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Kraken Review
Published May 1, 2020
Jared McKinney

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA

Description: Be legendary


24-hour trade volume: $246 M

Availability: US, Canada, Japan, Europe

Looking for the best bitcoin exchange in 2018? Check out our Best Bitcoin Exchange Guide to compare all of the top cryptocurrency exchanges side-by-side.

User Experience


Yes...mostly – Kraken offers a somewhat advanced trading experience that will feel familiar to experienced traders but definitely takes some getting used to. A dashboard view of currencies loss or gain over time is also not available but is currently being tested in a beta.


Yes — Thanks to detailed documentation and a full-featured mobile app, Coinbase is one of the most user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange products on the market.


Probably not the most beginner friendly platform. The user experience is pretty overwhelming at first but their actual tools for placing new orders are very flexible. For example, in the beginner view you basically say how much you want to trade and of what currency and it sets the market limit for you. They also offer more advanced views for seasoned traders.

Customer Support

Documentation is well laid out and easy to navigate but sparse on some topics. I submitted a question using their contact form and received a response in just under 2 hours. In my experience, that's exceptionally fast, especially since it was around midnight.


Verification Tiers

Kraken has very specific guidelines for verification laid out in their documentation. Their verification tiers are very similar to what I've experienced on several other exchanges. After submitted my info, it usually only took 24 hours to receive approval for a specific tier.

Here are the tier specific qualifications from Kraken's documentation:

The law requires we know who you are and where you are. The more services you need, the more information we have to collect from you.

Tier 0 - you can look around but you can't deposit, withdraw or make any trades. Email address required.

Tier 1 - you can deposit and withdraw in digital currency only. Trading, however, is enabled in digital as well as fiat currencies. Full name, date of birth, country and phone number are required.

Tier 2 - you can deposit, withdraw and trade in digital currency, and depending on your country of residence, fiat currency funding may be accessible to you. Bank deposits and withdrawals are available to clients in some areas at this tier and higher. You are required to provide your address.

Tier 3 - fiat currency funding is available to Tier 3 clients and funding limits are much higher than Tier 2. You are required to upload a valid Government ID and a recent proof of residence (can be uploaded under 'Get Verified' tab of your Kraken account). In order to deposit

Tier 4 - like Tier 3 but with even higher funding limits. There are both individual and corporate Tier 4 accounts. The required documents for Tier 4 individual accounts include a signed application form and KYC documents. Contact support if corporate account verification is necessary.

2-Factor Authentication

Yes — Kraken integrates seamlessly with 2FA. It's even strongly recommended every time you log into the platform.


No — Not specifically mentioned on their website or support documentation. My assumption is that if they were insured it would be referenced in their messaging somewhere.


Yes — Kraken uses cold storage and a hot wallet feature to separate your sending and deposit address. The primary purpose of this is to protect you in case someone recovers one of your addresses.


Not Clear - Support documentation mentions several precautions taken to encrypt and protect user information but the details are unclear[/toggler]

Payment & Fees

Fee Structure

Kraken has different fees for withdrawals and deposits:

Digital Currency Deposits:

  • Bitcoin Deposit (Free)
  • Litecoin Deposit (Free)
  • Dogecoin Deposit (Free)
  • Ripple (XRP) Deposit (Ʀ50 wallet address setup fee)
  • Stellar/Lumen (XLM) Deposit (Free)
  • Ether (ETH) Deposit (small transaction fee to move ETH into Kraken's wallet)
  • Ether Classic (ETC) Deposit (small transaction fee to move ETC into Kraken's wallet)
  • Melonport (MLN) Deposit (M0.01 address setup fee)
  • Monero (XMR) Deposit (free)
  • REP (Augur) Deposit (Ɍ0.05 address setup fee)
  • ICN Deposit (0.5 ICN address setup fee)
  • Zcash Deposit (Free)
  • Dash Deposit (Free)
  • Gnosis Deposit (0.004 GNO address setup fee)
  • Tether USD (USDT) Deposit (free)

Fiat Deposits:

  • EUR SEPA Deposit (Free)
  • EUR Wire Deposit (Fidor: €5, SMBC: €10)
  • USD(Domestic) Deposit ($5)
  • USD SWIFT deposit ($10)
  • GBP SWIFT deposit (£10)
  • JPY Domestic Deposit (Free, ¥5,000 deposit minimum)
  • CAD Wire Deposit (Free)

Withdrawal Fees

Fiat Withdrawals:

  • EUR SEPA Withdrawal - EEA countries only (€0.09)
  • USD(Domestic) Withdrawal - available in 48 US states + DC  ($5)
  • USD SWIFT (SMBC): available in most countries ($60)
  • GBP SWIFT (SMBC): available in most countries (£60)
  • EUR SWIFT (SMBC): available in most countries (€60)
  • JPY Domestic Withdrawal - Japan only (¥300)
  • CAD EFT Withdrawal - Canada only ($10 CAD flat fee)

Digital Currency Withdrawals:

  • Bitcoin (XBT) - ฿0.001
  • Ether (ETH) - Ξ0.005
  • Ripple (XRP) - Ʀ0.02
  • Stellar (XLM) - *0.00002
  • Litecoin (LTC) - Ł0.02
  • Dogecoin (XDG) - Ð2.00
  • Zcash (ZEC) - ⓩ0.00010
  • Iconomi (ICN) - ICN 0.2
  • Augur (REP) - Ɍ0.01
  • Ether Classic (ETC) - ξ0.005
  • Melonport (MLN) - M0.003
  • Monero (XMR) - ɱ0.05
  • Dash (DASH) - Đ0.005
  • Dash Instant - Đ0.01
  • Gnosis (GNO) - Ğ0.01
  • Tether (USDT) - USD₮ 5

Accepted Payment Methods

BTC, Bank Deposit, Wire Transfer

Supported Currencies

  • XBT
  • BCH
  • DASH
  • EOS
  • ETC
  • ETH
  • GNO
  • ICN
  • LTC
  • MLN
  • REP
  • USDT
  • XDG
  • XLM
  • XMR
  • XRP
  • ZEC



I frequently received 502 "bad gateway" errors during the time that I was testing Kraken. From reading other reviews it sounds like reliability is a concern here. Based on their volume, I wouldn't be overly concerned but many users have reported things going down and their funds being tied up.

Learn more about Kraken 502 Bad Gateway errors.

Mobile App

Yes — Available on iOS. The app allows for trading on the go.

Kraken Alternatives

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  2. Coinbase Review
  3. GDAX Review
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  6. Poloniex Review
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  8. Bittrex Review