Risk Warning: Your Capital is at Risk.
Kraken is a cryptocurrency spot, margin, and futures exchange based in the US. They offer 50+ cryptocurrencies with several payment methods, including standard crypto transfers.
Maker and taker fees start from 0.16% and 0.26% on the Kraken Pro platform, which is a free platform to use.
This review covers Kraken’s services, trade pairs, account options, and platforms for retail traders. We also explain Kraken’s institutional services like over-the-counter trading.
Kraken Exchange Overview
Kraken was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell as Payward Inc, and is based in San Francisco, CA, US.
With over 50 cryptocurrencies, including the market leaders like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano, Kraken offers several different web and mobile platforms for traders. These platforms include two distinct mobile apps and three web traders.
The seven supported fiat currencies are USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY, and AUD.
Traders can choose from three account types based on the degree of verification they’re willing to undergo. The key differences are the availability of futures trading and deposit/withdrawal limitations.
Kraken also offers Over-The-Counter (OTC) trading and API services for institutions and high-volume traders.
Pros and Cons of Kraken
|250+ cryptocurrencies to trade||High trading volume requirements for fee discounts|
|Choice of five different platforms||No phone support or live chat agents (chatbot only)|
|17 crypto futures products||Only a handful of funding methods, lack of e-wallet support|
|Advanced analytics with the free Kraken Pro web platform|
|Regulated by key industry organizations like the FCA and ASIC|
Key Kraken Exchange Facts
|📈 Trading Products||Fiat-Crypto Pairs, Crypto Pairs, Margin, Futures, Forex,|
|📱 Mobile Trading||Yes (Read the mobile app review)|
|💰 Cryptocurrencies||50+ (See all available cryptocurrencies)|
|👛 Wallets||Built-in hot wallet|
|💵 Fiat Funding Currencies||USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY, AUD|
|💳 Payment Methods||Wire Transfers (domestic and international), Debit Card, Signet, SEN, Cash (Canada only), Crypto|
|📞 Customer Support||24/7 Live chat (real person & bot), E-mail, Knowledgebase|
|🛍️ Other Services||Institutional API, Personalized Over-The-Counter (OTC) Trading|
Where Does Kraken Operate?
Kraken is owned by Payward Inc and is based in San Francisco, CA, US.
In the Americas, Kraken is registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) and receives regulatory oversight from:
- FinCEN in the USA — Registration no. 31000176593851
- FINTRAC in Canada — Registration no. M19343731
- FCA in the UK — Registration no. 757895 (as CryptoFacilities Ltd)
- AUSTRAC and ASIC in Australia — Registration no. 163 237 634 (as Bit Trade Pty Limited)
- FSA in Japan — Registration no. 00022 (as Payward Asia, Inc)
Kraken serves hundreds of countries all over the world.
Country Restrictions on Kraken
The company has several restrictions in place for the following countries:
|Banned Countries||Restricted Service|
|Afghanistan||Central African Republic|
|North Korea||South Sudan|
Other currency and country-based restrictions include:
- US residents cannot trade XRP.
- Residents of Washington State and New York in the US: May apply for pre-verification with the hopes of potential approval when Kraken can accept such registrations.
- Residents of New Hampshire and Texas cannot fund, trade, or hold Euro as a currency on Kraken
- Residents of Australia cannot fund, trade, or hold DASH, XMR, or ZEC.
- Residents of the US and Canada cannot fund, hold or trade EWT or GRT.
- Residents of the US and Canada cannot trade ETH2.S — only stake ETH.
- Residents of the US, Canada ,or Japan cannot fund, hold, or trade FLOW.
Japanese residents also have specific requirements and regulatory restrictions to trade with Kraken.
If you’re a resident in Japan, visit Kraken’s website to find out more about Kraken’s terms for Japan-based and JPY currency traders.
Types of Crypto Trading
Kraken is primarily a spot cryptocurrency exchange and offers an instant buy/sell exchange with simple, intermediate, and advanced trade tickets.
See how the three types of trade tickets compare in trade customization.
Kraken offers 50+ cryptocurrencies and 250+ trading pairs that include crypto-crypto, crypto-fiat, and forex pairs too.
The seven fiat currencies available to trade in are US Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Pound Sterling (GBP), Swiss Franc (CHF), Japanese Yen (JPY), and Australian Dollar (AUD).
|A to E||E to O||O to Z|
|Aave (AAVE)||Enzyme Finance (MLN)||Orchid (OXT)|
|Algorand (ALGO)||EOS (EOS)||PAX Gold (PAXG)|
|Aragon (ANT)||Ethereum (ETH)||Polkadot (DOT)|
|Augur (REP)||Ethereum Classic (ETC)||Qtum (QTUM)|
|Augur v2 (REPV2)||Filecoin (FIL)||Ripple (XRP)|
|Balancer (BAL)||Flow (FLOW)||Siacoin (SC)|
|Basic Attention Token (BAT)||Gnosis (GNO)||Storj (STORJ)|
|Bitcoin (XBT)||ICON (ICX)||Synthetix (SNX)|
|Bitcoin Cash (BCH)||Kava (KAVA)||tBTC (TBTC)|
|Cardano (ADA)||Keep Network (KEEP)||Tether (USDT)|
|Chainlink (LINK)||Kusama (KSM)||Tezos (XTZ)|
|Compound (COMP)||Kyber Network (KNC)||The Graph (GRT)|
|Cosmos (ATOM)||Lisk (LSK)||TRON (TRX)|
|Curve DAO Token (CRV)||Litecoin (LTC)||Uniswap (UNI)|
|Dai (DAI)||Lumen (XLM)||USD Coin (USDC)|
|Dash (DASH)||Monero (XMR)||Waves (WAVES)|
|Decentraland (MANA)||Nano (NANO)||Yearn Finance (YFI)|
|Dogecoin (XDG)||OCEAN Token (OCEAN)||Zcash (ZEC)|
|Energy Web Token (EWT)||OMG Network (OMG)|
|A to E||E to L||L to U||U to Z|
Alongside spot trading, Kraken traders may be eligible to trade:
- Cryptocurrency futures on a margin with a max leverage of 50:1
- Cryptocurrency spot trades on a margin with a max leverage of 50:1
- Over-the-counter with a one-to-one dedicated support agent on high volume trades
- Staking in cryptocurrencies like Tezos and Polkadot
Crypto Margin and Futures Trading
Kraken traders have access to crypto futures on a total of 17 US dollar-crypto futures markets on five coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash.
The maximum leverage on futures trades is 50:1, though traders can choose from smaller increments of 1:1, 2:2, 3:1, 5:1, 10:1, and 25:1.
Unlike the instant exchange, the crypto futures and margin terminal has visible order books.
See the trading terminal review to learn about analytics and platform functionality.
OTC Trading With Kraken
Over-the-counter trading is a service for traders willing to make a larger volume transaction off the books. Kraken promises higher liquidity to high net-worth traders and institutions for OTC trades.
There is no publicly declared minimum requirement for OTC trade sizes, and Kraken does not charge any additional fees. The service is available 24/7 and promises one-to-one consultation.
Kraken’s staking feature allows you to delegate your cryptocurrency holdings to stake pools for cryptocurrencies that run on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain algorithm.
The following coins are available for staking:
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Kusama (KSM)
- Kava (KAVA)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Flow (FLOW)
- Ethereum (ETH)
ETH and FLOW stake rewards pay out weekly, while other coin rewards are paid out twice-a-week. Staking is only available on the web and desktop platforms.
Kraken only charges admin fees on ETH staking.
To stake, traders must transfer funds from the spot trading account to the staking account.
Kraken Account Types
There are three different account tiers available for Kraken traders, based on the level of verification they’re willing to go through. Here’s a comparison of how these accounts differ:
|Info Required||Personal||Address and ID||Financial|
|Approval Time||1-2 mins||4-5 mins||Few days|
|Bank Transfer||n/a||$100K/day, $500K/month||Unlimited|
How to Verify Your Kraken Account
You can’t complete the verification process on mobile. Follow these steps to find the verification menu on Kraken Web to proceed:
- Log in to your Kraken account
- Click on your account name in the top menu’s right corner
- Select ‘Get Verified’
- Select the appropriate level of verification and follow the instructions
Trading Fees and Funding
Kraken has a transparent fee schedule on their website. We have broken down the listed trading fees on different asset types below.
Kraken’s instant buy fees are:
- Existing Account Balance Purchases
- 0.9% fee on stablecoin purchases with USD or other stablecoins
- 1.5% fee on stablecoin purchases with BTC
- Funding Transaction Fee: 3.75% + €0.25 (or currency equivalent)
Note that Kraken Pro fees are charged per-trade, based on trade volume and the trading fee discount tier you fall into.
|30-Day Volume (USD)||Maker Fee||Taker Fee|
|$0 - $50,000||0.16%||0..26%|
|$50,001 - $100,000||0.14%||0.24%|
|$100,001 - $250,000||0.12%||0.22%|
|$250,001 - $500,000||0.10%||0.20%|
|$500,001 - $1,000,000||0.08%||0.18%|
|$1,000,001 - $2,500,000||0.06%||0.16%|
|$2,500,001 - $5,000,000||0.04%||0.14%|
|$5,000,001 - $10,000,000||0.02%||0.12%|
Applicable for forex pairs and pairs where a stablecoin is the base currency.
|30-Day Volume (USD)||Maker Fee||Taker Fee|
|$0 - $50,000||0.20%||0.20%|
|$50,001 - $100,000||0.16%||0.16%|
|$100,001 - $250,000||0.12%||0.12%|
|$250,001 - $500,000||0.08%||0.08%|
|$500,001 - $1,000,000||0.04%||0.04%|
These fees are additional to standard trading fees. US traders can keep margin positions open for a maximum of 28-days, while non-US traders for 365-days.
|Base Currency||Quote Currency||Opening Fee||Rollover fee|
|BTC (Bitcoin)||EUR, USD||0.01%||0.01% per 4 hours|
|USDT (Tether)||EUR, USD||0.01%||0.01% per 4 hours|
|USDC (USD Coin)||EUR, USD||0.01%||0.01% per 4 hours|
|BTC (Bitcoin)||GBP, CAD, USDT||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|ADA (Cardano)||EUR, USD, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|BCH (Bitcoin Cash)||EUR, USD, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|DASH (Dash)||EUR, USD, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|EOS (EOSIO)||EUR, USD, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|ETH (Ethereum)||EUR, USD, USDT, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|ETC (Ethereum Classic)||EUR, USD, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|LINK (Chainlink)||EUR, USD, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|LTC (Litecoin)||EUR, USD, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|REP (Augur)||EUR, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|TRX (TRON)||EUR, USD, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|XMR (Monero)||EUR, USD, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|XRP (Ripple)||EUR, USD, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|XTZ (Tezos)||EUR, USD, ETH, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
|Polkadot (DOT)||ETH, EUR, USD, BTC||0.02%||0.02% per 4 hours|
Spot, forex, and stablecoin orders don’t contribute to the following trading volumes.
|30-Day Volume USD||Maker Fee||Taker Fee|
|$0 - $100,000||0.02%||0.05%|
|$100,001 - $1,000,000||0.015%||0.04%|
|$1,000,001 - $5,000,000||0.0125%||0.03%|
|$5,000,001 - $10,000,000||0.01%||0.025%|
|$10,000,001 - $20,000,000||0.0075%||0.02%|
|$20,000,001 - $50,000,000||0.005%||0.015%|
|$50,000,001 - $100,000,000||0.0025%||0.0125%|
It’s worth noting that fee discounts only begin with a relatively high 30-day trade volume, which many retail traders do not qualify for.
How to Deposit Funds With Kraken
You can deposit via both mobile and web. Here’s a summary of fiat currency deposit process and requirements:
- Funding Methods: Wire Transfers (domestic and international), Debit Card, Signet, SEN, Cash (Canada only), Crypto
- Minimum Deposit: $0 to $150 (or currency equivalent)
- Fee: Free to $25 (or currency equivalent, or 1.25 CAD + 0.25% for Canadian cash deposits)
- Processing Time: Instant to five business-days
The above requirements depend on your funding currency, location, and payment method.
Most cryptocurrency deposits on Kraken have a minimum deposit requirement, an address setup fee, and a deposit fee. For example, Dogecoin has none of these.
Crypto transaction processing times can take from instant to days, based on the trading fee, number of necessary confirmations, the and network load of the coin’s blockchain.
Visit Kraken’s website for up-to-date specifics.
How to Withdraw Funds With Kraken
Fiat withdrawals can also be made on both mobile and web:
- Withdrawal Methods: Wire Transfers (domestic and international), Debit Card, Signet, SEN, Cash and POSCONNECT (Canada only), Crypto
- Minimum Withdrawal: $0 to $10,000 (or currency equivalent)
- Fee: Free to $40 (or currency equivalent, or 0.25% for Canadian POSCONNECT)
- Processing Time: Instant to five business-days
As with fiat deposits, the above information is only a range. Exact figures depend on your location, currency, and available withdrawal method.
All cryptocurrency withdrawals incur a fee and have a minimum amount requirement — see Kraken’s website for up-to-date numbers, as the crypto market’s volatility impacts withdrawal fees.
Kraken Mobile App Review
There are two different Kraken mobile apps: the standard Kraken App, and the Kraken Pro App for advanced trading features.
Before we review the standard Kraken App, we distinguish between Kraken vs Kraken Pro on mobile:
Both Kraken Apps are free to download on Android and iOS devices. However, to sign in to your Kraken Pro app, you need to generate an API key on the web platform.
How to Generate an API Key for Kraken Pro Mobile
- Head over to Kraken’s website, and log in.
- Under the account icon on the top left, select ‘Security’, and then ‘API’
- Click ‘Add key’
- Give your API key a simple name to remember, or leave it as it is
- Check the following options from the list of API permissions:
- ✓ Query Funds
✓ Query Ledger Entries
✓ Query Open Orders & Trades
✓ Query Closed Orders & Trades
✓ Modify Orders
✓ Cancel/Close Orders
- ✓ Query Funds
- Click ‘Generate Key’
- Select ‘Show QR Code’
- Open your Kraken Pro App and navigate to ‘Sign In’ > ‘Scan QR Code’
- Scan the code, and you’re logged in
Kraken Mobile App Dashboard
The following mobile review sections are for Kraken’s Standard mobile app.
The main dashboard in the Kraken App presents your account balance, tradeable crypto assets in your chosen base currency, market leaders by 24-hour price changes, and cryptocurrencies ordered by market cap size.
You can access three other menus from the main screen: account balances, mobile app settings, and a show/hide toggle that allows you to jump to buy, sell, deposit, and withdrawal screens.
Balance Overview and Account Settings
The balance screen allows you to view your overall account balance amount, as well as the distribution of currencies presented as a percentage.
From the same menu, you can access your transaction history, where you’re shown your number of asset types held with its overall value.
The app settings page lets you customize balance and announcement displays as well as change your base currency, theme color, and set up two-factor authentication.
Trade Execution and Management
The standard Kraken app has no order book, so your choices are to deposit/withdraw cash, and to buy/sell crypto with cash directly. You can also manage your payment methods on mobile.
When you select an asset from the home screen asset page, you’re shown the following asset stats:
- All-time-high and low
- 24-hour trading volume
- Market cap and rank
- A price chart with the ability to view it in different timeframes (24-hours, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, and All)
The trading ticket offers preset amounts from $20 to $100 or choose your own amount. Once you set your desired transaction amount, you’re given an estimate of what you get in return.
Payment methods can be chosen on the trade ticket screen.
Kraken Web Trader Review
As with Kraken Pro and Standard on mobile, the web trader also has two distinct functionalities.
Kraken’s instant buy/sell currency exchange is available under the ‘Trade’ tab. Open market trading on 250+ crypto pairs and crypto-fiat pairs is available through the terminal.
Kraken Terminal vs Kraken Exchange
Here’s a brief overview of how the Kraken Terminal’s open market trading differs from the currency exchange.
With the Kraken Terminal you can:
- Use dozens of technical analysis tools (incl. EMA, MACD, and Bollinger Bands)
- View charts as candlesticks, line, bar, mountain, heikin-ashi, and y-axis charts
- Change the style and padding of your chart
- View live order books
- Use a leverage slider up to 5:1
- Set conditional trade closures (stop/loss, market limits)
- View two assets’ charts at a time
- Manage your trades
The Kraken Terminal is a web equivalent of Kraken Pro. See the features of Kraken Pro on mobile.
See below for how the different tiers of the trading ticket work on Kraken web.
Trade Ticket Tiers and Position Management
The simpler version of Kraken’s instant buy/sell exchange also allows you to trade on the order books, though you can see the live orders.
Kraken is set up as a currency exchange with three trading ticket tiers: Simple, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Here are the main differences between the three trade ticket types:
- Simple: Select whether you buy/sell, the amount, and whether you’re selling on market prices (taker fee for instant execution) or making a limit order (maker fee — see the list of fees).
- Intermediate: As with the Simple ticket, plus leverages up to 5:1, scheduled submission, cancellation time if the order is unfulfilled, and the choice of fee currency.
- Advanced: In addition to the Intermediate trade ticket, you get to set conditional close pre-sets based on Limit, Stop-Loss, Take Profit, Stop Loss Limit, Take Profit Limit, and Settle Position triggers.
Futures and Margin Platform
The Kraken Futures platform is designed similarly to the Kraken Terminal, showcasing order form, trade history, position management, and charting features in the middle of the screen.
Crypto-fiat futures on Kraken allow you to speculate on market positions at a pre-set future date with additional leverage on top of your cash funds.
There are two main chart features to switch views between. the market chart and a depth chart. You can also change the screen layout to have both charts open at the same time, like in the Kraken Terminal. This can be done via the ‘Workspace‘ dropdown.
On the Kraken Futures platform, the order form allows you to switch a leverage limiter on and off to toggle the leverage from 1:1 to 50:1. Leverage essentially allows traders to trade with borrowed money from the exchange — it’s risky.
The futures contract dates are visible in the asset selection tab accessible from the top left menu. There are a total of 17 contract types available with BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, and BCH coins on the US dollar.
Support and Learning Resources
Kraken offers 24/7 customer support via e-mail and live chat. The live chat is a mixture of live agents and bots for hours when there are no agents available.
There’s also a knowledgebase with categorized articles on funding, trading, getting started, mobile app functionalities, and security, to name a few.
Other Kraken learning resources for cryptocurrency traders include:
- Crypto guides on 50+ coins
- Videos and webinars on different methods of cryptocurrency trading and security
- A podcast series that’s also available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube
Kraken vs Binance
|Trade Types||Crypto spot, margin, indices, and futures||Crypto spot, futures, options, and margin|
|Payment Methods||Wire transfer, debit card, Signet, SEN, crypto||Domestic and international wire transfer, Crypto (+ 50 more)|
|Transaction Fees||from 0%||from 0.02%|
|Visit Kraken||Visit Binance|
Is Kraken legit?
Kraken is a Money Services Business (MSB) registered company and has several subsidiaries regulated under FinCen, FINTRAC, the FCA, AUSTRAC, ASIC, and the FSA. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, US, and has never been hacked to date. Learn more about Kraken’s regulatory information here.
What are Kraken futures?
Kraken futures are cryptocurrency futures contracts that allow you to speculate on a supported cryptocurrency’s price at a future date. Kraken has an exclusive futures terminal where traders have access to 50:1 leveraged margin trading on BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, and BCH, all traded against the US dollar.
Where is Kraken Exchange located?
Kraken’s HQ is in San Francisco, California, US, and also has registered subsidiary companies in Australia, the UK, and Japan. Aside from the location of the registered companies and offices under Kraken’s parent company, Payward Inc, the exchange accepts traders from 150+ countries. See the list of restricted countries.
Is Kraken better than Coinbase?
Kraken and Coinbase both offer 50+ cryptocurrencies and started as an exchange. That said, both companies offer a Pro version of the trading platform with technical analysis and advanced trading tools alongside the standard coin exchange features. As to which exchange is better depends on your needs and preferences as a trader. See this comparison of Kraken and Binance.
How much does Kraken charge per trade?
Kraken charges a flat funding fee of 3.75% + €0.25, and has various trading fee brackets for different trade types. Kraken Pro charges maker fees for market makers, and taker fees for those who execute the market order instantly. For traders with a total trade volume of $50,000 or less in the last 30-days, maker fees start at 0.16% while taker fees at 0.26%. See the entire fee schedule.
What is the Kraken Bank?
Kraken is the first cryptocurrency company to be approved by the US state banking charter, and the company is formally known as a Special Purpose Depository Institution. This means that Kraken’s legal interests lay in client finance in an environment that’s quickly shaped by ongoing regulation. They’re regulated by the Wyoming Division of Banking.