Bitcoins and altcoins are gaining a lot of traction from investors worldwide. The rising popularity of cryptocurrency has encouraged many investors to find an exchange where they can safely trade digital assets. One of the most reliable crypto exchanges, is Kraken.
As a robust exchange, Kraken not only secures the stored digital funds from hackers but also protects the privacy of its users. The platform has shot to fame in a short space of time, so we decided to do a comprehensive review of this exchange.
But before diving into the details, here is a quick rundown of the exchange.
Founded in July 2011 by existing CEO Jesse Powell, this platform is one of the most popular and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges operating right now. Thanks to its robust functionality, this trading ecosystem has earned a reputation for being a really secure destination for crypto traders and big institutions. The platform even retains its international appeal by providing ultra-efficient trading opportunities in a number of fiat currencies. When Bitcoin-to-Euro trading volumes are considered, Kraken is a global leader. However, the exchange supports a number of currency pairs as well. (More on this later.)
The exchange has earned customer trust by proving its credibility time and again. While discussing its credibility, we need to tell you that 2014 was one of the landmark years in the history of this exchange. That year, the exchange was announced as the number-one choice as far as Euro trade volumes were considered. In the same year, the exchanges pioneered an audit system where verified proof of reserves was cryptographically secured. Last but not least, it was 2014 when Bloomberg Terminal listed this ecosystem.
Officially launched to the public in September 2013, this trading ecosystem is based in San Francisco.
Now, let’s get to know Kraken’s core features.
The portal offers tons of documentation and an easy-to-use interface to allow beginners to become advanced traders. Best of all, the platform prioritizes mobility and that’s why it has an iOS mobile app.
On this trading website-cum-app, you’ll experience high levels of liquidity that’ll allow extraordinary trading volumes and fast funding. It’ll also carry out cryptographically verified Proof of Reserves Audits.
The platform is quite big on the idea of security, and that’s why it includes cold storage techniques for giving funds the security they deserve. In addition, the portal uses PGP/GPG encryption to raise its security game.
The platform permits Bitcoin Margin Trading. This exchange can also be combined with the leveraged trading of nearly 5x, with shorting. This portal also provides advanced order types including automated trading and stop-loss orders.
Currency (fiat or digital) support
This trading portal is well-known to convert Ethereum and Bitcoin into fiat currency. The platform allows trading to be done using several fiat and crypto coins. In terms of digital currencies, this platform trades not only the popular ones such as Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (XBT) but also unconventional ones such as Melon (MLN), Dogecoin (XDG), Augur, Ethereum Classic (ETC), and ICONOMI (ICN). A number of fiat currencies—USD, JPY, EUR, etc.—are supported by this trading ecosystem. (The payments done through fiat currencies can be conducted through bank transfers as well.) For bank accounts operating under the European Economic Area, a complete SEPA payment mechanism will be supported. To participate in margin trading, Kraken supports the following currency pairs: ETH/USD, ETC/ETH, XBT/USD, XBT/EUR, and many more.
Now that we’ve known quite a lot about Kraken, we’re all set to look at the steps to join this platform.
Signing up on Kraken
Before registering on Kraken, you should have your personal info, email address, PC with a fully updated browser (Chrome or Firefox), and an internet connection. Then you just need to follow these simple steps to become part of Kraken’s ever-growing user base.
Step 1: Visit www.kraken.com
Step 2: To create a new account, you’ll have to fill in your complete email address, password, and user ID. Once all the details are entered, you’ll press “Sign Up”—you may need to add the location a bit later.
Step 3: Now, you’ll be directed to a page where you’ll have to fill a few more details to completely activate your account. First off, look for Kraken’s email that’ll have the activation code. Once you find that email, copy that code and paste it in the account activation page. Then, click on “Activate Account.” Yay! You’re registered. It’s this simple.
Step 4: Once you’ve logged in, the control page/dashboard/overview will look something like the image below.
Step 5: Before trading any cryptocurrency, you need to have your account verified. On this trading ecosystem, you’ll find several verification levels that range from Tier 4 to Tier 1. Each level offers a completely unique array of features. For every tier/level, you need to enter a whole lot of details—and once you’ve entered every necessary detail, you just must click the “Get Verified” button.
Step 6: Once you’ve completed the verification process of Tier 1, you’ll reach Tier 2. Now, fill every detail on Tier 2. Then, you’ll just need to click the “Get Verified” button.
Step 7: Once you’ve finished going through Tier 2 of the verification process, just click on the “No thanks” button.
Once you’ve clicked on that “No thanks” button, you’ll be redirected to that main page of all the verification levels; that page will, now, look something like the image we’ve given below. Now, if you notice, your verification status is marked as “Processing.” That’s because someone will need to manually verify the information you’ve entered. However, make sure that you enter the mailing address where you want the bills to be sent; this address is necessary if you wish to move up to Tier 3.
Step 8: If, however, the portal’s management is unable to verify the info or if it notices any sort of discrepancy, it’ll have to contact you and will need you to properly verify to Tier 3. Even if you don’t get the notice, we recommend that you have your account verified for Tier 3 as it’ll really improve your withdrawal and deposit limits. (Tier 3 verification is a must for every serious crypto trader.) In order to get verified to Tier 3, have handy your government-issued ID; along with the ID, you’ll want to have a specific proof of residence as well. For all those who’re registering from Japan or Germany or Austria, they’ll need to have a photo in which they’re holding their ID. Likewise, all the US residents will need to key in their Social Security Number.
Step 10: After you’ve registered, you’ll simply link your individual bank account to the brand-new Kraken account; the linking of these accounts will help you deposit or withdraw money. You need to log in to your Kraken account, and then press the “Funding” button.
Once you’ve done that, you must click “Withdraw” and then you’ll choose the fiat currency—USD, GBP, or EUR—that you want to use for trading purposes.
On clicking “Add account,” you’ll have to include the details of your personal bank account. Make sure that the account holder’s name is exactly the same one that’s used to make the Kraken account. After filling the entire set of details, you have to press “Save bank account” button.
After the account is linked, you’ll have to make your first deposit. To deposit your fiat currency, you’ll have to go to the menu and click on “Funding.” From there, you’ll click on “Deposit.” After that, you have to again pick the correct currency alongside the most appropriate deposit method.
How should you buy cryptocurrency from Kraken?
Now, that you’ve deposited your money in your Kraken account, it’s time buy some cryptocurrencies. Let’s look at the following steps that’ll let you buy different crypto coins on this exchange. To clearly explain, we’re giving an example of buying XBT. So here are the steps that you’ll need to follow if you’re buying ETH from Kraken.
- Click on “Account” followed by a click on “Trade,” and then “New Order.”
- Afterward, you will need to select the currency pair alongside the fiat currency; the pairing will have to match the deposited currency. Then you can expect the platform to pick the most appropriate currency pair. (By pairing these currencies, you’ll simply know about different currencies that are sold and bought.) For instance, if you’re picking XBT/USD pair, you’ll select that pair from the dropdown menu.
- Last, enter the amount of XBT coins that you’d like to buy; you may choose to buy XBT coins at the existing market rate, or you can set a specific limit order.
- Ultimately, once you’ve filled all the details, you’ll hit that “Buy” button and own some crypto assets.
The image below will make things clear with respect to buying cryptocoins through this exchange.
Now, you’ve bought crypto coins from this trading portal. But there’s still a million-dollar concern about the platform’s safety because so many crypto frauds are taking place. So, is Kraken safe to do crypto trading? Let’s find out below.
Is Kraken safe to use?
The company enjoys a good reputation because it’s highly resilient from major cyberattacks. Maybe that’s why it was chosen as a platform via which all the creditors of Mt.Gox could easily receive their claims. After Mt.Gox filed a bankruptcy protection, its admin team picked Kraken as a dependable partner to streamline payments to its creditors. (Well, that says a lot about the safety standards this trading ecosystem follows.)
As the platform provides a cryptographically verified proof of all reserve audits, it has reached a whole new level of transparency. These audits help verify the entire amount of crypto assets that Kraken holds. The company is properly capitalized, and that’s why it’s quite safe to work with. Plus, this trading platform’s security features are made public on its website. All the deposits go to on-premise cold wallets that are well-encrypted.
Another aspect is that every user of this platform will enjoy 2-factor authentication that offers robust protection against all malicious attempts to retrieve personal login details. (With such authentication, the users will be given a master key and a global setting lock to maximize their security.) There has been some concern regarding the platform’s privacy features when uploading documents, but Kraken maintains a fully isolated system for transmitting such docs. Your every single piece of account info and verification docs is properly encrypted.
Kraken’s customer support
The platform is regarded as one of the safest crypto exchanges, and that means its customer support may sometimes be overwhelmed. That’s precisely why this platform has its own Support Center, a detailed FAQ section, and a Help Center. The presence of all these channels helps troubleshoot any problem that the exchange’s users face anytime, anywhere.
If, however, your problem remains unresolved even after working with these channels, you should submit your request by visiting its “Submit a request” page.
Countries serviced by Kraken
Kraken has established itself as one of the most robust international exchanges available today. Due to its of international stature, this platform is available for the residents of Canada, the US, Japan, and certain European countries. The exchange also outperforms its competition as it deals with a range of currencies such as US dollars, Canadian dollars, Euros, Japanese yen, and British pounds.
Kraken even operates a fully-fledged dark pool that’s an end-to-end private securities exchange. With that, this ecosystem enables high net worth individuals and large financial institutions to easily make anonymous trades. Best of all, the platform is available 24/7 around the year.
Kraken’s trading limits
Every tier comes with a specific withdrawal limit. We’ve listed the established limit in the table below.
|Tier specification||Daily limit||Monthly limit|
|Tier 1 Digital currency only|
|USD2,500 (NOK20,253)||USD20,000 (NOK162,026)|
|Tier 2 Fiat currency|
|USD2,000 (NOK16,202)||USD10,000 (NOK81,013)|
|Tier 2 Cryptocurrency|
|Tier 3||USD25,000 (NOK202,532)||USD200,000 (NOK1,620,260)|
In addition, the platform has set a minimum order size that’s regulated by the base currency. (In every currency pair, the base currency is available on the left-hand side; for instance, XBT will be the base currency in the currency pair of XBT/USD.) That is, the minimum limit for an order is dependent on the base currency. We’ve mentioned the order minimums for every base currency below.
- Bitcoin (XBT): 0.002
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH): 0.002
- Augur (REP): 0.3
- Ethereum (ETH): 0.02
- Dash (DASH): 0.03
- Ethereum Classic (ETC): 0.3
- Dogecoin (DOGE): 3000
- EOS (EOS): 3
- Litecoin (LTC): 0.1
- Iconomi (ICN): 2
- Zcash (ZEC): 0.03
- Gnosis (GNO): 0.03
- Monero (XMR): 0.1
- Melon (MLN): 0.1
- Stellar Lumens (XLM): 30
- Ripple (XRP): 30
- Tether (USDT): 5
Withdrawing cryptocurrency from Kraken to your crypto wallet
Now that you have bought a handful of cryptocoins, you’ll be interested to know exactly how can you transfer your digital assets from the exchange’s account to your own crypto wallet. Well, below, we’ve given a step-by-step guide on that thing only.
- Go to Kraken’s website and log into your account.
- Now, click the “Funding Tab.” From there, you have to click on “Withdraw.”
- On the left-hand side of the page, there’ll be a list of crypto assets—you must click on the digital currency that you own and want to withdraw. For instance, if you want to withdraw Ether, you click on the bottom of the list where “Ether (ETH)” is mentioned.
- Afterward, you’ll click the “+Add address” button.
- Here, you’ll have to enter the description of your Ether address and then save it.
- Once the address is saved, you’ll have to click on the back button.
- Now, from the dropdown menu, you’ll have to select the address that you have just saved.
- Enter the amount of ETH coins that you’d like to transfer.
- Click the “Review Withdrawal” button.
- Once you’ve reviewed the details, you’ll have to click “Confirm Withdrawal.”
After this, you’ll be able to see the withdrawal’s final status. Usually, that’s quite quick. Once the “Initiated” status changes to “Success,” the Ether coins would be successfully transferred to your wallet. Now, you should access the wallet to cross-check whether you’ve received the withdrawn ETH coins.
The highlights such as low trading fees, customizability of order types, and high liquidity have allowed this exchange network be head and shoulders above its competition. The exchange’s user experience is good, its security is nearly unbreakable, and its customer service is also prompt. So, for anyone who’s looking forward to have and use cryptocurrencies in the most reliable way, Kraken will definitely be the exchange to try.