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks. It emphasized the importance of individuals maintaining good crypto security practices.
As one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Kraken has been the target of hacks before but none have been successful. Security is clearly paramount to Kraken.
Keep in mind that no exchange is 100% secure and it’s always recommended to keep large amounts of cryptocurrency in a cryptocurrency wallet.
The fees on Kraken change depending on how often you trade each month. These fees can go as low as 0% in some situations. Kraken uses a maker-taker fee model where those who place an order pay a lower fee than those who see the order on the market and trade on it. The maker fees are a bit higher on the stablecoin markets.
While Kraken may not be the best option for absolute cryptocurrency beginners who are not interested in trading on a regular basis, the exchange works well for those who want to get into trading for the first time. The level of customer support offered by the exchange is exceptional and the exchange helps those who may be unfamiliar with a lot of trading terminology get started. Additionally, even those who are unfamiliar with how cryptocurrency works will be able to take advantage of Kraken’s enhanced security features.
While Kraken was originally intended to fill the void left by Mt. Gox once it collapsed, the reality is a variety of different exchanges have grown in popularity since Mt. Gox went bankrupt in 2014. While it would be untrue to claim that Kraken has replaced Mt. Gox as the most dominant cryptocurrency exchange on the market, the volumes on the exchange have continued to grow at a slow and steady pace over time.
While it is not recommended to leave cryptocurrencies on exchanges when you aren’t actively trading, Kraken has a reputation for being one of the most (if not the most) secure exchanges on the market. Security is the top priority for this exchange, which is why they have been able to operate for such a long period of time without facing any serious hacking incidents.
The minimum amount of money you are able to deposit onto Kraken will depend on the method of deposit and the country of origin for the deposit.
For American customers, the deposit minimum is 20 dollars by way of ACH or FedWire transfer. It should be noted that these deposit options come with a $5 fee.
Kraken customers in Europe are able to deposit as little as 1 euro via SEPA without any associated fees.
Canadians are able to deposit as little as $20 CAD via in-person transactions at a Canada Post location.
The minimum deposits for customers in Great Britain and Japan are 150 GBP and 15,000 JPY respectively.
For a starter account where you are only trading crypto assets, account verification can take as little as a few minutes; however, this sort of automated verification is not always available.
Those who need to provide additional forms of verification to increase their account limits or enable new deposit and withdrawal options can expect a processing time of one to five days.
It is easier to list the countries that Kraken doesn’t offer services to. Currently, Kraken is unavailable to residents of the following countries;
It is important to note that while Kraken is available to users in the United States, residents of Washington State and New York cannot use Kraken at this time.
Kraken bought Cavirtex in 2016, and all Cavirtex accounts have been converted to Kraken accounts since then.
Kraken’s fees are not particularly high, although it makes sense to compare fee levels at different exchanges for your specific level of expected use.
Kraken users have experienced delays on deposits and withdrawals before, but these delays are usually due to issues that are not specific to the exchange. There have also been instances of delays in the sign-up and verification processes in the past; however, this tends to happen with every exchange during times when the crypto market is heating up.