Kraken review 2023

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Summary

Launched in 2011, Kraken is an established crypto exchange that offers the ability to stake crypto and earn rewards under a reputation for top-notch security. There are 207 coins to choose from, although only a handful are fiat currencies, such as sterling or dollars.

Review

Kraken is a well-known name in the crypto exchange arena with a competitive offering. This includes 207 coins to trade, relatively low Bitcoin withdrawal fees, and ample online resources for beginners to learn about crypto.

However, the platform does assume a degree of knowledge that some newcomers might find confusing.

For more experienced traders, Kraken also offers ‘margin trading’ and ‘staking’. Margin trading is the practice of borrowing money to buy stocks, while staking is a way of earning rewards by putting up some of your assets.

Fees explained

Fees at Kraken for basic trading are 0.9% or 1.5%, depending on whether it’s stablecoins like USDC or in regular coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Fees are lower for Kraken Pro users, with maker fees at a maximum of 0.16% and taker fees limited to 0.26%. Fees also decrease on a sliding scale as the volume of trades increase.

Kraken accepts various payment methods for deposits but, as is typical, charges fees of as much as 3.75% on debit and credit card transactions. A 0.5% fee applies to bank transfers.

Buying crypto with a credit card is a highly risky strategy and should be avoided at all costs. If your investment goes down your debt could outweigh your assets.

Security

While some Kraken users have shared online that their accounts were breached, Kraken claims that its platform has never been hacked. Its reputation is largely one for solid security measures.

This includes two-factor authentication protection courtesy of Google Authenticator and/or Yubikey, which includes a configurable timeout feature. Users also receive email confirmation of withdrawals and all email communication is encrypted.

An independent auditor inspects Kraken’s balances twice a year, while users have the ability to cryptographically check that their balances are accounted for in the ‘Proof of Reserves’. As Kraken has ‘full reserves’, users can withdraw all their assets at any time, without worrying about the exchange’s liquidity.

Finally, Kraken’s servers operate from locked cages with closed circuit television and are monitored by guards. Kraken ranks 2nd out of 100 exchanges for security, and wins AAA status on review site CER.

User experience

In addition to its online guides and tutorials, Kraken caters to beginners with its Instant Buy  feature which is aimed at making first trades relatively simple. Despite this, the platform still requires some degree of knowledge.