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Why Is Kraken So Popular? Read This To Find Out 3 Reasons!

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kraken exchange review

Founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and based in San Francisco, Kraken is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges out there. The exchange launched in 2013 at a time when cryptocurrencies were in their infancy. Since then, the exchange has remained a household name in the space.

The exchange originally limited its support to Bitcoin and was popular among investors in Europe but this would change as years passed by. Now, Kraken supports more than 87 coins and 389 trading pairs while also sporting more than 13 million visits.

According to data from CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap, the exchange has consistently been one of the top 10 spot exchanges over the past years.

This is not surprising when considering the low fees, varied funding options, and great security offered by the exchange. The company was founded with the mission to accelerate the adoption of currency, which is why the exchange is easily accessible to traders of all levels.

Not only is Kraken based in the United States but its CEO has also discussed the intention to go public in the future. This makes Kraken one of the few exchanges fully compliant with local regulations, which makes it easy for users in the United States to access.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use it if you don’t live in the United States, as the exchange is available globally. There are only certain restrictions in terms of geographical location, which include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Cuba
  • Congo           
  • Iran
  • Iraq           
  • Libya           
  • North Korea           
  • Syria           
  • Tajikistan

This being said, we recommend you check local restrictions before trying to use Kraken. This is because crypto is still evolving, which means local regulations can change easily. Fortunately, Kraken provides a comprehensive list of where you can use it in this article.

In this Kraken exchange review, we will be looking at all of the features that make Kraken so popular. At TurboWallet, we believe that some of the most important aspects to evaluate when considering using a new crypto exchange are:

  • Exchange History           
  • Security           
  • Features           
  • Customer Service
  • Fee structure           
  • Currency Support

We will be taking a look at each of these aspects in this Kraken exchange review. Hopefully, you will be able to tell if Kraken is the right exchange for you once you are done. Let’s jump straight to the point.

How Secure is Kraken?

When it comes to security, it is hard to find an exchange that does things better than Kraken. Not only has Kraken never been hacked since its launch but it also was selected to investigate the Mt. Gox hack. This choice was the result of the exchange’s reputation at the time, both with its customers and regulators.

Mt. Gox was the biggest exchange back in 2014 but this didn’t stop it from being attacked. This has been also true for other big exchanges like KuCoin, Binance, Bitfinex, and more.

To achieve this clean record, Kraken has implemented several security mechanisms. For example, a total of 95% of all the funds in the platform are stored in cold storage.

While many exchanges do this, Kraken has gone further by distributing those hardware wallets around the globe. This ensures that even in the unlikely event one of them was stolen, the remaining funds would be secure.

The exchange also has implemented security measures for its servers, having them under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and video monitors. No employee or third party can access them to implement code without rigorous verification processes.

In addition to this, penetration testing is constantly being done by an expert team. By using the latest attack vectors known by Cybersecurity experts, Kraken aims to stay ahead of hackers. A bug bounty program also exists, which means independent security researchers are constantly participating in the testing.

However, there is only so much a platform like Kraken can do to ensure the security of your crypto. Bad security practices by users are the most common reason for users of any platform to be victims of hacks. As such, Kraken also offers multiple security features on the users end. These include:

  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) with support for Google Authenticator and Yubikey           
  • Email confirmation for withdrawals and other operations
  • Granular API to limit access to third parties
  • PGP signed and encrypted email to prevent Phishing
  • Full encryption in all communications between your device and the server
  • Configurable account timeout to increase privacy when sharing devices
  • Global settings time lock to prevent your settings from being changed if hacked           
  • No Phone or SMS account recovery
  • High Priority 24/7 live chat in case your account is breached

In addition to all of these features, Kraken has a wide catalog of resources on security. This facilitates the process of understanding what they do, activating them, and using them in the best possible way.

As you can see, Kraken gives priority to the security of the platform in different ways. It is not surprising the exchange is widely considered one of the safest out there!

What Features Does Kraken Offer?

Kraken offers a variety of features designed to provide its users with different ways to invest in crypto. However, unlike exchanges like Binance, Kraken is focused on offering trading and investing features instead of more complex services. For this reason, you won’t find pool mining, crypto loans, leveraged tokens, and similar.

This being said, Kraken has more than enough features to meet the needs of most crypto investors. The features offered by Kraken at this time include:

  • Multiple Funding Methods
  • Futures trading
  • Spot trading
  • Instant Buy
  • Indices
  • Margin Trading
  • Over the counter (OTC) trading
  • Staking
  • Account management
  • Cryptowatch
  • Dark Pool
  • Crypto Guides and Videos
  • Podcast

Let’s take a look at some of these features in more detail

Funding Options

Kraken allows its users to fund their accounts using credit or debit cards, as well as national or international transfers. The currencies supported for funding at this time are USD, EUR, CAD, AUD. GBP, CHF, and JPY. The following methods are available for each of these currencies:

  • United States Dollar: FedWire (MVB Bank, Signature Bank, Silvergate, Etana Custody, and Synapse), SWIFT(Etana Custody, Signature Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Bank Frick), SIgnate, and Silvergate Exchange           
  • Euro: SEPA (Fidor, Bank Frick, InCore Bank, ClearJunction) and Swift (Bank Frick, Fidor, and Etana Custody)
  • Canadian Dollar: Domestic Wire Transfer (Credit Union Atlantic), In-person cash or debit (Canada Post), Wire transfer (InterFIN), and SWIFT (Bank Frick and Etana       Custody). If you live in Canada you can also use In-person providers to deposit cash.           
  • Australian Dollar: Bank transfer/Osko and Swift (Etana Custody)
  • Pound Sterling: FPS/BACS (ClearJunction), CHAPS (ClearJunction), and Swift (Bank Frick and Etana Custody)
  • Swiss Franc: SIC (Bank Frick) and SWIFT (Bank Frick and Etana Custody).           
  • Japanese Yen: Swift (Etana Custody)

Fees will vary depending on the method you use, as well as the minimum and maximum deposit. We will discuss this later in the fee section.

Futures trading

Allows eligible users to trade crypto with up to 50x leverage while also taking advantage of future contracts. The use of this feature is to allow traders to maximize returns and expand their catalog of investing strategies.

Trading a futures contract means agreeing to buy or sell a certain amount of crypto at a specific price in the future. This also results in lower execution costs, high liquidity, and increased efficiency, making it a skill worth learning.

Margin Trading

Offers up to 5x leverage to allow you to amplify your position on a specific cryptocurrency. This means you will be able to execute more complete and active trading strategies at any given time.

With a low rollover fee and high margin limits, advanced traders are more than likely to consider using this feature. The feature also comes with advanced API access and a trading interface designed for professional traders.

Over the counter (OTC) trading

If you are thinking about trading high amounts of cryptocurrency, the OTC desk offered by Kraken is a great feature. Available for anyone looking to trade more than $100k, the OTC desk offers 1 on 1 service, global coverage, better pricing, expert insights and assistance, and reduced transaction fees.

While most crypto traders won’t be finding themselves using this service, high net-worth individuals and organizations will find it a great tool to have. This is especially true for anyone looking for an ultra-competitive and discreet trading experience.

Staking

Available only for some currencies (including fiat), this feature allows investors like you to generate passive gains. While some currencies will require you to lock your crypto for a specific amount of time, most will allow you to unstake at any time.

Staking is a great way for long-term investors to maximize gains by generating rewards while holding their crypto. What is great about staking in Kraken is that you can also stake fiats like Euro and US Dollars!

Account management

If you are an advanced trader with a high volume of trading, you will have access to upgraded support. This feature will offer you an account manager that will provide you exclusive personalized support.

If you qualify for this feature, you will have access to your account manager via email, phone, priority tickets, and messaging via your favorite app. If personalized customer support is your cup of tea, this is the feature for you!

Cryptowatch

Allows you to track your portfolio across more than 2000 cryptocurrency markets in different exchanges. You can easily create price or volume alerts, allowing you to be on top of your investments and react quickly.

If you are an advanced trader with assets in several exchanges, this tool will facilitate the management of your crypto assets. The best aspect of this feature is that you will also be able to trade on multiple exchanges from one platform (also available on mobile devices).

Crypto Guides and Videos

Kraken has some of the best informational resources you will find in the crypto space. While not as extensive as Binance’s or Gemini’s, the “Learn” feature will provide you with tons of crypto information.

Unfortunately, you won’t find most of these guides that useful If you are an advanced trader as at this time they are pretty basic in nature. This makes them perfect for new investors or veterans looking for a refresher.

How Good Is Kraken Customer Support?

While we just mentioned the crypto guides offered by the exchange, we also need to mention the help guides available on the platform. If you have any questions regarding a feature, you are most likely to find a guide on the topic.

This is something that Kraken is great at, providing users with a way to solve their questions and issues without having to go through contacting customer support. After all… Who likes having to call or submit a ticket?

However, if you still find yourself in need of further assistance, Kraken got your back. The exchange offers 24/7 customer support with an omnichannel approach. You see, unlike most cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken doesn’t limit itself to offering support via email or support tickets.

Kraken provides its customers with phone support from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 6 pm EST, which is great for anyone looking for live assistance. This is something that most users love about Kraken’s customer support, especially when it comes to emergencies.

If you would rather not use the phone, Kraken also offers live chat support via its website. Unlike phone support, this service is available 24/7.

Finally, you also have the traditional support method: support ticket or email. This method of contact will usually result in longer waiting times but can be pretty convenient for certain inquiries.

Kraken offers excellent customer support. However, as with any crypto exchange, waiting times will increase depending on the demand, especially when using the ticket system.

The customer support team is also friendly and helpful while also showing a high degree of knowledge and skill. We consider Kraken to have some of the best customer service you will find out there.

Does Kraken Charge Fees?

Yes, Kraken does charge fees. As a centralized and for-profit exchange, Kraken uses fees to ensure the maintenance and development of the platform. However, its fees are some of the lowest in the crypto industry. Let’s take a look at Kraken’s fee structure.

Trading Fees

This is the most common fee you will find when using Kraken.

Trading fees, as the name suggests, are charged every time an order is matched, resulting in a trade taking place. Pay special attention to the word “match”, as there are other exchanges that charge you when creating an order, even if it is not fulfilled.

This fee will vary depending on several factors. However, it will never be higher than 0.26% of the order’s value and can be as low as 0%. The factors that will determine the fee are:

  • Trading Pair
  • Your role (maker or taker)
  • Your trading volume over the past 30 days

Additional fees will be charged if you are trading with leverage, which can be “margin opening” and “rollover fees”.

Just as the previous trading fees, these will vary depending on the currency you are trading. Expect them to be between 0.01% and 0.02%, with the rollover fee being charged for every 4 hours your position is open.

Address Setup Fee

For certain cryptocurrencies, you will be required to pay a one-time fee when you deposit for the first time. This is to cover the cost of generating a new deposit address.

These are the networks that will incur a fee and their respective cost:

0x: 3 ZRXAave: 0.0119 AAVEAavegotchi: 12 GHST                       
Ankr: 85 ANKRAragon: 0.9 ANTAugur: 0.1 REP
Augur v2: 0.05 REPV2Balancer: 0.05 BALBancor: 2 BNT
Basic Attention Token: 6 BATChainlink: 0.12 LINKCompound: 0.001 COMP
Curve: 0.4 CRVDecentraland: 12 MANAEnjin Coin: 6 ENJ
Enzyme Finance: 0.25 MLNGnosis: 0.07 GNOKeep Network: 8 KEEP
Kyber Network: 0.2 KNCLivepeer: 0.4 LPTMaker: 0.003 MKR
Mina: 1 MINAOcean: 5 OCEANOmiseGO: 0.8 OMG
Orchid: 6 OXTPAX Gold: 0.0005 PAXGPolygon: 24 MATIC
Rarible: 0.7 RARIREN Protocol: 14 RENStorj: 1 STORJ
Sushi: 1 SUSHISynthetix: 0.3 SNXtBTC: 0.0002 TBTC
The Graph: 22 GRTThe Sandbox: 25 SANDUniswap: 0.4 UNI
Yearn Finance: 0.00010 YFI

If you are depositing an ERC-20 token, this address will be used for all other ERC-20 tokens. This means you will be only charged an address setup fee on the first deposit

Deposit Fees.

As we mentioned earlier in this Kraken exchange review, you can deposit Fiat and Cryptocurrency. When depositing crypto, most deposits will be free of charge (if an address already exists). However, some exceptions will result in a variable on-chain fee:

  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Energy Web Token

Instant Buy

When using this fee to instantly buy or sell cryptocurrency, there are 2 fees you will need to consider.

The first one will depend on the cryptocurrency you are buying or selling, more specifically if it is a stablecoin or not. This fee will be as follows:

  • 0.9% for stablecoins
  • 1.5% for other cryptocurrencies

In addition to this, you will have to pay another fee depending on the payment method you are using:

  • If using online banking: 3.75% processing fee
  • If using debit/credit card: 0.5% processing fee

Depositing and Withdrawing FIat

As we said before, you will be charged certain fees when depositing or withdrawing fiat currencies. These fees will vary depending on both the currency and the deposit method   you use, as well as the type of transaction. You can expect the fees to be in the following ranges:

  • Withdrawal                       
    • United States Dollar: Between 0 USD and 35 USD 
    • Euro: Between 0.09 EUR and 35 EUR
    • Canadian Dollar: Between 0 CAD and 35 CAD
    • Australian Dollar: Between 0 AUD and 35 AUD 
    • Pound Sterling: Between 1.5 GBP and 21 GBP 
    • Swiss Franc: Between 1 CHF and 35 CHF
    • Japanese Yen: The equivalent to 35 USD in JPY                                   
  • Deposit:
    • United States Dollar: Between 0 USD and 10 USD
    • Euro: Between 0 EUR and 3 EUR
    • Canadian Dollar: Between 0 CAD and 3 CAD
    • Australian Dollar: Free
    • Pound Sterling: Between 0 GBP and 21 GBP
    • Swiss Franc: Between 0 CHF and 0.75 CHF
    • Japanese Yen: Free

What Currencies Are Supported By Kraken?

At this time, Kraken supports a total of 87 cryptocurrencies and 389 trading pairs. This makes it more than likely that you are able to find the currencies you are looking for… as long as you are looking for established projects.

various cryptocurrency coins

The cryptocurrencies supported by the exchange at this time are:

0x (ZRX)1inch (1INCH)Aave (AAVE)Aavegotchi (GHST)
Algorand (ALGO)Ankr (ANKR)Aragon (ANT)Augur (REP)
Augur v2 (REPV2)Axie Infinity (AXS)Badger DAO (BADGER)Balancer (BAL)
Bancor (BNT)Band Protocol (BAND)Basic Attention Token (BAT)Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)Cardano (ADA)Cartesi (CTSI)Chainlink (LINK)
Chiliz (CHZ)Compound (COMP)Cosmos (ATOM)Covalent (CQT)
Curve (CRV)Dai (DAI)Dash (DASH)Decentraland (MANA)
Dogecoin (DOGE)dYdX (DYDX)Energy Web Token (EWT)Enjin Coin (ENJ)
Enzyme Finance (MLN)EOS (EOS)Ethereum (“Ether”) (ETH)Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Filecoin (FIL)Flow (FLOW)Gnosis (GNO)ICON (ICX)
Injective Protocol (INJ)Karura (KAR)Kava (KAVA)Keep Network (KEEP)
Kusama (KSM)Kyber Network (KNC)Lisk (LSK)Litecoin (LTC)
Livepeer (LPT)Loopring (LRC)Maker (MKR)Mina (MINA)
Mirror Protocol (MIR)Monero (XMR)Moonriver (MOVR)Nano (NANO)
Ocean (OCEAN)OmiseGO (OMG)Orchid (OXT)Origin Protocol (OGN)
PAX Gold (PAXG)Perpetual Protocol (PERP)Polkadot (DOT)Polygon (MATIC)
Qtum (QTUM)REN Protocol (REN)Rarible (RARI)Ripple (XRP)
Serum (SRM)Shiden (SDN)Siacoin (SC)Solana (SOL)
Stellar Lumens (XLM)Storj (STORJ)Sushi (SUSHI)Synthetix (SNX)
tBTC (TBTC)Tether* (USDT)Tezos (XTZ)The Graph (GRT)
The Sandbox (SAND)Tron (TRX)Uniswap (UNI)USD Coin* (USDC)
WAVES (WAVES)Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)Yearn Finance (YFI)Zcash (ZEC)

The previous currencies are available for spot trading, with only some of them being supported when using the margin trading feature. If you are considering using margin trading, these are the supported currencies:

Algorand (ALGO)Augur (REP)Bitcoin (BTC)Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Cardano (ADA)Chainlink (LINK)Cosmos (ATOM)Dash (DASH)
EOS (EOS)Ethereum (ETH)Ethereum Classic (ETC)Filecoin (FIL)
Litecoin (LTC)Stellar Lumens (XLM)Monero (XMR)OmiseGO (OMG)
Polkadot (DOT)Ripple (XRP)Tether (USDT)Tezos (XTZ)
Tron (TRX)USD Coin (USDC)Zcash (ZEC)

It is important to note that there might be certain limitations depending on your country of residence. If you live in Canada, Australia, the United States, and Japan, you will find that certain currencies are not available.

However, this list can change.. so we recommend checking the official article on this matter to make sure there are no limitations in your country.

Finally, we have the Fiat currencies we have already mentioned when talking about deposits and withdrawals. The supported fiat currencies at this time are:

  • US Dollar   
  • Euro
  • Canadian Dollar
  • Australian Dollar
  • Pound Sterling
  • Swiss Franc
  • Japanese Yen

Keep in mind you can buy crypto using a different fiat currency with your debit or credit card. However, you will incur conversion fees that will depend on your card issuer instead of Kraken.

Conclusion

As you can see from this Kraken exchange review, it is not hard to understand why Kraken has become so popular over the past years. You came here looking for 3 reasons, so let us summarize them here:

  1. High Security   
  2. Currency support 
  3. Low Trading Fees

This platform offers a lot of features that make it a great choice for most traders. Not only does Kraken offer competitive fees but also top-notch security and customer support.

With support for a large number of currencies, both fiat, and crypto, you will have no problem investing in the most popular cryptocurrencies. This is especially true when considering that the exchange has excellent liquidity.

No matter if you are a beginner or veteran trader, we believe that Kraken is one of the best exchanges out there. If you want DeFi-like features or other advanced tools not related to trading, you might want to look for another exchange.

However, if you are looking for an exchange focused on trading and convenient features this is for you.

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