Kraken Exchange Review
Kraken was established as a company in 2011, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. The company began as an international presence and is now based in San Francisco. Based on trading volume, Kraken is the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world. It permits the trading of cryptocurrencies against a large number of fiat currencies including the USD, GBP, EUR, and JPY.
It is noteworthy that Kraken was the first Bitcoin exchange to have its trading volume and price displayed by Bloomberg. The Tokyo government’s court-appointed trustee and Germany’s Fidor Bank have conducted successful audits of the platform using proof-of-reserves that can be verified cryptographically.
The primary function of Kraken in the beginning was to provide individuals with a way to buy and sell Bitcoin. The company’s role soon expanded into a full-scale exchange where individuals can trade any number of digital assets.
The parent company of Kraken is Payward, Inc. which has generated millions in investment capital from important figures in the world of cryptocurrency. It is a platform that works very well for international traders because of the vast number of fiat and digital currencies that are supported. Like some other exchanges, Kraken has not been immune to security breaches in the past. The company has worked quickly to resolve the issues, however, and site downtime has been kept to a minimum.
Getting Started With Kraken
The first step to getting started in cryptocurrency trading with Kraken is to create an account. The platform requires that all users be verified. This helps the company remain in compliance with existing financial regulations for exchange markets. US citizens in particular will be required to validate their identity and address.
In order to get started, you need to get verified by Kraken. Users are sorted into different tiers which specify things such as how much a user in a specific tier can deposit per day. Each tier requires a different set of details.
For Tier Zero status, all that is needed is for the user to create an account with the exchange. A valid email address is required in addition to minimum personal details. Tier One requires that the user provide their full name, date of birth, their country of residence, and a valid phone number. For Tier Two status, all of the above is required in addition to address verification. Tier Three requires that the user submit a photo of their ID, a photo of a recent utility bill, and also a selfie in which the user holds the ID next to their face. There is also a Tier Four, but this is for very high-level trading accounts and the requirements are determined at Kraken’s discretion.
Users from the United States should be aware that Kraken only permits bank transfers from US citizens that have obtained Tier Three verification. Those on a lower tier will only be able to make deposits from cryptocurrency wallets. The residents of the EU and other countries are permitted to make bank transfers with Tier Two status.
It may seem that these verification procedures are harsh, but they have been created for the trader’s protection. It is good to know that Kraken takes the process of verification seriously. Another upside is that the verification process does not take very long. Up to Tier Two the process is almost instant, and Tier Three and above can take an average of 24-48 hours. This can be longer if the user verifies on the weekend.
Kraken provides two-factor authentication for those who desire it. This is another way to help keep an account safe and secure.
Kraken Fees and Limits
The amount of money that a user can deposit and withdraw from Kraken is determined by tier level that range from Tier zero to Tier 4. The following are the general guidelines and daily limits for each tier. You might as well go for the highest level and be ready for when cryptos “moon”:
The fees for trading currencies are very nominal. Kraken charges an average of 0.16% on limit orders and 0.26% on market orders. Fees can vary based on the volume of a trade, but most will fall between the range of .1% and .35%. Pairs which are less commonly traded can result in higher fees. Kraken will also provide those who offer liquidity with zero trading fees.
Trading Cryptocurrencies at Kraken
Kraken is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges and provides a large number of pairs that can be traded against one another. It is possible to trade in base fiat currencies such as the USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. A user’s overall account value is also displayed in the base currency they have chosen.
Kraken provides margin trading similar to Forex exchanges. This method of trading is preferred by day traders and others who have experience in trading. It can be a risky way to trade and is not recommended for the beginner.
The interface at Kraken is easy to use and displays all the open position an investor has. Overall, the use of the platform is simple, but the experience of many individuals is that customer support by Kraken leaves much to be desired.
Futures Trading Now Available At Kraken
As of February 2019, one of the world’s largest and most respected cryptocurrency exchanges has taken another leap in the crypto market. Kraken has announced that it has acquired Crypto Facilities. (https://www.cryptofacilities.com/) The deal will allow Kraken to begin offering futures trading for cryptocurrencies. Crypto Facilities is an FCA-regulated cryptocurrency trading platform. The purchase by Kraken was completed for a nine-figure sum, and it is Kraken’s largest acquisition to date.
Kraken is the First Crypto Exchange to Offer Spot and Futures Trading
Kraken has already established itself as a trusted cryptocurrency exchange. The new deal with Crypto Facilities makes it the first and only exchange that will be able to provide both spot and futures trading services for investors in Bitcoin and other digital tokens. Investors will now be able to take part in both types of trading without having to move between two different exchanges. Before this deal it was only possible to trade both spot prices and futures if one maintained two different cryptocurrency accounts.
Crypto Facilities has also become highly regarded in the world of cryptocurrency as an accurate price reference source. The company is used by CME group as a guardian of price transparency and accurate indices. Investors can trade futures with confidence when they establish a Kraken trading account.
Futures Trading a part of Kraken Rebranding
During its time as a cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has handled more than $140,000,000 in trades. This makes it far and away the most successful crypto exchange. Founded in 2013, Kraken has also managed to escape many of the issues that have plagued other crypto exchanges. The website and platform has also remained largely unchanged since Kraken debuted.
Company leaders decided in January 2019 to undertake a massive rebranding project that will affect how the Kraken website looks. It will also look to improve user experience by adding new features to the platform.
Offering futures trading is also a major part of the Kraken rebranding strategy. It reflects a dedicated effort on the part of the company to reach more investors. Here you can see Eligibility . The move also does much to further legitimize cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. Most of those involved with crypto approach digital tokens from an investment standpoint due to the limited opportunities to spend cryptocurrencies.
What is Cryptocurrency Futures Trading?
Cryptocurrency futures involve a futures contract. This contract is essentially an agreement to buy or sell a token at a later date at an agreed upon, fixed price. Traders have long used futures in other markets to hedge investments. They are also useful in locking in profits when a market is especially volatile. The cryptocurrency market is known for its swings and volatility.
Kraken will use aggregated indices provided by Crypto Facilities in the application of futures trading. These indices use data from numerous exchanges to determine the demand for a specific type of token. This will help investors have assurance that they are getting the best price on cryptocurrency futures trading.
Popular Opinion of Kraken
A Google search on Kraken will reveal a wide range of opinions about this cryptocurrency exchange. Users seem to praise the overall trading experience. It’s availability as an international platform is also a plus. Those who seem to have had a good experience with Kraken are very vigorous in defending it. There also don’t seem to be many negative reviews when it comes to withdrawals and deposits.
Most of the negative information that one is likely to uncover revolves around poor customer service. Some individuals report that Kraken is slow to respond to customer inquiries, if they bother to respond at all. There is also the matter of a 2017 security breach that effectively closed the exchange for a number of days so that fixes could be applied. User accounts seem to have been kept safe during this breach.
Large number of cryptocurrencies to trade
Futures Trading. As of Feb 2019, list futures on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash
Customer service can be improved
Vulnerable to security breaches in the past
Our Opinion of Kraken
Kraken is definitely one of the most impressive cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today. It is somewhat unparalleled in the number of digital tokens it makes available for trade. The process of creating an account and getting verified is simple, and the limits for users are very generous. While the company has suffered a security breach in the past, efforts have been made to shore up the platform’s security. The company also does a good job of keeping account holders informed on the platform’s status when there is an issue.
We award Kraken 4.5 out of 5 stars on our cryptocurrency exchange rating scale.