Kraken

review: is it any good?

Updated on
June 18, 2022

In a nutshell

Kraken is an established crypto exchange, is really safe, has a wide range of coins and the customer service is excellent. Plus it’s one of the cheapest exchanges around and has advanced trading features for the pros. We love it and highly recommend it.

Our rating

5 stars
Nutty

Kraken

cracked open 🥥

Kraken is one of the most established crypto exchanges in the world. It started way back in 2011 (that’s ancient for crypto), and is still as popular as ever, with millions of customers. So it must be doing something right.

Kraken is available in over 190 countries across the world, including Great Britain, and operates 24/7 (even their excellent customer service is 24/7).

It’s great for beginners to professional traders and everyone in between. It’s simple to use, and there’s a wide range of trading features, including margin trading which you won’t find with many exchanges (more on that later).

Kraken app

You can access it online through their website and on your phone with their 5 star rated apps on both Apple and Android.

What’s more, their security is up there with the best of them. With serious safety measures in place to protect your crypto and their systems. You can’t get safer.

If you’ve already decided Kraken is for you, sign up to Kraken here, or carry on reading to find out more.

Is Kraken good for beginners?

Yep! It’s perfect for beginners.

It’s simple and easy to use on both the app and website. You can buy your crypto in just a few clicks. 

There’s also a pretty awesome resource centre too with everything you need to know about crypto, from the basics all the way through to professional trading. There’s also educational videos which clearly explain the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of crypto. You’ll be a pro in no time!

Like the sound of Kraken?

We love Kraken. Learn more and get started on their website.

Visit Kraken

Visit Kraken

Advanced trader?

If you’re an advanced trader, Kraken has got you covered too.

There’s a huge amount of trading volume (buying and selling) from traders across the world, 24/7, so you’ll always be able to move in and out of the market quickly and easily at the prices you want (this is called liquidity).

The large trading volume exists because of the low fees, the reliability, the trustworthiness of the exchange, and the advanced features not found on many exchanges such as margin trading.

Kraken Pro app

There’s also a separate phone app, called Kraken Pro, which has some great features for on-the-go trading, such as more advanced charts and trading options.

Range of coins

At the time of writing you can trade 152 coins, which is pretty good compared to the other big exchanges. Coinbase has 170 coins and Gemini has just 52.

Kraken assets

There’s all the major coins you would expect such as bitcoin and ethereum, alongside the newer coins such as ApeCoin and even Shiba Inu. If it’s a legitimate project it will most likely be added. They vet and review each coin before it is listed, however you should still do your own research.

You can trade all of these coins in US Dollars (USD), British Pounds (GBP), plus other local currencies and even crypto, such as trading in bitcoin (BTC).

Margin trading (leverage)

You can borrow up to 5 times (5x) your account balance (called leverage). Let’s say you want to trade £50 on a trade predicting the price will go up, you can borrow 5x, making your trade £250.

If the coin price increases by 10%, with your initial £50, you’d have made £5 profit. With the 5x leverage, you’d have made £25 profit (£250 x 10%). Which is a massive 50% return on your actual investment of £50.

Standard vs leverage trade - Up 10%

It’s a good way to amplify your trades, but increases the risk as the losses are also amplified, so please be careful. If the coin in fact went down 10%, with your initial £50 you’d have lost £5, but with 5x leverage using £250, you’d have lost £25, which is 50% of your initial investment.

Standard vs leverage trade - Down 10%

Margin trading (leverage) with Kraken is cheap too. The fees are up to 0.02% to open a position, and then up to 0.02% every 4 hours to keep the position open.

Most exchanges don’t offer margin trading, including Gemini or Coinbase. It’s one of the reasons why Kraken is so popular.

Is Kraken expensive?

Not only does Kraken have great features, it’s also one of the cheapest exchanges out there.

You can never get away from fees with any exchange, but in general they are pretty reasonable. It is quite a lot cheaper than most other exchanges.

Kraken fees

Deposit fees

It’s best to make a deposit via a bank transfer, as it’s completely fee free. Your cash goes direct to your account instantly.

If you insist on paying by debit or credit card, there’s a 3.75% charge + €0.25 fee, and it’s handled in Euros, so your bank will charge a currency conversion fee too, which will be pretty high. 

Card fees are actually very common with all crypto exchanges as it’s really the card provider (such as Visa or Mastercard) charging the exchange to process card transactions, it’s not the crypto exchange trying to profit. Unnecessary card fees are one of the main problems cryptocurrencies are trying to solve.

Note: cryptocurrency deposits are completely free (meaning transferring your existing crypto from another exchange or from your own wallet is free).

Instant buy

Once you have your money on Kraken, or if you do want to pay by card, you can do an ‘instant buy’, which is, you guessed it, getting your crypto instantly. 

This is good for beginners as you don’t have to do much, it all takes a few clicks.

Kraken instant buy

However, there is a 1.5% fee on crypto purchases, and 0.9% on stablecoin purchases (such as USDT). But still cheaper than the popular exchange Coinbase, which charges 1.99% - 4.49%.

Note: although it’s a little harder to do, it’s cheaper to use the exchange to buy. There’s help on how to do this on the Kraken website.

Exchange fees

So here’s where Kraken really stands out, low exchange fees.

There’s no set fee, you’ll only be charged a percentage of the amount you are buying or selling, which are called taker and maker fees.

If you buy instantly at the current price of the coin, you’ll be charged a taker fee (you are taking the current price).

Taker fee

And if you set an order with a price you’d like to buy at, you’ll be charged a maker fee. These are typically lower than taker fees.

Maker fee

The actual fee is based on the amount of trades you’ve made in the last 30 days (measured in dollars).

Here’s what you’ll pay:

Trading volume per 30 days ($) Taker fee Maker fee
$0 to $50,000 0.26% 0.16%
$50,000 to $100,000 0.24% 0.14%
$100,000 to $250,000 0.22% 0.12%
$250,000 to $500,000 0.20% 0.10%
$500,000 to $1,000,000 0.18% 0.08%

If we again compare this with Coinbase and Gemini. On Coinbase, taker fees start at 0.60%, and maker fees 0.40%. So quite a big difference, over half the cost. And on Gemini, taker fees start at 0.40% and maker fees 0.20%.

Is Kraken safe?

Yep! Super safe.

Kraken take security very seriously. In fact, it’s their number one objective as a business.

95% of their crypto is held in cold wallets. Which means they’ve never been exposed to the internet, and are stored in high security facilities across the world. Just like the security at the biggest banks in the world.

The exchange itself is run from servers inside a secure facility protected by armed guards, and any updates to the exchange are rigorously tested first.

Your sensitive account information is completely encrypted too. Meaning it can’t be read by anyone else.

They even run their own lab with security experts to test the security of products and services within crypto.

In terms of your Kraken account, you’ve got 2 factor authentication (2FA), which means you need a device such as your mobile to log in and make withdrawals. There’s email notifications for withdrawals too, and you can even set a time-lock on your account for when you know you won’t be using it.

Rest assured, they’ve thought of everything, there’s a reason why it’s been so trusted over the years!

Customer service

The customer service is excellent. We can’t rate it highly enough. 

Just like the crypto markets, live-chat (where you chat to them within the app or on the website) is available 24/7 and anywhere in the world.

Kraken support

There’s also a very good support centre with answers to pretty much any question you can think of.

Best of all, and one of the only crypto exchanges to offer this, is phone support (Kraken’s phone number is 0808 501 5031, this is for the UK). You can speak to someone on the phone if you’d like to.

Kraken phone support

And if you’re not in a hurry and prefer the slower way of doing things, you can just send them an email too.

What do the people say about it?

On both App stores, Apple and Android, they’re rated an awesome 5 stars from real users, on both the regular Kraken app and Kraken Pro. We’d agree with this too!

Kraken app ratings

On Trustpilot, the popular reviews website, they have a rating of 2.2 out of 5. Which on the surface doesn’t look good. However for a company in the crypto industry, it’s actually pretty high. For comparison with other big exchanges - Coinbase is 1.6 out of 5 and Gemini is 1.2 out of 5.

Why are scores so low in crypto? Well there’s a lot of people across the world who aren’t given accounts on exchanges because they either can’t or don’t want to prove their identity. They then get frustrated and leave a bad review. The exchanges want to operate within the law and must verify customers to prevent fraud and money laundering.

Looking at the more genuine reviews of customers using the platform, they love it. The platform overall is good, and in particular customer service is awesome.

Our thoughts

We love Kraken. It’s one of the best crypto exchanges out there.

It’s perfect for beginners as you can buy crypto in a few clicks, and the advanced platform is awesome for the professional traders (or those who want to learn more).

It’s super popular because of its low fees. A great trading experience and loads of features, which means lots of liquidity (customers) buying and selling, so you can make trades fast and easily.

Plus, it’s focus on safety and security and long established history, making it reliable and trustworthy.

The customer service is first class. There’s near instant responses to your questions via live-chat and you can also speak to them over the phone. All 24/7 too.

It’s a massive 5 stars from us. We highly recommend it. Here’s where to sign up with Kraken to get started and learn more. Enjoy!

Like the sound of Kraken?

We love Kraken. Learn more and get started on their website.

Visit KrakenVisit Kraken

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