In-depth Review of Kraken

  • Tools
  • Assets & Markets
  • Account Types
  • Security
  • Customer Support
  • Additional Resources
3.8/5Overall Score

Quick Summary

Kraken, with its extensive offerings and security emphasis, is a top choice in the crypto world. While the platform may have a slight learning curve for beginners, its tools and resources are invaluable for seasoned traders. Kraken’s commitment to user safety and market insights sets it apart in the industry.

  • Vast cryptocurrency options
  • Competitive fee structure
  • Robust security measures
  • No demo account
  • Some complex features might be challenging for new users
  • Limited fiat currency pairs compared to some competitors

Services Offered by Kraken

Kraken, a prominent U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, offers a diverse range of services catering to both beginners and experienced traders. Here is a detailed look at the services provided by Kraken:

Cryptocurrency Trading

Kraken’s primary service is cryptocurrency trading. It supports trading in over 65 digital currencies for U.S. users and up to 136 coins and tokens for international users. The platform is accessible via web and mobile devices, with the Kraken Pro account offering additional features and lower trading costs​​.

Margin Trading

Margin trading, available since 2018 on Kraken, allows users to leverage their positions using funds beyond their current balance. This high-risk method can be profitable for experienced traders. Kraken provides various order types for margin trading, including the ability to open long and short positions​​.

Futures Trading

Kraken Futures is a forward-looking cryptocurrency market offering up to 50x leverage. It’s suitable for traders who understand the complexities and risks of futures trading. Kraken Futures offers a robust platform with a wide range of products​​.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Service

Kraken’s OTC desk facilitates large order executions off the open exchange. This service is particularly useful for high-net-worth individuals and institutional organizations, offering personalized trades without additional fees and with 24/7 access​​.


Kraken is among the few exchanges offering indices as a trading option. It provides highly accurate cryptocurrency indices data, aggregated from various major exchanges globally. This service offers real-time data updates, ensuring traders have the most current information for decision-making​​.


Kraken offers staking options for several cryptocurrencies and fiat, with annual yields up to 21%. Staking allows users to earn rewards for locking their assets on the platform. Kraken features an instant unstaking option without penalties, a much-appreciated feature among investors​​.

Account Management Service

For advanced traders with complex needs, Kraken provides an Account Management Service. This service offers personalized support from a dedicated account representative, helping traders resolve issues and focus on their trading strategies​​.

Events and Promotions

Kraken engages its users with various events and promotions. These include affiliations with large organizations and partnerships with crypto companies. Users can avail of rebates, coupons, cashbacks, or even airdrops, which can be highly lucrative​​.

Customer Service

Kraken’s customer service stands out in the industry, offering quick and responsive support through online chat, phone, and email. The platform provides 24/7 support, ensuring that users’ queries and issues are addressed promptly​​.

Security Measures

Kraken places a high emphasis on security. It requires robust personal account security measures, including two-factor authentication for various transactions. A significant portion of customer assets are held offline in ultra-high security storage, ensuring their safety and accessibility​​.

User Interface and Experience on Kraken’s Trading Platform

Signing Up and Verification

The sign-up process for Kraken is straightforward, resembling that of typical web applications. Users start by registering with an email and a strong password. Kraken employs a thorough Know Your Customer (KYC) process, requiring personal details for verification. This process enhances security and unlocks additional features like higher ACH limits, crypto deposits and withdrawals, and access to staking and margin trading​​.

Basic and Pro Trading Interfaces

Kraken offers two distinct interfaces: the basic platform for beginners and Kraken Pro for experienced traders. The basic platform is user-friendly, providing essential trading functions, while Kraken Pro offers a more advanced, customizable spot trading interface. Although Kraken Pro requires more expertise, it provides detailed analytics, portfolio insights, and transaction history. The transition from basic to Pro might be challenging for new users, as Kraken’s educational resources are more focused on platform usage rather than advanced trading concepts​​.

Buy, Sell, Convert, Deposit, and Withdraw

The basic platform allows users to easily buy, sell, and convert cryptocurrencies. Users can enter the amount of fiat or crypto for transactions, with transparent displays of conversion amounts and fees. Kraken supports deposits in about 150 cryptocurrencies and six fiat currencies, with most deposits being free. Withdrawals, however, might incur fees for certain currencies​​.


Kraken offers on-chain staking, allowing users to earn passive income. However, due to regulatory constraints, staking services are no longer available in the U.S., but are accessible in other countries​​.

Customer Support

Kraken’s customer support is available 24/7 through live chat, email, and phone. While the platform provides robust support, some users have reported mixed experiences, especially regarding response times and frozen accounts​​.

Kraken’s Fee Structure

Maker-Taker Model

  • Kraken utilizes a maker-taker fee schedule. This model is prevalent in cryptocurrency exchanges, where ‘makers’ provide liquidity by placing orders not immediately matched, and ‘takers’ take liquidity by matching orders immediately.
  • Fees: Range from 0% to 0.26% of the order value. The exact percentage depends on the user’s 30-day trading volume, with higher volumes leading to lower fees​​.

Kraken Pro

  • For Kraken Pro users, the fees are reduced. This option is suited for more active traders who engage in high volumes of trading.
  • Pro Fees: A 0.16% maker fee and a 0.26% taker fee for trades of $50,000 or less​​.

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

  • Deposit Fees
    • ACH deposit: Fees vary with a $10 minimum deposit.
    • Credit and debit card: Fees vary with a $10 minimum deposit.
    • Apple Pay or Google Pay: Fees also vary, with a $10 minimum.
    • Cryptocurrency deposits: Free.
  • Withdrawal Fees
    • FedWire withdrawal ranges between $4 and $35.
    • Cryptocurrency withdrawal fees vary depending on the coin or token​​.

Instant Buy Fees

  • If using the instant buy option, Kraken charges a 1.5% trading fee for using a stablecoin (like USDT) to purchase cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin).
  • A lower fee of 0.9% applies when using fiat or a stablecoin to buy a different stablecoin​​.

Comparative Analysis with Industry Averages

Industry Average Fees

  • The average trading fees in the cryptocurrency exchange industry vary widely. They can range from as low as 0.00% to as high as 2.50% per trade.
  • To provide a more concrete perspective, average fees are around 0.14% to 1.49% across various platforms​​.

Kraken’s Competitiveness

  • Kraken’s highest trading fee at 0.26% (for lower volume traders) is relatively competitive, sitting below the higher end of industry averages.
  • For Kraken Pro users, the fees are even more competitive, especially considering the maker fee of 0.16%.
  • The instant buy fees (1.5% and 0.9%) are higher, aligning more closely with the upper range of industry averages.

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

  • The deposit and withdrawal fees at Kraken, especially for traditional banking methods like FedWire, are within a standard range when compared to other exchanges.
  • The absence of deposit fees for cryptocurrencies is a positive aspect, as many other exchanges charge for crypto deposits.

Evaluating Kraken’s Customer Support

Availability and Accessibility

  • Kraken offers 24/7 multilingual customer support throughout the year, including holidays​​.
  • Various mediums are available for reaching support, such as phone support (6am to 6pm EST) and 24/7 chat support​​.

Response Times

  • Online chat support can connect users to a human assistant in less than 10 seconds​​.
  • Phone support wait time is around one minute​​.

Quality of Support

  • There is some variation in user experiences. While some find the support responsive and helpful, others have raised concerns.
  • Users have expressed issues with support staff’s ability to address complex problems, despite being readily available​​.
  • Trustpilot reviews indicate an average rating of 2.1 out of 5, with complaints focusing on poor response times and frozen accounts​​.

Support Resources

  • Kraken provides a knowledgebase with articles that are well-organized, sensibly written, and include helpful visuals​​.
  • The content is more focused on using the Kraken platform rather than educating about broader cryptocurrency concepts​​.

Kraken’s Security Measures

Security Infrastructure

  • Kraken emphasizes multiple layers of security, including strong password options and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • The platform supports FIDO2 devices and extra approvals for new device access​​.

Data Protection

  • Sensitive client data is kept offline, encrypted, and tightly controlled.
  • Accessing this data requires highly secure systems, ensuring data confidentiality​​.

Fund Security

  • Kraken employs advanced cold storage solutions for fund security, with only necessary coins kept in hot wallets for liquidity.
  • The crypto infrastructure is physically secured in monitored, guarded cages​​.

Proven Track Record

Kraken has not been hacked since its inception, showcasing a strong commitment to security​​​​.

Audits and Transparency

  • Kraken passed the world’s first cryptographic proof of reserves audit in 2014.
  • In 2022, it announced the implementation of next-generation auditing standards for client balance verification​​​​.

Account Security Features

  • Kraken accounts have standard modern security features such as SMS codes for withdrawals and email confirmation.
  • Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication, PGP/GPG encryption for emails, master account locks, and global settings locks are also part of the security suite​​.


  • Kraken’s over-the-counter (OTC) and spot exchange obtained the ISO 27001 certification, a global cybersecurity standard.
  • ISO 27001 certification involves rigorous testing procedures across fourteen domains, indicating the maturity of Kraken’s security program​​​​.


  • Kraken’s security practices have been recognized in the Exchange Security Report 2.0 by ICO Rating, where it was featured as the most secure exchange with an A score.
  • In the Exchange Benchmark Report, Kraken ranked 4th amongst all exchanges with another A rating​​.

Continuous Compliance

To maintain the ISO 27001 certification, Kraken undergoes surveillance audits annually and a full audit every three years​​.

Legal Compliance and Financial Security:

Kraken ensures legal compliance and financial security by maintaining full currency reserves with proof-of-reserves audits and daily data backups​​.