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Kraken Review

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1 Minute Review

Kraken is a cryptocurrency that offers access to more than 50 supported coins and tokens, staking capabilities, futures trading and more. Kraken offers a variable maker-taker fee schedule, which often results in lower fees compared to flat-rate brokerages.

In addition to a wide range of crypto choices, Kraken offers customizable ordering platforms and mobile apps that you can use to fully refine your trading experience. There’s plenty to love about trading on Kraken. It appeals to both seasoned professionals and new investors looking to learn more about the market.

Best For

  • Cryptocurrency investors looking for a wide selection of supported assets
  • Crypto futures traders
  • Beginner investors looking for maximum account security

Pros

  • Wide selection of supported tradable assets
  • Straightforward platform is easy for new users to master
  • 24/7 customer service available via live chat

Cons

  • Maker-taker fee schedule may confuse some users
  • No option for phone or email customer service
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Kraken Quick Summary

Tradable assets50+ cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency futures, select fiat currencies
PlatformFully functional, customizable order forms for beginners and advanced users
Mobile appFully operational, mirrors desktop web trading platform. Multiple apps available depending on your location and preferences
Account minimumVaries by base currency and crypto
Available account typesTaxable

Kraken Fees and Account Minimums

Kraken focuses on providing users with access to a variable fee schedule based on their platform, assets traded, the number of trades they make per month and margin utilized. Users who buy, sell or convert major cryptocurrencies through Kraken’s Instant Buy feature will pay a fee of 3.75% of their total trade value plus a small fee when they use a payment transfer to fund the order. 

Instant Buy orders placed using funds already in your account incur no additional fee from Kraken. All cryptocurrency orders include a variable spread when you execute your order. These spreads aren’t controlled by Kraken. The broker has no control over changing market conditions.

Kraken Pro users are subject to a variable maker-taker fee schedule based on the total value of trades they place in a 30-day period. You pay maker fees when you execute a trade that provides the market with liquidity (for example, when placing an order that doesn’t match exactly with an existing order). Maker fees start at 0.16% of your total order value and can go as low as 0%. You can use Kraken’s Post Limit Order feature to ensure that your order is executed with the maker price or gets canceled.

Taker fees execute when you place an order that removes liquidity from the market (for example, when your order matches up with an existing order and both execute simultaneously). All market orders are charged Kraken’s taker fee. Taker fees begin at 0.26% of your total order value and can go as low as 0.10%. 

Kraken extends its lowest fees to investors with a high monthly trading volume. 

Kraken also institutes a minimum deposit that varies by the type of cryptocurrency you’re transferring to your account. Kraken’s minimum cryptocurrency orders also vary by the cryptocurrency you’re buying or selling. In addition to cryptocurrency trading, Kraken also offers access to futures and forex investing, as well as margin services with interest calculated each 4-hour period. 

You may find you pay less in fees when using Kraken’s maker-taker schedule, especially when using strategic order types to ensure that the market fee is paid. However, these variable percentages can be confusing and off-putting for new investors.

Kraken Ease of Use

Kraken supports a range of cryptocurrency investment services that go far beyond simply buying and selling coins and tokens. Getting started with Kraken is intuitive and simple as well. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite features that the broker has implemented to make opening an account easier.

  • Quick account signups and high-level account protections: If you’re looking for a cryptocurrency broker that’s easy on beginners, Kraken is an excellent choice. We were able to open our account in just 5 minutes and account verification was a simple process as well.

Kraken also boasts unique security features that can help keep your investments safer when compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges. Kraken stores 99% of its coins and tokens in an offline, air-gapped cold storage facility while also retaining reserves so users can always withdraw their investments immediately. Kraken’s servers reside in cages monitored around the clock by armed security and the broker also regularly schedules attack tests to be sure that no one can access your investments except you.

  • Simple staking: Staking allows you to earn returns on cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies you hold consistently in your account. Kraken offers an all-in-one platform for buying, selling and staking some of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Buy crypto like Ethereum’s Ether, Polkadot or Tezos directly from the Kraken exchange and stake them in as little as a few minutes. You’ll hit the ground running immediately and begin collecting rewards on a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on your staked asset.
  • Simple vs. advanced order placements: Kraken is one of the only exchanges we’ve seen to offer 3 levels of order placement systems: beginner, intermediate and advanced. If you’re looking for a quick and straightforward way to buy or sell crypto, you’ll appreciate Kraken’s beginner ordering system, which limits customers to the basic information needed to execute a trade. More experienced users can place orders using Kraken’s advanced ordering system, which provides more access to additional order types, leverage options and execution choices.

Kraken Education

Kraken offers a few unique educational resources that new investors can use to learn more about the market before making their first investment. Some of the educational tools Kraken offers include:

  • Crypto guides: Kraken’s team has created a complete beginner’s guide to all of its most commonly traded assets. From Ethereum to AAVE, Kraken’s straightforward guides give you a crash course in the basics of each of their offerings.
  • Video lessons: If you prefer to do your learning with video lessons, know that Kraken offers a complete selection of video lessons. Video lessons cover everything from the basics of cryptocurrency markets to futures trading and more. Kraken also offers a complete set of webinars featuring guests like Bitcoin Strategist Pierre Rochard and Greg Di Prisco, the head of business development at the Maker Foundation.
  • Podcasts: Are you interested in learning more about the behind-the-scenes action at Kraken? If so, you might enjoy the broker’s weekly podcast, titled “How to Grow a Decacorn.” The podcast focuses on Kraken’s inner operations and future updates.

All educational tools are available for free. You don’t need to be logged into your Kraken account to access them.

Kraken Customer Support

Kraken offers 24/7 customer service 365 days per year. You can access Kraken’s customer service team via online chat whenever you need. To connect with customer service, visit Kraken and click on the “chat” icon located in the bottom right-hand corner. Kraken also offers a comprehensive Help Center for its most frequently asked questions.

Customer service is not currently available via phone or email. In the future, we’d love to see Kraken implement more customer service options for those with sight limitations. 

Kraken Offerings

Kraken currently supports over 50 unique coins, providing investors with a diverse range of digital assets to explore. Kraken’s cryptocurrency offerings vary from major crypto projects (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) to smaller, more volatile assets (like Dogecoin and The Graph).

In addition to cryptocurrency market access, Kraken also offers futures trading on 5 major cryptocurrency and fiat pairs. Investors can access up to 50x leverage when trading crypto futures with Kraken.  

Kraken Mobile App

Kraken offers 3 unique mobile apps. This allows you to choose the platform that best fits your trading needs and style. Kraken’s most basic app is its newly redesigned Kraken app, which offers a straightforward ordering process for mobile users. The Kraken Pro app provides investors with access to a wider range of order types and features, while the Kraken Futures app provides you with crypto futures trading.

While Kraken’s basic mobile app isn’t currently available to users in the United States, the Kraken Pro app is well designed and offers a streamlined trading experience, charting options and access to more than 100 cryptocurrency pairs.

Kraken Overall Rating

With a comprehensive trading platform, a wide range of supported coins and customer service that’s standing by around the clock, there’s plenty to love about the Kraken trading platform. Though Kraken’s maker-taker fee schedule can be annoying or confusing for new investors who are used to flat-rate pricing, many users will find that Kraken’s fees are lower than competitors. 

In addition to buying and selling cryptocurrencies, Kraken also makes it easier to explore staking and crypto futures, which few brokers offer. In the future, we’d love to see Kraken continue to expand its crypto offerings and add additional customer service options.