Overview: Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy, sell and trade over 50 different digital assets. It offers a beginner-friendly platform with competitive trading fees, while Kraken Pro delivers advanced tools and features for experienced investors.
The first step to start trading crypto is to select an exchange to purchase, sell and trade your assets. With the countless centralized and decentralized exchanges available to users today, many beginners can find it confusing to make a decision.
Among the centralized exchanges category, we find Kraken, a popular crypto exchange that’s been around for over a decade. If you are considering using Kraken to start trading crypto, but are uncertain if it will meet your requirements, keep reading! This guide will give you a complete overview on Kraken, its strengths, weaknesses and the trading features it offers.
What is Kraken?
Kraken is a San Francisco based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011, created with Bitcoin in mind. Since its birth, Kraken has grown to support over 50 different cryptocurrencies and serve individual and institutional investors in 185 countries. It allows users to easily purchase, sell and exchange cryptocurrencies with the possibility to also take part in more advanced trading types including, margin, futures, OTC and spot trading.
What You Need To Know To Trade On Kraken
Kraken is a crypto exchange with attractive features for beginners and experienced traders alike, offering two platforms: Kraken and Kraken Pro. While both of them operate under the same security standards and offer a full-set of trading features, Kraken Pro offers lower fees, improved charting and advanced order types for trading. Let’s take a look at Kraken’s main features and the Kraken Pro platform.
Starting to buy, sell and trade on Kraken is accessible to nearly everyone. Users can start buying crypto on Kraken with as little as $10 dollars. You can fund your account using fiat currencies or use any of the supported digital assets if you already own them. Deposits and withdrawals can be made by wire transfers, SEPA and SWIFT, and can take about 24 hours.
For investors peace of mind, Kraken has strong security measures in place. The exchange stores 95% of all deposits offline, in air-gapped cold storage and encrypts account data. Additionally, Kraken claims to regularly test their systems for potential attacks and performs real-time monitoring for suspicious activity.
From the user’s end, two factor authentication, a self-serve account lock feature and email confirmations for withdrawals can help you keep your trading account secure.
Like with other exchanges, users must cover certain trading fees to purchase, sell and trade crypto. Kraken has a 0.9% fee for instant purchases of stablecoins and a 1.5% fee for other cryptos. Additionally, transactions have a payment processing fee that varies according to the selected payment method.
Those using Kraken Pro can minimize their fees since this exchange uses a maker-taker fee structure, allowing more active traders to pay lower fees. The fees are calculated based on a user’s trading volume and activity during the previous 30 days.
Traders have a wide variety of assets to choose from to buy, sell and exchange. Some of the most noteworthy supported on the exchange include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Solana (SOL)
You should keep in mind that not all currencies available can be directly traded for one another, so you should keep tabs on the supported cash-to-crypto, crypto-to-crypto and cash-to-cash pairs.
Kraken only offers an exchange service and doesn’t provide users a crypto wallet. If you want to keep custody of your assets after buying, selling or trading, you can move your crypto to a crypto wallet of your choice. Using a hardware wallet to store your private keys can provide you an additional level of safety.
One of the advantages of using Kraken is the platform’s high trading volume and high liquidity. Due to the volatility of crypto assets, liquidity is key to move in and out of the market quickly and complete transactions at a set price when buying or selling assets.
No matter what issue you encounter, you’ll be able to contact Kraken’s support team 24/7 using their live chat. Users can also receive assistance by submitting a support ticket. Additionally, Kraken has a well developed knowledge base with articles that can help you set-up an account, navigate trading features and troubleshoot.
Trading on Kraken
With a basic Kraken account you have everything you need to buy, sell and trade crypto, such as market and limit orders and positions. These transactions are completed on Kraken’s simple and beginner friendly web interface.
Additionally, users have the option of staking crypto to earn returns and rewards. Staking is available for selected coins and tokens. Currently Kraken offers staking for Algorand (ALGO), Cardano (ADA), Cosmos (ATOM), Ethereum (ETH), Kava (KAVA), Kusama (KSM), Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL) and Tezos (XTZ). A benefit of staking on Kraken in comparison with other exchanges is that this exchange has no staking time minimum.
Trading on Kraken Pro
Kraken Pro is Kraken’s more advanced trading platform, which has lower transaction fees, additional trading features, open orders and positions and active crypto charts. Users have access to margin trading and futures trading.
While Kraken Pro is available for anyone with a Kraken account, it is better suited for experienced traders due to its more complex interface and advanced trading functionalities which can be confusing for many beginners.
The Good: Kraken Pros
- Kraken’s simple interface and intuitive user experience make it a great option for beginners.
- Experienced crypto investors can access advanced trading features and lower fees on Kraken Pro.
- Crypto staking is available on the exchange
- Kraken is an established exchange that implements strong security measures.
The Bad: Kraken Cons
- While Kraken does support a wide variety of assets, it offers less coins and tokens than some competitors.
- Navigating Kraken Pro’s interface can be confusing for beginners and has a high-learning curve.
Is Kraken right for you?
If you are looking for a platform that offers a beginner-friendly experience and gives you access to advanced features as you gain more experience in trading crypto, Kraken is a great exchange to consider. Being one of the earliest exchanges, it is well established, secure and offers its users a variety of support resources.