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Kraken Review

Last Updated on May 21, 2024

James Headshot
Written by
Adam Headshot
Edited by
Kraken logo
3.44
Crypto Head Rating
Our review is based on the spot trading platform. Please check our methodology on how we rate exchanges for further information.
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The Bottom Line Our review is based on the spot trading platform. Please check our methodology on how we rate exchanges for further information.

As a cryptocurrency exchange with a decade-long presence, Kraken is known for its user-friendly interface, educational resources, and strong security measures. The platform supports a wide selection of cryptocurrencies, facilitates transactions in multiple fiat currencies, and provides advanced features through Kraken Pro and a mobile app.

While customer service reviews have been mixed and the exchange has been entangled in legal issues, Kraken’s commitment to security, integrity, and transparency remains unwavering.

Table of Contents
Disclaimer: This is not a validation of cryptocurrency or any particular provider, service, or product. It should not be taken as advice to engage in trading or use any services. Please check our terms and conditions.

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Pros

  • Wide range of cryptocurrencies available
  • Strong security measures
  • Advanced trading features
  • Supports fiat-to-crypto transactions
  • Educational resources for beginners
  • Low trading fees

Cons

  • Complex interface for new users
  • Limited customer service options
  • No credit card deposits for US customers
  • Occasional slow performance during peak times

Quick Summary

Headquarters Location International
Fiat Currencies Supported USD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR + 1 other
Total Supported Cryptocurrencies 263+
Trading Fees 0.08% - 0.40%
Deposit Methods Bank Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayID, Osko
Support Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Live Chat, Help Center Articles, Support Ticket
Mobile App Yes - iOS, Android

Since it was founded in 2011, Kraken has been known as a leading cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. The platform often occupies the top five position among global cryptocurrency exchanges with respect to trading volume and client size.

Kraken homepage

With its intuitive interface and comprehensive collection of educational content, the platform serves as a good option for traders with various experiences.

Nevertheless, challenges have emerged for Kraken. Notable is its run-in with legal issues when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused it in November 2023 of functioning as an unregistered securities exchange. This will long leave a tarnish on Kraken’s otherwise commendable historical record.

About Kraken

The brainchild of Jesse Powell, Kraken was co-founded with Thanh Luu and Michael Gronager in 2011 in San Francisco. Launching the exchange in 2013, Powell brought a wealth of experience from his background with Lewt Inc. and Internet Ventures & Holdings.

Powell’s vision for Kraken was to create a safer, better-organized exchange in response to the security issues at Mount Gox. This vision paid off as Kraken is now widely recognized for its secure trading platform and significant role in shaping the crypto industry.

Kraken features

In September 2022, Kraken saw a significant transition with David Ripley succeeding Jesse Powell as the CEO. This change in leadership marked a new chapter in Kraken’s journey, one that continues to uphold the founding principles of security and integrity.

Kraken has a number of active social profiles including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Telegram, TikTok and YouTube.

Kraken has a mobile app on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Kraken Supported Cryptocurrencies

Kraken supports trading on over 263 cryptocurrencies on their platform. This exchange currently supports 26 of the top 30 market cap cryptocurrencies.

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Tether USDt (USDT)
  • BNB (BNB)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • USDC (USDC)
  • XRP (XRP)
  • Toncoin (TON)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • TRON (TRX)
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • NEAR Protocol (NEAR)
  • UNUS SED LEO (LEO)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Kaspa (KAS)
  • Internet Computer (ICP)
  • Pepe (PEPE)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Artificial Superintelligence Alliance (FET)
  • Aptos (APT)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Monero (XMR)

Download full list of cryptocurrencies Kraken supports

Kraken has an extensive presence on the global crypto exchange market, offering access to various cryptocurrencies. It also supports a range of blockchain platforms and networks, including Ethereum, Tron, Polkadot, Solana, and Cardano.

This variety of Kraken services provides crypto investors with a wide choice of digital assets to manage in their Kraken accounts.

Kraken also facilitates trading in several fiat currencies to support many cryptocurrencies. This allows users from different regions to trade using their local currency on this platform.

Trading Experience

Kraken’s user-friendly interface is designed to accommodate novices and seasoned traders alike. By blending simplicity and advanced capabilities, Kraken surpasses competitors like Coinbase in terms of usability.

Kraken Mobile App

Kraken’s mobile app features margin trading capabilities, a real-time portfolio, account management functions, and market trend analysis.

Designed to accommodate traders’ lifestyles, this application delivers advisory or brokerage services specifically designed for futures trading on its platform, including margin trading.

Kraken Pro

Kraken Pro is ideal for experienced traders needing a more advanced trading platform. It caters to intensive trading demands, providing reduced fees, the convenience of mobile trades, and enhanced features like charting options and a variety of order types.

Kraken Pro includes an over-the-counter service with a refined request-for-quote system and a protected chat environment designed specifically for trader communications. It also provides opportunities for margin trading, which appeals to investors managing diverse trade sizes because of its fee schedule.

Kraken exchange marketing

Kraken Fees

Kraken uses a maker-taker fee schedule, commonly referred to as Kraken fees. The platform offers low trading fees for liquidity providers, providing a competitive advantage in the market. Kraken rewards active traders through a volume-based discount scheme that adjusts after each trade, with discounts correlated to the user’s trading activity in the past 30 days.

Conversely, instant purchases on Kraken incur both a percentage-based fee plus an added spread that might fluctuate according to prevailing market conditions and liquidity levels. When compared against other crypto platforms’ trading fees, Kraken sustains its competitiveness by offering more economical choices.

Type Fee
Deposit Fee (Bank Transfer) $0 USD - $5 USD
Deposit Fee (Credit/Debit Card) Not Listed
Trading Fee 0.08% - 0.40%
Withdrawal Fee (Bank Transfer) $0 USD - $35 USD

Kraken supports a range of different cryptocurrencies with varying withdrawal fees. When looking at Bitcoin, their withdrawal fee is 0.0002 BTC. The average across all other exchanges that we've reviewed is 0.000401 BTC. This means Kraken charges below the industry average by 50.16%.

Kraken has a maker/taker fee schedule which you can see below.

30- Day Volume (USD) Maker Taker
$0 – $10,000 0.25% 0.40%
$10,001 – $50,000 0.20% 0.35%
$50,001 – $100,000 0.14% 0.24%
$100,001 – $250,000 0.12% 0.22%
$250,001 – $500,000 0.10% 0.20%
$500,001 – $1,000,000 0.08% 0.18%
$1,000,001 – $2,500,000 0.06% 0.16%
$2,500,001 – $5,000,000 0.04% 0.14%
$5,000,001 – $10,000,000 0.02% 0.12%
$10,000,000+ 0.00% 0.10%

Security - Is Kraken Safe?

Kraken is deeply committed to protecting its clients’ digital assets. It ensures that the bulk of these assets are kept in cold storage, which is highly secure and inaccessible to hackers.

To strengthen user security, Kraken mandates using two-factor authentication (2FA). Users have the choice between using authenticator apps or using physical security keys. This mandatory 2FA applies not only to login procedures but also to trading and funding transactions.

Also, as part of their security protocol, the platform regularly undergoes rigorous audits by independent auditors who verify its proof-of-reserves.

Kraken Customer Support

Reviews of the customer service offered by Kraken have varied.

Some reviews show a general discontent among customers. Investors have voiced their experience with extended delays when waiting for support to address issues with their investment accounts. There are reported incidents where their funds were retained beyond the stated security period.

Nevertheless, there have also been satisfactory encounters with Kraken’s customer care staff. Some users reported having their concerns resolved in around 20 minutes. This indicates that when conditions are optimal, the Kraken support team can deliver prompt and competent customer support.

Kraken support

Kraken Support Channels

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Live Chat
  • Help Center Articles
  • Support Ticket

Regulatory Compliance and Legal Issues

The Kraken crypto exchange has faced its fair share of legal issues. In November 2023, it became the target of an SEC lawsuit accusing it of illegal trading practices with crypto assets and neglecting to register certain activities as mandated by federal law. Despite disagreeing with the allegations made by regulators, Kraken settled to resolve these claims in February 2023 by agreeing to pay a penalty totaling $30 million.

Regarding regulatory standards, it’s worth noting that Kraken was the first cryptocurrency firm awarded a bank charter in Wyoming’s jurisdiction in the United States. American clients are subject to U.S. regulations, which restrict their participation in staking rewards or engagement in futures trades via this platform.

Staking and Passive Income Opportunities

On the Kraken platform, users can stake a selection of crypto assets alongside US dollars and euros. This process enables account holders to earn passive income by staking their holdings on Kraken.

Offering rewards that may reach as high as 26%, staking here presents an appealing prospect for participants. Once they’ve completed an initial bonding period, individuals start accruing staking incentives, which are paid biweekly.

Kraken streamlines user engagement in parachain auctions through its infrastructure. By allocating DOT or KSM tokens in these auctions, patrons can back their preferred parachain initiative while also being enticed by prospective returns.

How to Sign Up on Kraken

  1. Create Account - Visit the Kraken website and fill out the create account form. You'll need to include a valid email, set your password and type in other details like your phone number and name.
  2. Verify Account - Confirm your email, you should get an email asking you to verify your account creation.
  3. Transferring Funds - Once your account has been verified, you'll be able to deposit using the deposit methods listed below.
  4. Start Trading Crypto - That's it! You should now have everything in place to start trading.

Deposit Methods

  • Bank Transfer
  • Debit Card
  • Credit Card
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Paypal
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • PayID
  • Osko

Kraken Alternatives

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Binance

3.23
Crypto Head Rating
Our review is based on the spot trading platform. Please check our methodology on how we rate exchanges for further information.

Total Supported Cryptocurrencies
392+

Trading Fees
0.10%

Fiat Currencies Supported
USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, NZD + 75 others

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OKX logo

OKX

3.57
Crypto Head Rating
Our review is based on the spot trading platform. Please check our methodology on how we rate exchanges for further information.

Total Supported Cryptocurrencies
356+

Trading Fees
0.08% - 0.10%

Fiat Currencies Supported
USD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, NZD + 85 others

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Bybit logo

Bybit

3.25
Crypto Head Rating
Our review is based on the spot trading platform. Please check our methodology on how we rate exchanges for further information.

Total Supported Cryptocurrencies
510+

Trading Fees
-0.0050% - 0.1000%

Fiat Currencies Supported
USD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, NZD + 160 others

Visit Bybit

Final Thoughts

Kraken has proven itself to be a secure, reliable, and user-friendly platform for both beginning crypto investors and more experienced traders.

The platform outperforms other exchanges with its wide range of supported cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, competitive trading fees, strong security measures, and staking opportunities.

As the crypto market continues to grow and evolve, Kraken stands ready to adapt and serve its users to the best of its ability.

Kraken FAQs

Kraken is recognized as a well-established and legitimate cryptocurrency exchange, operating since 2011. It has built a reputation for its broad range of supported cryptocurrencies and services, including offering a platform for trading various digital assets.

If you’re wondering how Kraken fares against competitors, our articles provide detailed comparisons for Coinbase vs. Kraken, Gatehub vs. Kraken, Kraken vs. Bitstamp, Kraken vs. Gemini, and Poloniex vs. Kraken.

As with any trading platform, there is always the risk of financial loss when using Kraken. Market volatility, trading decisions, and security risks can all contribute to the potential for losing money.

Kraken uses security measures such as two-factor authentication and encrypted email communications to protect user funds. Nonetheless, no platform can guarantee absolute safety, and users must use strong personal security practices.

Except for the SEC lawsuit against Kraken, no reports suggest Kraken is in trouble. However, it is advisable to stay updated on the latest news and perform due diligence when considering using any financial platform.

Kraken is not an Australian exchange; it is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange. However, it offers services to many countries worldwide, including Australia.

Kraken operates legally in the jurisdictions where it is allowed to offer its services. It complies with various regulatory requirements necessary to operate in each region.

Yes, Kraken operates in Australia and provides Australian users access to its cryptocurrency trading platform.

Like many other financial institutions, Kraken may comply with local tax laws. To ensure compliance with Australian tax regulations, it could be required to report to authorities such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Users should consult a tax professional regarding their tax obligations.

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Methodology

At Crypto Head we use a rigorous research and rating process to assess each platform. Our star rating system is out of 5 stars and is designed to condense a large amount of information into an easy-to-understand format. You can read our full methodology and rating system for more details.

About The Authors

James Headshot
Written by

Crypto Technical Writer

James Page, previously the lead writer at Crypto Head and a registered psychologist, brings a unique perspective to the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

His extensive experience in the industry and ability to present complex concepts in an understandable manner make his articles a valuable resource for readers seeking to navigate the ever-evolving crypto landscape.

Check James out on:
Adam Headshot
Edited by

Co-Founder / Managing Editor

Adam Morris, the co-founder of Crypto Head and a respected crypto expert, offers insightful commentary and analysis on cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the evolving digital landscape.

His extensive experience and features in top-tier publications like Forbes and CNN underscore his deep understanding of the crypto world and its future potential.

Check Adam out on: