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Kraken Exchange Review

Kraken is one of the most reputable and longest-running Bitcoin exchanges. Founded back in 2011, the platform has gained a flawless reputation on the web supporting more than 20 different coins to trade or exchange. Not only it lets users swap local currencies into cryptocurrency with just a few clicks but also provides a powerful trading platform to store trade coins using various techniques (short or intraday trading, etc.). 


The Use of Kraken for Traders and Investors

Before we dive deep into features and technical issues, let’s define who the platform is generally good for. As a US-based exchange, Kraken is obliged to meet regulations established by the US authorities. This fact makes the exchange perfect for not only institutional investors but also professional traders.

Besides experienced pros will appreciate additional features that include futures and margin trading. This fact makes the platform a bit more flexible. On the other hand, the selection of coins to trade is a bit limited if compared to some other reputable exchanges due to US regulations. Traders will be able to access about 20+ different types of coins.


Countries Supported by Kraken 

The good news is that Kraken comes with support for users from many different countries in addition to the US residents. They are as follows:

  • Japan;
  • North Korea;
  • Iran;
  • Iraq;
  • Cuba;
  • Afghanistan;
  • Tajikistan;
  • Guinea-Bissau;

Please, note that some regions may come with additional limitations due to state regulations and laws. Make sure you read the terms and conditions that apply to your particular country before you start trading cryptocurrency at Kraken.

If you are located in the non-supported region, you may still get pre-verified. In this case, the system will keep your data and inform you when the exchange is officially represented in your country to let you access each of its services without limitations. Once again, this fact also proves that Kraken is a 100% legal platform.


Ease of Use

It is high time we had a look inside to see if the service is easy and user-friendly enough. As we have stated a bit earlier, Kraken might be a challenge for beginners who just want to start out.

The list of features might seem daunting right at once without mentioning a verification process that is pretty complex and time-consuming. But if you are not new to the financial market, while cryptocurrency trading is your day job, you will find the platform user-friendly enough.


Getting Started with Kraken

To enter the platform, you will need to follow several typical stages to complete the baseline registration procedure.

Step 1 – Sign Up to Kraken 

At this stage, you will need to provide your name and email. In addition, you will need to select your country of residence from the list provided. Don’t forget to type in the password that meets the system’s safety requirements.

Step 2 – Activate Your Kraken Account

After you have successfully completed the first stage, the system will automatically send a verification email to the mailbox. You will need to open the letter that contains a verification code. You need to copy that code and paste in the space provided along with your username and password or you may simply follow the activation link in the same letter.

Step 3 – Get Verified at Kraken

The next stage is to get verified. Users will have to select between two major account types. They include personal and business.

Each account type comes with several plans that have different limits as well as features provided to the trader. Let’s consider that you want to open a personal account. In this case, you will have three options:

  • Starter offers low limits along with assets to buy, sell, deposit or withdraw cryptocurrencies in addition to margin trading.

  • Intermediate comes with medium limits and all features from the Starter plan and extra perks that include crypto futures funding.

  • Pro delivers all features from the previous two plans in addition to higher funding, margin, and API limits, over-the-counter trading, and more.

All plans offer unlimited daily and monthly depositing as well as unmetered monthly withdrawing. If you do not feel like undergoing AML or KYC, you can still trade at Kraken. However, in this case, the withdrawal limits can be even lower.

The last step here is to submit the required personal data. As a rule, the verification process takes no longer than 60 minutes for a Starter and Intermediate account types. The verification process for Pro plan users may take more than 5 days. This is bad, as some reputable exchange platforms offer a faster way to get started.

Steps to Buy Cryptocurrency at Kraken

You will see the main table with all major cryptocurrencies available to buy as well as all the trading insights such as trade balance, position valuation, and fees.

To buy cryptocurrency, you may follow two different paths:

  1. Use the cross-border bank transfer, which is yet the fastest way to buy assets at Kraken in case you buy in Euros (Fidor Bank AG SEPA).

  2. Wire transfer will work mainly for international users.

Currencies to Buy at Kraken

Users will have access to a wider range of different cryptocurrencies. traders and investors will have access to more than150 different coins. The major ones displayed in the dashboard in default are as follows:

  • Bitcoin (XBT)

  • Ethereum (ETH)

  • Ripple (XRP)

  • Lumen (XLM)

  • Monero (XMR)

  • Dash (DASH)

Besides, you will be able to trade some minor coins including Zcash, Monero, Gnosis, EOS, and many others.

The dashboard provides all the insights on all of the current orders and positions. Users can track traded cryptocurrency pairs, the average price along with the closing cost, order types, and other vital information that you might need for analytics or reports.

Kraken makes an overall good impression in terms of usability and user-friendliness. All features are located in one place making it easy to navigate the interface and select the needed tool.


Key Features

Kraken is a full-scale trading platform that offers a variety of funding options and tools to trade assets. Choose your currency pair, go short or benefit from margin trading depending on your financial techniques and trading style. All users will have a chance to benefit from:

  • Various Funding Types – users are free to fund their accounts using traditional and cryptocurrencies along with corporate funding opportunities for business accounts.

  • Fiat Currency – as a full-scale platform, Kraken offers Forex trading opportunities. You will have a chance to exchange your Fiat currency into crypto or 6 of other Fiat currency types.

  • Margin Trading – users will benefit from up to 5x leverage when margin trading in addition to crypto futures.

  • Dark Pool – Kraken makes it possible to execute orders that are not visible in the order book. This is the best option for users who want to trade anonymously.

  • OTC Service – those who look for high-volume trading capabilities will appreciate the platform’s over-the-counter trading that comes as a one-on-one OTC service.

  • Security – Kraken takes security means seriously. It uses multiple offline cold wallets (physically isolated from the online environment) to store small amounts of cryptocurrency. All wallets and data centers are encrypted with the help of the most advanced safety technologies to protect users from frauds.  


Kraken Customer Support

This is where Kraken is out of the competition. It offers different ways to stay in touch instantly or use other methods to contact the support team. The platform promises round the clock assistance despite the issue you might need to resolve. The major contacting methods elude:

  • Live Chat features for instant support.

  • Local Help Center with different topics and solutions already described.

  • Detailed FAQ section.

  • Built-in intuitive assistant for those who get started.

Besides, users will appreciate a growing social media community where you may also find an answer to the question as well as a regularly updated blog featuring plenty of articles that may also come in handy.


Fees at Kraken Exchange 

The fees vary on the banking method you use as well as your country of residence. But we can definitely say that Kraken has some of the highest fees if compared to other exchanges. What’s more, they can certainly bite off a big piece from your total profit. For example, those who use debit/credit cards will have to pay a 3.99%-fee, which is very expensive. 

Here we actually have four different categories of fees that apply to a particular type of trading:

  • Regular.

  • Stablecoin.

  • Darkpool.

  • Margin.

Regular fees depend on how you act on the market. Makers will have to pay from 0.16% while takers can end up with a 0.16%-fee. 

The Bottom Line

Kraken offers more features than a typical cryptocurrency exchange. It provides a vast selection of trading capabilities to benefit from going short, futures or margin trading with access to more than 150 different coins. A simple and fast registration process comes with instant verification letting you inside a comprehensive dashboard with powerful reporting features, major cryptocurrencies to trade and exchange as well as fairly affordable fees. 

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