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With Binance’s Murky Status in the USA, Is Kraken Exchange a Good Alternative?

Binance is the largest crypto exchange by volume in the world. In recent years they expanded their exchange offering to the US with their Binance.US platform, which would allow US residents to offer a more limited version of the main Binance exchange. Despite this offering, Binance is accused by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US of illegally providing services to US residents through the non-US version.

Of course, it’s fair to blame the company, but there seems to be little blame placed on the US residents who were knowingly violating their own country’s laws. Regardless, Binance is in a bit of hot water on US soil, leaving US digital asset users and holders to wonder where to turn next. Thankfully, there’s a reputable US-based exchange in the form of Kraken that they can turn to. Before diving into why Kraken is a good option, let’s take a further look at Binance’s legal situation.

Is Kraken the best alternative to Binance?

Binance Troubles

Apart from the recent issues brought forth by the CFTC, Binance has already been in trouble with US and other regulators at various times throughout its history. Most recently, after the collapse of FTX exchange, Binance was criticized for not providing a proof of reserves for their assets apart from Bitcoin. Chengpang Zhao informed news outlets that more detailed information would become available, but that didn’t stop mainstream media from spinning his statements in a negative light.

Despite the fact that Binance now has a fairly comprehensive proof of reserves available on their site, that’s updated monthly, there hasn’t been a news story about that. Nor has there been a story about how Binance’s proof of reserves does in fact cover all users’ holdings. The reality is that the US media is never interested in providing positive news about crypto, just sensationalism. Whether Binance is a trustworthy platform or not, those who want to look elsewhere should consider Kraken.

Why Kraken is a Good Alternative to Binance

There are a few reasons why Kraken is a good alternative to Binance, not the least of which is the fact that they’ve been around for over a decade (longer than Binance in fact).

We’ve broken down some reasons why Kraken is a good option for moving your crypto assets below.

Kraken’s Reputation and History

Kraken launched in 2011 as a Bitcoin exchange. Since then, they’ve grown exponentially, with a focus on platform security, evidenced by their continued running of a bug bounty program, where they reward users for finding flaws in their security (if any).

The platform has never experienced a hack either. Up until the SEC charged Kraken with $30 million in fines for their staking services, Kraken had never been in any legal trouble either, as they’ve long been compliant. The reality is their staking service was legally acceptable until the SEC changed rules, something their chair is currently under fire for.

Kraken has always provided excellent services and products, with competitive fee structures as well. They also offer a large selection of digital assets.

Kraken’s Services and Products

Despite Kraken’s fine for staking charged by the SEC, they still offer staking services — just not for US-based users — and there’s a new disclaimer that you’re subject to tax laws on your earnings. Kraken is then still a great place to stake a variety of crypto assets such as Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL), Ethereum (ETH), and Polygon (MATIC) among others.

Apart from staking, Kraken offers competitive trading fees that can go as low as 0% depending on your trading volume, margin trading up to 5x, futures, over the counter services, and account management services.

Kraken also offers a variety of funding options for users in a variety of jurisdictions including Canada, Australia, the UK, and the US. This makes it easy for users to pick a funding method that fits their needs. Users can also buy crypt instantly with certain credit and debit cards, though this often incurs fees that may not be worth the instantaneous speed of the transaction.

Finally, Kraken offers 24/7 customer service to their users. They have both 24-hour live chat available, along with 24-hour phone support. There aren’t many exchanges of Kraken’s caliber that offer this kind of customer support, including Binance, which offers live chat but nothing like 24/7 phone support. For those that are more comfortable waiting, they also offer email support. Of course, Kraken also offers a comprehensive support center with FAQs and guides for just about everything the exchange offers.

Kraken’s Regulatory Compliance

Perhaps most importantly for those worried about keeping assets on Binance, Kraken is under no regulatory scrutiny. Yes, they did just have to pay a fine to the SEC, but as mentioned earlier, this fine was based upon regulations that the SEC changed since Kraken began offering their staking services. Apart from this fine, they’ve been in good standing with regulators around the globe, and this is evidenced by the fact that they’ve been able to stay based in the US for over a decade now.

Kraken was also quick to provide their proof of reserves, which is accessible through users’ account dashboards and allows them to verify that all the assets they hold are being held by Kraken. While it would be useful for them to provide an overall proof of reserves, broken down by asset and updated monthly, like Binance, users shouldn’t be concerned that Kraken is going to mismanage funds like FTX did.

Closing Thoughts: Kraken is a Great Option

As crypto regulation becomes a hotter topic around the globe, users of exchanges such as Binance may find themselves in need of another option to trade and/or hold assets.

Thankfully, Kraken is a great alternative to Binance. While they don’t offer the same asset selection that Binance does, Kraken does offer incredible security, and a wide array of services and products that should be able to meet just about anyone’s needs.

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About the Author

Evan Jones

Evan Jones was introduced to cryptocurrency by fellow CryptoVantage contributor Keegan Francis in 2017 and was immediately intrigued by the use cases of many Ethereum-based cryptos. He bought his first hardware wallet shortly thereafter. He has a keen and vested interest in cryptos involving decentralized backend exchanges, payment processing, and power-sharing.

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