This review concerns Kraken, an online exchange platform that offers services regarding cryptocurrencies. The information that you will get from this article will help you choose the best option available to you as a trader.
The investigation contains personal take on the online business, with pros, cons and concluding remarks serving as a general remark on the exchange.
About the Exchange
Opened in 2011 by a company called Payward Inc., Kraken exchange pushed to become one of the top bitcoin European platforms. The trading platform offers both crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat trade, with 17 coins and over 70 trading pairs available for clients. The margin trading is divided into three sections, them being Simple, Intermediate and Advanced, as shown below.
Much like BitMex, you have several price limiting tools available for you, including market, limit and settle on position functions. Even though Kraken possesses adequate margin trading features, Bitfinex beats in a number of the tools available.
The exchange also offers an iOS platform for traders that are looking for phone access as well, while Android users are yet to receive their version.
Registration and Verification
Kraken has been under fire for some time due to the issue regarding the registration process. Although simple, the registration through email verification link is not functioning properly. Traders have to use another method of email verification, which is coping the code onto the registration widget.
The verification is organized into five different levels. The Tier 0 is achieved through an account registration, while Tiers 1 and 2 through fill-out form about your personal details. The Tier 2 would allow investors to work with both fiat and crypto money, trade and deposit/withdraw them. From tier 3, you have to provide scanned documents, for which you get higher trade limitations in return. You can check out the tier details in the picture below.
Although private when compared to Coinbase and Bitfinex, Kraken has an issue with the duration of the verification process. It can take weeks before support representatives would look into your account and enable the tiers for you.
The exchange operates globally, with different fiat currencies established to suit traders’ needs from different parts of the world. The strategic focus has been European traders as the exchange is considered as one of the largest ones in the market considering EUR to BTC trade. Apart from USD and EUR, you can also trade at Kraken using CAD, JPY, and GBP.
Deposit/Withdrawal Methods and Fees
Much like Bitfinex, Kraken accepts bank transfers only as deposit and withdrawal method. The fee for the transfer ranges between being completely free (SEPA and CAD transfers) to $15 for international wires.
Kraken also imposes trading costs, organized by maker/taker structure. The costs range between 0% and 0.26%, depending on monthly volume achieved. The fees are in line with leaders of the market, Coinbase, CEX.io, and Bitfinex since credit cards are not available at the exchange.
Kraken offers company level and personal level protection features for its clients. The firm keeps most of the coins in cold storages, as to ensure the safety of the funds at all times. As for personal security, you have the now-classic two-factor authentication (2FA), PGP/GPG email encryption & signature and global settings lock.
Pros and Cons
- verification through scanned documents not needed for fiat currency trade and funding
- globally available services through different fiat currencies
- high-level security through personal protection functions and cold storage
- bank transfers are the only available deposit/withdrawal method
- trade functions available for both starters and experts of the crypto industry
- issues with registration and the duration of the verification process
If Kraken did not have issues with its data processing system, it would be one of the top recommendations from our side to you. Providing tools for both starters and advanced traders, Kraken has it all to offer attractive trade environment. Slow system and unresponsive verification team impact our total evaluation of the exchange, as none of these features are available if the verification Tier 2 is not achieved.