With its headquarters in San Francisco, California, Kraken claims that it is currently the biggest Bitcoin exchange when it comes to liquidity and euro volume. Operating US-wide (except in New York because of the BitLicense), in the EU, and across Japan and Canada, Kraken was founded back in 2011 and has become known for its extensive features, overall strong security and low fees on transactions. Kraken offers investors the opportunity to buy Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies such as Japanese Yen, Euros, and US Dollars. Experienced users can also take advantage of margin trading services. In this Kraken review, we look at the pros and cons of using this exchange so you can make an informed choice.

kraken-login-screen

Krakens Login Screen

Although the Kraken user interface offers multiple options, unfortunately, it isn’t especially user-friendly for beginners and this could be an issue if you are brand new to trading in cryptocurrencies. There were also ongoing problems towards the end of 2017 as Kraken struggled to address the increase in cryptocurrency trading demands, and many users ended up receiving error messages and being unable to use the exchange properly. These issues appear to have been addressed in a further update which was actioned in December. Although a mobile app was released for iPhone users several years ago, it has not proved to be popular with several users complaining about problems in another Kraken review. Despite this, the site’s mobile-optimised version is praised highly in virtually every Kraken review for its smooth operation.

The Kraken Interface

Although the Kraken user interface offers multiple options, unfortunately, it isn’t especially user-friendly for beginners and this could be an issue if you are brand new to trading in cryptocurrencies. There were also ongoing problems towards the end of 2017 as Kraken struggled to address the increase in cryptocurrency trading demands, and many users ended up receiving error messages and being unable to use the exchange properly. These issues appear to have been addressed in a further update which was actioned in December. Although a mobile app was released for iPhone users several years ago, it has not proved to be popular with several users complaining about problems in another Kraken review. Despite this, the site’s mobile-optimised version is praised highly in virtually every Kraken review for its smooth operation.

kraken-user-interface

Kraken User Interface

Supported Currencies

There are eighteen different cryptocurrencies supported at present by Kraken including the most popular options like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. The fiat currencies which are supported include US Dollars, British Pounds Sterling, Canadian Dollars, Euros and Japanese Yen. Fiat withdrawals and deposits can be completed via Swift, bank wire and SEPA with US users being able to withdraw and deposit via bank wire for a $5 fee, although a $10, 10 Euro or £10 fee is levied for bank transfers outside the USA. Canadian investors can withdraw or deposit CAD via bank transfer for no additional fee, users in the EU can use SEPA free of charge and Japanese users are able to withdraw and deposit amounts under 5,000 Yen via bank deposits with no charges. Both withdrawals and deposits take somewhere between 1 and 5 working days with the average deposit-taking around 24 hours.

kraken-many-supported-currencies

Kraken Supports Many Currencies

Country Support

Users from around the globe can use Kraken, however with only two different languages available (Japanese and English) this limits users who know neither of these options. This is another element of the exchange which pulls it down in this Kraken review.

Fees And Charges

One of biggest selling points highlighted in this Kraken review is that the fees it charges are some of the lowest out there when compared to its rivals. The fees charged will depend on the user’s account tier, with higher tier traders being able to trade a larger volume and paying lower fees. Both buyers and sellers pay a fee which could be anywhere between 0 – 0.26%.

Types Of Account

There are no less than 5 account types on offer, however, the higher the account level the higher the trade volume permitted and the lower the fees. Making withdrawals or deposits isn’t possible with a Tier 0 basic account, but by providing some basic details (birth date, name, phone number, and country) you can achieve Tier 2 status which allows $2,000 of fiat currency to be deposited daily (with a $10,000 monthly cap). No proof of ID or address is needed before Tier 3. To access Tier 4, you must contact the customer support team and this level is reserved for corporate and high-value account holders. While the Tier 2 verification process is fairly speedy, Tier 3 can take several days.

kraken-types-of-accounts

Customer Support

The first port of call for anyone who needs some support should be the website which has a thorough support guide covering all aspects of opening and using a Kraken trader account. If any further advice or guidance is required, submitting a ticket to the support team is easy, although as there is no live chat function, the customer support team can sometimes be slow and take a few days to make a response.

Security

Kraken’s website is extremely secure thanks to a 2-factor authentication process both on logging into the account and in the funding and trading processes for extra security. There are other enhanced features to improve security too such as the global setting lock which ensures that no account details can be tampered with should there by a cyber attack.

kraken-security-screen

Kraken Review – The Pros

There are a number of positives to using the Kraken exchange:

  • A strong choice for advanced and professional crypto-traders
  • Supports an ever-increasing range of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies
  • Low fees when compared to many rival exchanges
  • Free deposit options for Japanese Yen, Canadian Dollars, and Euros
  • Fast withdrawals via SEPA
  • Outstanding security with 2-factor authentication
  • Margin trading supported for advanced users

Kraken Review – The Cons

There are also a few downsides to choosing Kraken:

  • The user interface isn’t easy for beginners to navigate, and could do with a drastic overhaul to make it more accessible to newbies.
  • Fees of as much as $15 are charged when using SWIFT withdrawals and deposits for fiat currency
  • Some lags in executing orders
  • Customer support has no live chat function
  • The exchange has struggled to cope with an increase in demand

Conclusion

The overall conclusion of this Kraken review is that this exchange is a good choice for any advanced trader who is looking for low fees, the opportunity to participate in margin trading and excellent security, although complete novices may want to look elsewhere if a simple interface is a priority. With a good choice of cryptocurrencies available and a range of account types to suit the needs of a variety of user types, Kraken has plenty to offer, and those who want to trade on the go should find that the Kraken site’s mobile version is responsive, seamless and well designed.