Comprehensive Kraken Exchange Review (2020)

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.

Kraken Overview


  • Trustworthy exchange
  • Supports many different funding options
  • Accepts users from across the globe
  • High trading volume

Kraken Pros & Cons

The Benefits PRO's
  • One of the original cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Never been hacked
  • Support for a variety of different funding options
  • High trading volumes
The Downside CON's
  • Not available to New York residents
  • Slow account verification
  • No support for credit/debit cards

Kraken at a Glance

Users: Millions
Trading Volume: $60+ million
Fee Rating: Average
Daily Buy Limit $2,000-$25,000
Trust Rating High
Overall Rating High

Funding Methods

Funding Method Buy Sell Speed
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

Setting up a Kraken Exchange Account

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.

Step 1: Create Your Account

Kraken - create your account

To create a Kraken account you will need to provide an email, username, password and country of residence.


Step 2: Account Activation

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 account activation form

Step 3: Selecting An Account Type

Kraken offers three different account types:

  • Starter
  • Intermediate
  • Pro

Kraken select an account type starter, intermediate, pro

Step 4: Get Verified for an Account

Upon deciding on an account type, you will need to input additional personal information, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Birth

Kraken identity verification form

It should be noted that the amount of information you need to share with Kraken may also depend on your country of residence.

Step 5: Finish Setting up Account

finish setting up Kraken account

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.

Kraken account balance

Do not forget to secure your Kraken account using two-factor authentication.

What Can You Buy at Kraken?

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 Supported Applications

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.

Is Kraken Safe?

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.

Kraken Frequently Asked Questions

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 the online arena in the mid-2000s and has written extensively about the online poker boom and the rise of cryptocurrency.