Kraken is without doubt one of the most well-established and reputed trading exchanges in the industry today. Although every exchange differs from another in multiple terms ,that’s what we will compare today in this Kraken review.
If you’re worried about this review being a “sponsored” or biased one, don’t be. I’m just a normal Crypto enthusiast like you and the only purpose of this review is to share the Pros and Cons of Kraken out here.
Regardless of you going or not going with Kraken, there’s absolutely no profit or loss I’ll be making, and hence there’s no incentive for me to be biased towards the platform.
Here are the primary questions I’ll be addressing in this Kraken Review:
- Does Kraken Need KYC Verifications?
- Is Kraken Safe?
- What are the Deposit/Withdrawal Methods on Kraken?
- What are Kraken Fee and Limits?
- Which Countries aren’t Supported by Kraken?
- What are the Trading Pairs on Kraken?
Kraken Trading Exchange Quick Overview
Here are answers to most of the questions asked above for Kraken, an overview of all the features the exchange is made up of:
- Primary URL: https://www.kraken.com/
- KYC: Mandatory
- Centralized: Yes
- Supported trading pairs: 40+
- Payment Methods: Fiats + Cryptocurrencies.
- Fee: 0.05% Trading fee.
- Security: 2FA/Anti-Phishing Code/Google Auth/ Fund-Password
- Margin/Leverage Trading: Yes
Does Kraken Need KYC Verifications?
Yes, Kraken is a KYC-requiring exchange. Also, a trader must be 18 or above years old in order to use Kraken.
KYC stands for – “Know Your Customer”. In other words, a KYC-requiring platform would need you to upload your identification documents and details on the exchange.
These exchanges aren’t anonymous at all and have complete details about the real-life identity of a trader.
Kraken has 3 verification levels:
The Starter-level verification is the least privacy-breaching, it requires 2-FA to be enabled for the account. Also, the Name, E-mail address, primary address and Date of Birth of a user need to be specified.
Note that “Starter” level verification doesn’t need any document-uploads. Simply enter the information and within 24 hours the account is activated. Although, this level of verification only facilitates Cryptocurrency trades.
The “Intermediate” verification however does allow users to deposit/trade/withdraw using Fiat currencies.
It requires a govt. issues ID, Proof of Residence, ID Confirmation photo* and Occupation details. These documents need to be uploaded for the verification to be initiated.
*The ID Confirmation is generally required only for Citizens of USA or Germany, if a user uses a German bank account or if domestic USD funding is used.
The “Pro” level is for the most professional and large-volume traders. It also requires personal financial statements, as well as Anti-Money Laundering verifications. It’s the most volume-liberal (highest limits, OTC trading etc). verification level.
In my personal opnion, Kraken is best suited either for those who do not care a lot about anonymity, or are only interested in “Crypto” trades as the Starter level doesn’t need intensive verifications.
Is Kraken Safe?
Let’s first talk about the “back-end” security that Kraken has for its servers and funds.
Kraken is probably the first exchange out there which has developed a “transparent” and cryptographically-verifiable “Proof of Reserves” process.
The process may be slightly complicated, however it does verify the legitimacy and security of funds stored on Kraken.
Then, it stores 95% of its total funds in a cold-storage, which isn’t connected to the Internet or any other network. And hence, can’t be hacked or infiltrated from the outside. Not all companies are this secure as we found out during our OKCoin review.
It also claims to have all its servers in “secure cages” and protected by “armed guards” which I’d say should be pretty secure.
As far as “Account Security” goes, the platform offers:
- Global Security Lock
- Master Key.
2-FA can be enabled via YubiKey or Google Authenticator. The 2-FA can be enabled individually for “Funding” and “Trading” as well.
Additionally, it also provides for “Global Security Lock”, this makes sure that the 2-FA methods can’t be changed (as easily) and provides added security.
“Master Key” is another one of the platform’s guardian-angels, this is required for all the “most-sensitive” changes to user accounts. For e.g. enabling/disabling the Global Security Lock, changing 2-FA or resetting password via E-mail.
This is just like 2-FA but an additional 2-FA. For e.g. the 2-FA you use for login/trading/funding will be different and separate, while the 2-FA for the Master-key will be a separate OTP although the method of enabling/using it will be the same.
What are the Deposit/Withdrawal Methods on Kraken?
Kraken is a Crypto+Fiat trading exchange as should be clear if you’ve gone through the KYC section on this Kraken review.
It allows Depositing USD, GBP, EUR and JPY as far as Fiat deposits go. Fiat can only be deposited using “Bank/Wire transfers”. Although additionally, CAD can be deposited using Debit cards (in-person via Canada Post).
Credit Cards and/or Paypal deposits aren’t accepted on Kraken. Also note that U.S Citizen generally get more deposit/withdrawal options on Kraken as compared to Non-US Citizen.
Fedwire/ACH, High-Limit or Etana Custody is how USD can be deposited, the same holds true for Withdrawals as far as U.S Citizen are concerned. Although Fedwire/ACH is NOT available for deposits/withdrawals for International customers and only the other two options can be used.
EUR deposits /withdrawals can be made via SEPA or Etana Custody for U.S citizen . International customers (Non-US) can deposit EUR only via Wire transfers or Etana Custody and withdrawal is limited to Etana Custody exclusively.
CAD can be deposited by Wire-transfers, In-person or via Etana Custody by U.S Citizen. Withdrawals for U.S citizen is allowed via EFT or Etana Custody. Although Intl. Traders can only use Etana Custody for deposits and withdrawals.
GBP and JPY
GBP can be deposited/withdrawn using Etana Custody only regardless of the person being or not being a U.S Citizen. JPY can’t be deposited/withdrawn by U.S citizen, Intl. Traders can use Etana custody.
This sheet should help you understand the above data better:
Nearly all the available Cryptocurrencies on the exchange can be deposited directly.
What are Kraken Fee and Limits?
As explained in the above section of this Kraken review, the platform accepts a wide variety of deposit methods.
Naturally, there also will be varying fee and limits. Here are the Kraken Fee and Limits levied by, or imposed on the platform.
The trading fee on Kraken, like on most other trading exchanges is based on a maker-taker model.
The fee starts at 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers, and can be decreased upto 0.00% for makers and 0.10% for takers with sufficient trade-volume.
This fee is based on a trader’s 30-day trade volume.
Nearly all Crypto deposit is free, except Cosmos and Tezos which require a 0.1 ATOM and 0.05 XTZ fee.
USD Deposits are charged the following fee based on the respective deposit methods;
- Swift/Fedwire – Etana Custody: USD $35.00 +0.125%.
- ACH /Fedwire/ Fedwire- High Limit / Swift- High Limit: USD $5.00
CAD Deposits are priced at:
- Wire Transfers (domestic) and InterFIN-High Limit: Free
- Canada Post (Debit Cards / Cash): 1.25CAD +0.25%.
- Swift- Etana Custody: 35 CAD + 0.125%.
EUR deposit fee for their respective modes are:
- SEPA Fidor/ SEPA BlueOrange: Free
- Swift-Fidor: 5 EUR.
- SEPA /Swift – Etana Custody: 35 EUR + 0.125%.
GBP and JPY:
- Swift- Etana Custody: 35 GBP/JPY + 0.125%.
Each Withdrawal method has its own Withdrawal fee. Crypto withdrawal-fee is dependent on each Cryptocurrency which is being withdrawn. For Bitcoin it is 0.0005 BTC.
As for the fiat withdrawal, here are the various fees each withdrawal is subjected to:
- Fedwire (Normal / High Limit) : USD $5.00
- Swift –High Limit: USD $5.00
- SEPA-Fidor: EUR 9.00
- SEPA/ Swift- Etana Custody: 35 EUR + 0.125%.
- EFT: 0.25%
- Swift-Etana Custody: 35 CAD + 0.125%.
GBP + JPY:
- Swift- Etana Custody: 35 GBP/JPY +0.125%
Minimum Deposits and Withdrawal
Here are the Minimum Deposit/Withdrawal requirements for the various deposit methods:
For USD, the minimum Deposits and Withdrawal requirements are the same for each method:
- ACH/Fedwire: USD $20.00.
- Fedwire – Etana Custody: USD $150.00
- Fedwire – High Limit: USD $50,000
- Swift – High Limit: USD $50,000
- Swift – Etana Custody: USD $150.00
Here are the EUR minimum Deposit and withdrawals:
- SEPA- Fidor/BlueOrange: 1EUR Deposit / 5EUR Withdrawal..
- SEPA- Etana Custody: 150EUR.
- Swift- Fidor: 50EUR Deposit. Withdrawal N/A.
- Domestic Wire: 125 CAD (Min. Deposit).
- Canada Post: 20 CAD (Min. Deposit).
- Interfin- High Limit: 1,000 CAD (Min Deposit + Withdrawal).
- Swift- Etana Custody: 150CAD (Min Deposit+ Withdrawal).
GBP + JPY:
- 150 GBP / 15,000 JPY Minimum Deposit + Withdrawals
Each Crypto has its own min. deposit and withdrawal limit as well, although it’s currency-specific. For Bitcoin the minimum withdrawal limit is 0.005 BTC and the min. deposit is 0.0001 BTC.
Which Countries aren’t Supported by Kraken?
Kraken isn’t available in all the countries on the planet. The following countries do not support Kraken at the moment:
- Japan, Afghanistan, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, Tajikistan
In the U.S, Kraken isn’t available in Washington or New York as well. Additionally, New Hampshire and Texas residents can’t trade/deposit EUR.
What are the Coins and Trading Pairs on Kraken?
Kraken for now supports exactly 20 Individual currencies, which include (but not limited to) BTC, DASH, BTCH, XRP, QTUM etc.
The following screenshot contains all the available Cryptocurrencies on the exchange:
As for trading pairs, there are around 40 pairs when Crypto to Crypto and Crypto to Fiat trading pairs are combined.
This is me signing off this Kraken review folks. We’ve talked (in quite some detail) about the platform’s KYC policies, fee, limits, geographic-restrictions and security.
That does cover most of the aspects your or me as a user seek for in any exchange, don’t you agree?