Kraken Review: Crypto & Fiat Trading

Kraken Review: Crypto & Fiat Trading

Is Kraken the leviathan of crypto exchanges you've been searching for? Dive in with our in-depth review and discover the secrets of its trading volumes, assets, fees, security, and more!

Among the swelling cryptotides, one exchange sails straighter and faster than the rest - mighty Kraken. Plot your course through our detailed review and discover why all roads lead back to this legendary ship.

The Kraken titan has stormed the blockchain seas since 2011, earning a treasure trove of praise for its stellar service, booty-plundering low fees, and a fleet of diverse funding options guarded by iron-tight security.

Kraken empowers all adventurers — from seasoned traders to new recruits — to chart the course for their financial fortunes. Even mighty institutions rely on Kraken's premier crypto solutions to rapidly reach investment goals on each voyage.

Eager to explore the bountiful opportunities offered by Kraken? Then climb aboard for an epic and comprehensive review of Kraken's vaults and horizons! We'll dive into everything from tradable coins and slick interfaces to features catered for institutional whales and savvy swimmers.

Kraken’s Brief History

In 2011, crypto pioneer Jesse Powell set sail to launch Kraken — envisioning an easy and secure passageway to the treasures of cryptocurrency for all explorers seeking financial freedom.

Over tumultuous seas, Kraken charted a course of key milestones that propelled its rise to crypto stardom. Kraken partnered with giants like Bloomberg and TradingView to expand its map of coin offerings, fiat on-ramps, and charting tools. When Mt. Gox sunk in 2014, Kraken dove in to salvage lost bitcoins for survivors, earning renown for its diligence.

Introducing margin trading in 2015, Kraken cemented itself as a haven for both amateur swashbucklers and institutional whales. Strategic conquests like acquiring Coinsetter and Cryptowatch brought 50,000 new crewmates a day flooding Kraken's decks by 2017!

However, the journey was not without challenges. In May 2017, Kraken and Poloniex were targeted in DDoS attacks, resulting in significant losses and a class-action lawsuit. In 2018, rising business costs led to Kraken suspending services in Japan and later in the United Arab Emirates by February 2023.

Despite these hiccups, Kraken has shown impressive growth. In September 2020, it became the first U.S. crypto exchange to secure an SPDI charter in Wyoming. In 2021, it raised additional funding at a valuation over $20 billion, launched a mobile app, and introduced a beta version of its NFT marketplace in 2022.

Yet regulatory krakens struck again in 2023, with a $30 million SEC settlement after cracks emerged in Kraken's staking offers. But closing these gaps has only strengthened Kraken’s resolve to keep innovating and delivering crypto's promise of financial freedom to all sailors, big and small. Fair winds ahead!

Kraken’s Trading Volume & Liquidity

According to Coinmarketcap, Kraken clinches the 3rd spot among cryptocurrency exchanges, scoring high on traffic, liquidity, trading volumes, and trustworthy reporting.

Currently, the exchange boasts a 24-hour trading volume of $527 million, carving out a market share of 0.69%.

The three highest performers on Kraken, based on 24-hour trading volume, are the pairs USDT/EUR ($130 million), USDT/USD ($80 million), and XBT/USD ($67 million), followed by ETH/USD ($40 million). These popular pairings show Kraken dominates bitcoin, ether, and stablecoin trading for high-volume voyages.

Kraken’s Crypto Assets on Offer

As per CoinGecko, Kraken offers a diverse selection of 227 coins and 655 trading pairs for its users. However, it's important to remember that your location and verification level will dictate the accessible methods for cash deposits and withdrawals. Additionally, not every currency listed on Kraken is eligible for margin trading. Furthermore, U.S.-based clients won't have access to cash-to-cash pairs.

Kraken’s Available Tradeable Products & Services

Kraken stands out in the crypto universe by offering a broad spectrum of trading options such as limit orders, stop loss/take profit orders, stop loss/take profit limit orders, futures and margin trading. It facilitates trades between crypto pairs and fiat currencies, positioning itself as a premier fiat-to-crypto gateway. Some of the brilliant features that give Kraken its dazzling edge include:

  • High liquidity fiat-to-crypto onramp, allowing trades with six fiat currencies: US dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), Canadian dollar (CAD), Australian dollar (AUD), British pound (GBP), and Swiss franc (CHF).
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) service, a perfect fit for high-volume traders.
  • Futures trading, offering over 95 perpetual futures with up to 50x leverage and some of the industry's lowest fees.
  • Margin trading, providing over 100 margin-enabled markets to buy or sell an increasing array of cryptocurrencies with up to 5x leverage.
  • An NFT marketplace with a broad range of supported NFTs.
  • Staking options for 19 different coins, with the potential to earn up to 26% annually.

Kraken’s Trading Interface

For beginners, the best place to embark on your Kraken journey is their flagship central platform. Just verify your account and you can swiftly buy crypto treasures directly from your bank account or convert between glittering currencies in your hold.

Order forms are straightforward — just a few clicks and your order is swimming. No need to pre-fund, just use your bank balance for on-demand buying. Make sure to enable 2FA shielding so no scallywags can access your account without your device and a random access code.

Pic. 1. Kraken Pro interface video, source:

Kraken Pro is for active traders, though its complex charts and data may overwhelm beginners. But learning its ins and outs could uncover a treasure trove of insights. It offers detailed asset information, including active charts and a view of open orders. All active Kraken account holders can use Kraken Pro. Perhaps one of its most appealing features is its lower fees. If you execute the same trade on Kraken Pro instead of the main Kraken interface, you'll end up paying less.

Kraken Trading Fee Structure

One of Kraken's shiniest treasures is its barge-bottom fees for plundering crypto riches. For grab-and-go buys via Instant Services, Kraken's displayed fees plus a spread won't keelhaul your bounty. The spread could be influenced by a variety of factors, such as transaction size, the specific asset, and prevailing market conditions. For instance, Kraken may apply a higher spread during periods of extreme market volatility or illiquidity.

Pic. 2. Kraken Pro fee structure.
Pic. 2. Kraken Pro fee structure.

Kraken Pro, on the other hand, boasts significantly lower pricing than the main Kraken platform, with rates dependent on your total trading volume over the preceding 30 days. The majority of trades incur either a 0.26% taker fee or a 0.16% maker fee, or even less.

Kraken Security & Privacy

Kraken prioritizes security, a commitment illustrated by its hack-free record. Numerous security measures are in place to safeguard the crypto assets on the platform:

  • A staggering 95% of all crypto assets are stored offline in cold wallets located in various global locations.
  • Additionally, Kraken routinely submits to proof-of-reserves audits conducted by an independent third party.
  • All sensitive data is encrypted, and any attempts to access this data are rigorously monitored.
  • Kraken employs a dedicated security team that continually tests the platform against known attack vectors.
  • Ethical hackers have the opportunity to contribute to Kraken's security through a bug bounty program, which rewards them for identifying potential vulnerabilities.
  • Besides these measures, Kraken implements the standard 2-factor authentication for all created accounts and requires email confirmation for withdrawals. Users also have the option to lock their accounts themselves.

This stringent security policy aligns with what Bitsgap offers its users. Whether using a trading bot for Kraken or another platform, all data transmitted between the exchange and the crypto trading bots' cloud platform is encrypted, and users maintain constant control over their funds.

Know Your Customer (KYC) Policy on Kraken

Kraken operates within regulatory compliance and mandates its users to undergo a compulsory Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure. The platform provides three levels of verification — Express, Intermediate, and Pro. Regardless of your verification level, your ability to deposit or withdraw crypto or fiat currency can be influenced by your country of residence. Similarly, access to Kraken Futures may be restricted based on your location.

Different verification levels typically require different sets of documents and information, potentially including:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number
  • Bank Details
  • Proof of Residence
  • Valid Government-Issued ID
  • A Photo of Your Face

On a positive note, the KYC process is relatively quick and straightforward, generally not requiring much time to complete.

Kraken Jurisdiction

While Kraken's mighty vessel sails to over 200 lands, some faraway countries remain restricted. This sea dog's crew hails from across the vast realm of the U.S., except for New York and Washington's eastern ports. Certain restrictions apply to the following countries: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Eritrea, Congo-Kinshasa, Guinea-Bissau, Cuba, Lebanon, Iran, Mali, Iraq, Namibia, Libya, Somalia, North Korea, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Yemen.

But exclusions from Kraken's itinerary may shift like the tide. Captain Powell navigates tricky regulatory waters to bring crypto's promise of financial freedom to as many lands as the winds allow!

Automated Trading on Kraken

Kraken offers a degree of flexibility that sets it apart from other exchanges, making it a suitable choice for both novice and seasoned traders seeking to implement automated trading. It fully embraces trading bots, offering a wide Application Programming Interface (API) for automation.

This allows even the most amateur programmer or trader to easily develop bots or deploy ready-made rovers from Bitsgap's armada. Regarded as the top trading bot for Kraken, Bitsgap provides a range of unique automated trading solutions that can offer traders a competitive edge. These bots are designed to meet the requirements for smooth integration with Kraken's API.

Seeking a Bitcoin bot on Kraken or wanting risk-free practice with auto-trader demos? Bitsgap is every Kraken trader's first choice for unlocking automation's treasures!

Kraken API Trading: Connecting Kraken with Bitsgap

As mentioned before, to access third-party automated trading services on Kraken, you’ll need an API key. These API keys function similar to a username and password, serving as crucial elements of API authentication.

Now, here’s how to connect your Kraken account to Bitsgap to automate your Kraken trading experience:

  • Either log in to your existing Kraken account or create a new one.
  • Navigate to the [Security] tab from your account section and proceed to the API page.
Pic. 3. Navigate to the [Security] page.
Pic. 3. Navigate to the [Security] page.
  • Click on the [Add key] button on the [API key management] page to create your first API key.
Pic. 4. Click on [Add key] to create a new API key.
Pic. 4. Click on [Add key] to create a new API key.
  • Sign in to your Bitsgap account, proceed to the [My Exchanges] page, and select the [Add new exchange] button to continue.
  • From the list, select Kraken and copy each of the trusted IP addresses. Keep these IP addresses handy as you'll need them when setting up API permissions.
Pic. 5. Copy Bitsgap’s IP addresses to whitelist them on the exchange. 
Pic. 5. Copy Bitsgap’s IP addresses to whitelist them on the exchange. 
  • Adjust your permissions to match the example below. These permissions will enable Bitsgap to access your history, current balance, and execute trades on your exchange account. When ready, click [Generate Key].
Pic. 6. Adjust your permissions as shown in the image above.
Pic. 6. Adjust your permissions as shown in the image above.
  • Your Kraken trading key is now ready for use! Ensure to copy your API and Private keys and store them safely.
  • It's time to add the Private and API keys. Return to Bitsgap > [My Exchanges] In the pop-up window, select the Kraken exchange, paste your API key and Private key, click [Connect].
Pic. 7. Input your keys and hit [Connect].
Pic. 7. Input your keys and hit [Connect].
  • If all steps were correctly followed, Kraken should appear in your list of exchanges with the “Connected” status.

Wasn’t that easy?

Bottom Line

Are you eager for the final take? Well, Kraken is a stellar choice. With its appealing pricing and feature set, it's the perfect platform for crypto enthusiasts of all levels, from rookies to experts looking to dip their toes or dive deep into the crypto exchange waters. In a nutshell, Kraken is a top-notch pick for trading and investing in crypto. Just ensure you're well-versed in all the associated costs and risks, and don't forget to fortify your account with two-factor authentication. Do all these, and you're all set for a joyride!


What Are Kraken Trading Bots?

Kraken trading bots are high-octane automated software programs designed to mingle with the Kraken exchange and carry out cryptocurrency trades on your behalf. They're powered by algorithms and pre-set parameters that scrutinize market data, make nimble trading decisions, and execute trades all on autopilot, no human intervention necessary. While Kraken itself doesn't roll out its own trading bots, it throws its full support behind bot trading via its API, creating an open playground for these clever digital helpers. If you're a coding whiz, you can even create your own bespoke bot. If not, no worries, you can just hop on a third-party bot. One standout is Bitsgap, widely hailed as one of the top-tier trading bots for Kraken.

Who Is Kraken Good For?

Kraken caters to an international audience (in fact, 200+ countries) and is accessible to most residents in the U.S., with the exception of those living in New York or Washington.

What Makes Kraken a Good Choice?

Kraken is a fantastic choice for both newbies dipping their toes in the crypto waters and seasoned traders, thanks to its exceptional security measures, affordable trading fees, and a robust selection of available cryptocurrencies. Beginners, however, shouldn't linger too long on Kraken's entry-level platform. With Kraken Instant Buy imposing a 0.9% flat fee for stablecoins and a 1.5% flat fee for all other cryptos, it's not the most competitive out there.

On the other hand, advanced traders leveraging the Kraken Pro trading platform are greeted with surprisingly fair fees and access to a diverse array of cryptocurrency trading markets. The cherry on top? The more you trade, the less you pay in fees!

Veteran investors should also relish Kraken's extensive range of coins and its margin trading features. Do bear in mind though, in the U.S., margin trading is only available to users with substantial account balances.

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