We’re happy to be able to start our Kraken review with a very large positive and that is the amount of cryptocurrencies that are available. We counted 34 at the time of writing and, of course, in the world of cryptocurrencies, if things change, then in all likelihood will be an expansion.
On top of that, they support dozens and dozens of trading and margin pairs. These are currencies that can be traded for each other and on margin. The big names are all here, from Ethereum to bitcoin, with the latter being the best choice in terms of its mainstream appeal.
Obviously, there’s a great deal of complexity regarding these options that we cannot go into in our Kraken review. However, we will say that Kraken does a great job of laying out all of the information you need in terms of things like deposit method/partner and availability, to give but a couple of examples. It’s an astonishing amount of options so they have had a mammoth job in achieving clarity, but we think they have largely pulled it off.
Once again, we absolutely love the clarity here: it makes our ability to assess what’s available in this Kraken review so much easier. Let’s start with Kraken trading. For a 30-day volume, your maker fees decrease with how much is spent, beginning with 0.16% for $0-$50,000. This gradually drops down until at $10,000,000 plus, you have no fees whatsoever. These tiers reward you the more you trade: it’s a simple, elegant system, and it works.
You’ll see something similar with Stablecoin and FX Pairs, which at the same volumes, begins at 0.2%, which then goes down to 0% at $1,000,000 plus. Margin fees are then applied in addition to Kraken trading fees at the opening and closing of their positions.
For more information, check out their excellent support section. Kraken is one of the best possible options available, both for value and simplicity of their fee arrangement.
We have to say that one of the joys of this Kraken exchange review has been how easy it is to find what we need. They clearly state that Kraken is not available to residents in the following countries: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Guinea-Bissau and Tajikistan. They’re also unable to serve Washington state or New York. They even provide an explanation for this, essentially stating that this is due to very high regulatory compliance costs.
The fact they’ve gone out of their way to give such clear answers really is one of the most refreshing parts of this Kraken review. There are also some restricted services for residents of New Hampshire and Texas, as they cannot deposit, hold or use Euros. Also, fiat deposits and Kraken withdrawals are not available at a starter verification level. Bank transfers are available to most users but they must be at an intermediate or pro verification level. There’ll be more on that later in our Kraken review.
All exchanges have some restrictions – these all seem very reasonable – and we really appreciate how clearly they are laid out.
The information in this part of our Kraken review will act as a sort of Kraken how to trade guide, and it all comes from their Getting Started section – which we really recommend you check out because it goes into an incredible amount of depth. In terms of the basics of how this actually all works though, it of course begins with creating an account.
1. Register and activate an account
You start by hitting the ‘Create an account’ button at the top right-hand corner of the screen, entering your email address, username and password. Your username cannot be changed, so pick a good one.
2. Verify your account
You actually have three options for your account and you can get more funding options and higher limits depending on what you choose, with intermediate and pro requiring more verification. The basic requirements include your name, email, address and phone number; intermediate requires a government issued ID, proof of residence, ID confirmation photo and your occupation, and to get the Pro benefits, they will require AML verification and financial statements.
3. Fund your account
Now it’s time to fund your account. Head onto the Funding tab and choose your preferred option, and how much you would like to deposit. Keep in mind you will need to generate an address for cryptocurrencies.
Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is as simple as selecting your currency pair and telling it how much you want to buy or sell through an order form. Here you can choose a market or limit order, with the former being for immediate execution, and the latter being executed when the market reaches your limit price.
Do note that there is also a referral scheme, which does not appear to use a Kraken referral code.
And that’s the basics. There is a lot more to it than that because this is an advanced platform, but we hope that our Kraken exchange review is clear in how well we feel they’ve done in keeping all this as straightforward as possible.