Kraken was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco, USA. Bitcoin has been bought and sold on the platform since 2013. Over time, more and more cryptocurrencies followed. Currently, there are 17 on offer. Coins can be exchanged for US dollars, Canadian dollars, yen and euros.
Deposits and withdrawals are made in these currencies. The low trading fees make Kraken extremely attractive, but the website is only available in English and Japanese. In the following Kraken test, the US platform is tested in a variety of criteria.
WHAT CAN YOU TRADE WITH KRAKEN?
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Users can trade Bitcoin on Kraken, or a total of 17 other cryptocurrencies are available. The crypto exchange sees itself as a “Bitcoin Exchange”, but has 16 other altcoins on offer. The advantage of such an exchange is that you can trade multiple cryptocurrencies and therefore do not have to open a specific Bitcoin account.
You can trade in US dollars, euros, yen and CAN dollars. Also, the coins can be bought and sold among each other. For traders who speculate on the increase in the value of the coins, Kraken allows the use of leverage when trading. In addition to Bitcoin, the offered cryptocurrencies also include Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, Monero, Stellar, Zcash and Dash. But, lesser-known digital currencies such as Tether, EOS or Melon are also available.
On this platform, traders can access buy and sell offers from other traders themselves or post their own trade offers. A fee is charged for each trade, but this is relatively low. Anyone who decides to trade with Kraken must register beforehand, distinguishing between different verification levels, which depend on the volume traded and the type of trade.
The various levels are also intended to protect against fraud. Kraken offers the most essential coins as well as those that are not necessarily provided on other portals, such as MLN, GNO or ICN.
HOW DID KRAKEN PERFORM IN THE MOST IMPORTANT CRITERIA?
The exact amount of the fees can be seen in detail by Kraken traders on the website to get an overview before trading. The maximum cost per trade is 0.26%. The prices vary depending on whether the dealer acts as a buyer, seller, or how high the trading volume is.
Basically, the fees on Kraken are comparatively low. In most cases, trading fees are as follows:
- Volume <50,000 sellers 0.16% / buyers 0.26%
- Volume <100,000 sellers 0.14% / buyers 0.24%
- Volume <250,000 sellers 0.12% / buyers 0.22%
- Volume <500,000 sellers 0.10% / buyers 0.20%
- Volume <1,000,000 sellers 0.08% / buyers 0.18%
- Volume <2,500,000 sellers 0.06% / buyers 0.16%
- Volume <5,000,000 sellers 0.04% / buyers 0.14%
- Volume <10,000,000 sellers 0.02% / buyers 0.12%
- Volume> 10,000,000 sellers 0.00% / buyers 0.10%
The volume is given in US dollars. The higher the volume traded, the lower the fees incurred. The fees for the buyer are always slightly higher than for the seller. For amounts in excess of 10,000,000 million US dollars, the fees are completely eliminated as a seller.
An account must be created to start trading on Kraken. To do this, users first have to provide a little information and can then gain experience with Kraken. Different verification levels exist for further trading. For “Tier 0”, the email address must be confirmed to be able to look around on the website. With “Tier 1” data such as name, address and mobile phone number must be specified.
A code is sent to this mobile number for verification. Now the user can deposit digital coins. For “Tier 2”, a document with the specified address has to be uploaded to verify the address. You can now deposit up to $ 10,000 per month.
Alternatively, amounts can be deposited in euros, yen or Canadian dollars, whereby the deposit always takes place by bank transfer. Account-holders at Fidor Bank benefit from a quick transaction because Kraken cooperates with this bank. Transfers from other banks can take longer.
For the “Tier 3” level, an electricity bill or credit card bill must be uploaded that is not older than three months. A video chat is also required, with the retailer holding his ID card in the camera. This increases the monthly deposit and withdrawal limit. Tier 4 allows traders to deposit and withdraw up to $500,000. For this, customer service must be contacted by email.
For every trade on the platform, Kraken payout charges between 0% and 0.26%, which mainly depends on the volume traded. The higher the amount traded, the lower the fee charged, with Kraken fees being remarkably low at a maximum of 0.26% anyway. You can find detailed information on this under the “Conditions” section or on the Kraken website, where everything relating to fees (Kraken payout & deposit) is transparently listed.
Margin trading is also possible on Kraken. In this trade, the margin is the amount needed to open and maintain a leveraged position. A broker that offers margin trading only requires a small portion of the total position value to open a position, while the rest is effectively borrowed from the broker. Leverage can increase market commitments many times over without having to make an additional investment.
If the position is losing and the initial margin is no longer sufficient to maintain it, the account balance must be increased. The request for this is called a margin call. Profit and losses depend on the overall size of the position, meaning the outcome of a trade can be much larger than the actual investment. However, losses may ultimately exceed initial deposits.
When you visit Kraken for the first time, you notice that the website is not available in German, but only in English and Japanese. If you do not have a good command of English, you will find it challenging to find your way around, especially if you are not yet familiar with cryptocurrency trading. Therefore, the platform is more suitable for experienced crypto traders. But, if you have a good knowledge of English, you will find your way around as a newcomer, as the website is clearly structured.
The first thing you notice on the homepage is the registration form because Kraken wants to encourage its visitors to register as soon as possible. Otherwise, the individual menu items, press opinions and other general information can be found on the home page. The different menu items can be called up for detailed information.
The menu is straightforward, so that what you are looking for can be found and accessed quickly. There is also a detailed FAQ section that explains many vital aspects of the website in detail, thus sparing the need to contact their support team. But even here it should be noted that the FAQs are only available in English and Japanese. Advantageously, all fees are clearly visible on the website so that dealers can find detailed information about possible prices here. The site impresses with its clear structure and quick access to the essential points.
For general questions about the platform, users can first find out about the FAQ area. It contains the most frequently asked questions, sorted by topic. This area is particularly helpful for beginners to answer initial queries and gain essential knowledge. The FAQ area is only available in English and Japanese, which is why a good understanding of English is definitely an advantage.
It is not always necessary to contact support immediately, as numerous questions have already been answered on the website. If there are any questions, help can be reached via a contact form on the site. An email address must be entered here, and the existing problem must be described. Even if the support endeavours to respond quickly, there may be delays.
There is also a live chat, which is located at the bottom of the website and can be used for urgent matters and quick response times. However, telephone contact with customer service is not yet possible. To make the information as transparent as possible for users, Kraken has enabled a “bug bounty”. Here, users can report errors and receive rewards in the form of bitcoins. This is to ensure that customer service is used as little as possible and that there are no long waiting times.
After a trader has logged into his account, he can make purchases and sales, whereby the desired cryptocurrency can be selected on the top left of the trading platform. The individual currencies are always sorted in pairs. XBT/EUR means that Bitcoin can be exchanged for euros and vice versa. Once the desired cryptocurrency has been selected, the next step is to click “Buy” or “Sell”. To the right of “Amount” the desired quantity is entered to complete the purchase or sale. To make purchases, money must be deposited into the user account, for which only the payment method of the bank transfer is available. This also applies to withdrawals.
Additional payment options are desirable for more flexibility, as transfers can take a few days. Various e-wallets or credit card deposits and withdrawals could be used here, to make payments faster. An immediate transfer would also be a sensible alternative to bank transfer. Such payment alternatives are now offered by most crypto exchanges.
It is positive that there are no fees for Kraken deposits via SEPA transfer and only 9 cents are charged for withdrawals. If you have an account with Fidor Bank, you can link it to your Kraken user account, which means payments are processed faster, and credit or coin settlement is carried out much quicker.
With its “Bug Bounty” program, Kraken offers a campaign in which all users can participate. Although the Kraken team tries to avoid errors in the systems, there is a chance that some will be overlooked. Such system errors can represent significant vulnerabilities. Kraken, therefore, asks its users to report bugs as part of the program so that the team can take care of them as soon as possible.
Kraken then offers its users rewards for essential reports in the form of coins and a list in the so-called Wall of Fame. Basically, anyone who discovers a bug in the system can participate in this program. However, Kraken reserves the right to decide whether a mistake uncovered is significant enough to be rewarded for it. The minimum reward for significant bugs is $100 in bitcoins.
To report an error, the email address [email protected] can be used. It should contain as much information as possible and describe the error in as much detail as possible. If you want to appear on the Wall of Fame, you should also give your name. A response to such an email can take up to two days. Another additional offer is the Kraken app for iOS so that the platform can also be used on the go. The app is not yet available for Android or other operating systems.
REGULATION & DEPOSIT INSURANCE
For security, the common standard with two-factor authentication is offered on Kraken. After the first login, it is recommended to activate this security measure.
In addition to the regular password, a new one-time password must be entered, which is generated on your smartphone. Two-factor authentication can also be used for transactions in deposits and trading. Users can also store a master key in the form of two-factor authentication for an account reset. It is also possible for users to have encrypted emails sent to them if they deposit a PGP key with Kraken, which requires an email provider with PGP / GPG support.
Another security measure is that the majority of coin holdings are saved offline in cold wallets to protect the coins from unauthorized access. Some assets are also secured in semi-cold wallets, and only holdings that are needed are in hot wallets.
Personal data and transactions are secured against access by third parties using encryption on the website. Numerous experiences with Kraken confirm safety precautions. The security precautions of the US platform were highlighted in a Kraken test. Traders can trade cryptocurrencies securely and securely on Kraken and users can rule out any kind of Kraken fraud on the crypto exchange.
Public opinion through the press and other users or voices are also crucial for a secure feeling when trading on a crypto exchange. Kraken has proven in recent years that trading cryptocurrencies on the platform are safe.
The trade press, such as the “Wall Street Journal”, also reported on Kraken and made positive comments about the company. The security precautions and the professional handling of the transactions are praised. The low transaction fees for the trades can also convince users and the press, which is why the platform regularly scores well in a crypto exchange comparison. Negative voices arise primarily in the German-speaking countries when it comes to the website itself since it was only written in English and Japanese.
With such a complex topic as cryptocurrencies and how to trade them, traders should have excellent English skills to find their way around. However, the website itself is clearly structured and therefore enables quick access to individual points. Many general questions are already answered in detail in the FAQs, which complements customer service well. The transparent presentation of the fees stands out positively for users since all applicable costs are called up on the website and compared with each other before a purchase or sale.