Kraken is a fully functioning crypto exchange that charges low fees and offers a wide variety of coins. It is also the only U.S. cryptocurrency exchange that offers advanced trading tools such as margin. It claims it strives to be the best and most secure.
The main Kraken platform is the best place to begin crypto investing. Even if you are not a trader, it is possible to use Kraken Pro, which is a lower-cost active trading platform.
Cryptocurrencies on Kraken
Kraken allows you to trade over 65 different coins. Experts recommend that investors stick with Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, Kraken offers one of the largest selections among cryptocurrency exchanges. These are just a few of the more well-known coins that it offers:
- USD Coin
Kraken offers a variety of trading pairs including crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-cash. Although cash-to-cash is not available to U.S. investors, the exchange does offer it.
Starters should start with the Kraken central platform. A verified account allows you to quickly purchase cryptocurrency from a linked bank account. It’s also possible to convert currencies within your account.
After your account has been created, you can enter an order by filling out a simple form.
This system allows you to purchase crypto directly from your bank account balance. Your account doesn’t need to be funded first.
You can also buy and sell crypto, and deposit your crypto to stake and earn up 23% interest depending on which currency you choose.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is required to protect your account. This prevents others from accessing your account without your device or a randomly generated code.
Kraken Pro is a trading platform that can be accessed via your smartphone or web browser. Although the interface is intimidating for new traders in crypto and trading, it can be very useful. This interface provides more information about assets, including active charts and open orders.
Kraken Pro is available to anyone with an active Kraken Account. Lower fees are perhaps more important than the advanced interface. You’ll be able to trade the same amount with Kraken Pro rather than Kraken.
Instant purchases are subject to a 1.5% fee for most cryptocurrencies, and 0.9% for stablecoins that use U.S. Dollars or another stablecoin.
The method you use to fund your purchase will determine the additional fees. Prices vary from 0.5% to fund with a bank account to more than 3.75% + 25 euro cents for a debit card or credit card.
Kraken Pro Pricing
Kraken Pro has a lower price than the main Kraken platform. Your trading volume for the past 30 days determines the price. Trades are usually subject to either a 0.16 maker fee or a 0.26% taker charge.
Instant Buy is Kraken’s standard interface. It provides the easiest entry point. You can trade crypto-to-crypto and cash-to-crypto, but you will need to pay 0.9% for stablecoins purchased with USD or another stablecoin. A 1.5% fee is charged if you purchase a stablecoin with a different crypto. Any other crypto trading pair will also be subject to 1.5%. You’ll also have to pay an additional fee for any payment method or transfers.
- Processing fee for payment cards: 3.75% + $0.28
- Processing fee for digital wallet payments: 3.75% + $0.28
- Online banking/ACH processing fees of 0.5%
If you wanted to transfer $100 from an online checking account to purchase Bitcoin, you would have to pay $5, $1.50 for your Kraken fees, and then $98 for the Bitcoin. That’s a little more than $100. The above fees are listed in euros by Kraken. We converted them to U.S. Dollars.
Kraken Pro is for advanced investors and offers the opportunity to save fees. The fees are calculated as a percentage from the trade’s quoted volume in currency and charged according to a maker-taker fee structure. Maker fees are charged for 30-day trade volumes between $0 and $250,000. They run backwards if you trade more. Taker fees range from 0.26 to 0.0.22%. Kraken offers intermediate and professional users up to 5x margin trading if they meet certain criteria.
Advanced Trading Features
Kraken is the only exchange that offers stop orders, margin, and short sales. The dark pool allows high volume investors to trade anonymously. Kraken allows you to leverage a currency pair up to 5x, and eligible clients can access up to $500,000 of margin. Margin trading is risky. Margin trading is basically borrowing money to invest.
Let’s suppose you invest $100 in Ethereum. That 5x margin is what you decide to use. You’ll multiply your gains if Ethereum rises in value by 5. Your gains will multiply by 5, if Ethereum’s value increases, but your losses will also increase. Margin is a great way to increase the risk of cryptocurrencies.
Open a Kraken Account
Kraken registration is very similar to signing up at a stock brokerage, or for another cryptocurrency exchange. It takes just a few minutes for your account to be up and running if you have all your information.
You will need to give contact information, including your name, address, telephone number, and Social Security Number, when you sign up. To know your customer (KYC), the financial industry requires this information.
You will need additional information to verify your account and gain access to all trading features. This includes uploading a copy of a government photo ID as well as a photograph of you with that ID. You will not have full account functionality if you don’t provide this information.
Kraken’s security procedures are transparent compared to other exchanges. Kraken claims 95% of deposits are kept offline and air-gapped, which means isolated from unsecure networks.
Kraken claims its servers are kept in secure cages that are monitored by video and armed guards 24 hours a day. All sensitive account information is encrypted.
Additional security features:
- To keep your account safe, you can use two-factor authentication (Google Authenticator or Yubikey).
- There is no phone/SMS account recovery. It’s all yours.
- Email confirmations of withdrawals with self-serve accounts lock
- Additional protection can be provided by a configurable account timeout
- With range boundaries, customizable API key permissions
- Time lock in global settings for when you are away
- Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), encrypted and signed email for secure communication
- Secure Sockets Layer encryption (SSL), protects you while browsing Kraken
- Constant, real-time monitoring for suspicious activity
- For urgent issues, 24/7 chat and email support
Pros and Cons
|A large selection of digital assets||There are limited options to fund accounts|
|Advanced traders get low fees||It is not available in all U.S. States|
Kraken’s features and pricing make it an excellent choice for beginners to experts in cryptocurrency trading and investors searching for a new exchange. The low fees for Kraken Pro, the high rates of staking and futures markets make Kraken a popular choice. Some users have reported serious account security problems and the platform is not as user-friendly as other platforms.
Kraken is an excellent choice for investing and trading cryptocurrency. You should fully understand the risks and costs involved, and take steps to protect your account using two-factor authentication. You should have a pleasant experience selling and buying cryptocurrency Kraken.