Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the oldest and most established cryptocurrency exchanges still operating today. But does its experience make it one of the best options for cryptocurrency traders and investors in 2023? This Kraken review takes an in-depth look at what this platform has to offer.
According to recent funding rumors, Kraken is in late-stage talks with investment firms to raise an additional $100-150 million at a $20 billion valuation. If confirmed, this would make Kraken one of the most valuable crypto exchanges. The new capital may support expanding DeFi functionality.
Kraken Review: Pros and Cons
Kraken has a lot of strengths but also some drawbacks to consider before signing up. Here is a quick overview:
|Low trading fees (0.16% – 0.26%)
|Limited fiat currency support (8 currencies)
|High security standards
|Staking not available in US
|Wide selection of cryptos (120+)
|Account verification can take time
|Margin trading & futures options
|Geoblocked in NY & WA
|Good customer service
Overall, Kraken offers a highly secure platform for intermediate to advanced cryptocurrency traders. Fees are competitive, and the platform has robust functionality – but the account signup process can be smoother.
Compared to other top crypto exchanges, Kraken’s trading fees are very competitive. Fees start at 0.16% maker and 0.26% taker fees. High volume traders can reduce fees further. Margin trading fees are also reasonable.
However, fees for simple “Instant Buy” options are high at 0.9% for stablecoins and 1.5% for other cryptos. Users should take time to understand trading pairs before using Instant Buy.
Kraken utilizes high-end security measures, both physical and digital – earning recognition from security evaluators. With most assets held offline in air-gapped cold storage and armed guards protecting servers, users’ funds have strong protection.
Kraken Verification Process
The basic Starter account verification takes just minutes, allowing instant buys. But upgrades to Intermediate and Pro accounts for lower fees and higher functionality can take 1-5 business days for manual verification. This is longer than some competitors but shorter than others.
Kraken Customer Service
Kraken offers customer support through email tickets, live chat, and social media outreach. According to reviews, representatives tend to respond quickly (often in less than an hour), even during high volume periods. They also provide detailed responses to complex issues.
Importantly, Kraken offers 24/7 global live chat support directly through their website. Users can access live chat around the clock to get assistance from Kraken agents. Having dedicated live support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week enables customers to get help when they need it most.
Kraken User Experience
The desktop site offers a clean, intuitive interface but the mobile app is rated as just average, lacking certain features. The platform has detailed educational resources for beginners but still caters more toward intermediate and advanced traders seeking things like automated strategies, margin trading etc.
Available Tokens on Kraken
Kraken has a solid selection of over 120 cryptocurrency trading pairs available, including majors like BTC, ETH, XRP, ADA, SOL and popular altcoins. They also have their own utility token, KNC, used to pay trading fees at a discount.
Regulatory Compliance and Legal Status
As one of the longest running exchanges founded in the US, Kraken puts an emphasis on legal compliance. They are registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN and hold a BitLicense to operate legally in most US states. The platform is also expanding into spot crypto offerings in other countries.
Liquidity and Volume
In terms of liquidity and trading volume, Kraken consistently ranks among the top 5-10 exchanges according to CoinMarketCap. This level of liquidity is important for minimizing slippage on larger trades. The EUR markets also have high volume for European traders.
Staking and Lending Options
Kraken does offer crypto staking rewards on 10+ assets like SOL, DOT, KAVA and more. Unfortunately, due to US regulations, their staking program is not available for US-based customers. Margin trading and futures options provide advanced traders with additional opportunities for gains.
For those outside the US who can access Kraken’s staking services, it provides an attractive way to earn passive income on holdings. Users can earn up to 26% yearly yields by staking eligible crypto assets on Kraken. Staking rewards are distributed twice weekly. Kraken also allows users to unstake instantly without penalties, making it flexible and user-friendly.
App and Web Experience
Kraken Web Experience
Kraken’s website delivers a smooth, intuitive experience with robust tools, charts, order options, automations and educational resources built-in. Almost every key feature is available through the web platform.
Kraken App Experience
The Kraken Pro mobile app provides a serviceable experience for casual traders but has limited functionality compared to the full web platform. Users cannot set conditional closes for trades, view position margins or create automated strategies. The app is in need of an update to match competitors.
For intermediate to advanced cryptocurrency traders based outside the US, Kraken is definitely one of the top platforms available today in terms of features, security and reasonable fees. US-based traders may want to consider other options for staking rewards and margin trading. Those completely new to crypto trading should also make sure to research Kraken’s tools and functionalities before jumping in.
Here are three alternative platforms to consider:
|Key Advantages Over Kraken
|Wider selection of coins & altcoins (600+), Staking available in US
|Easier signup process, Better mobile app experience
|Customizable mobile app, Good margin rates for US users
How trusted is Kraken?
As one of the longest running and most legally compliant exchanges founded in the US, Kraken is widely seen as trustworthy. It has secured over $100 million in funding from investors and has bank-level security protections.
Is Kraken under investigation?
No, Kraken is not currently under any known investigation by regulators or law enforcement in the countries where it operates. It continues working to maintain full legal compliance.
Is Kraken and COS legit?
Yes, Kraken is a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange platform that adheres to regulations in supported countries. Chain of Satoshi (COS) was a project built on Stellar that is no longer operating, but this is a separate entity from Kraken itself.