Kraken Review for Canada 2023
Making Crypto Simple
Kraken is regarded to be one of the world’s largest, oldest, and most prominent Bitcoin exchanges, owing to its exceptional customer service, cheap transaction fees, numerous funding alternatives, and rigorous security protocols. However, for a veteran exchange founded only two years after establishing the world’s first cryptocurrency, this appears to be only a minor part of the narrative.
Given that Kraken has been at the forefront of the crypto uprising in the world of finances since 2011, we felt it would be a good idea to learn more about this seasoned exchange. Here are the findings of our research.
Tip: If you’re looking for a more local exchange, check our comparison of the best crypto exchanges in Canada.
About the Kraken Exchange
After the Mt. Gox exchange hacking incident and theft in 2011, Jesse Powell initiated the Kraken crypto project that provides customers with quick access to the crypto market through a safe trading platform. Powell saw Bitcoin’s potential right from the beginning and recognized that crypto exchanges would become a fundamental factor of the blockchain economy.
Since then, this crypto initiative based in San Francisco, the United States, has grown significantly, employing scores of people in locations all over the world. To enable individuals from all layers of society to contribute to their financial freedom, the Kraken team is committed to making cryptocurrencies widely available and easily accessible.
Although Kraken began as a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange, this platform nowadays supports more than 65 cryptocurrencies and over 70 crypto-to-crypto, crypto-to-fiat, and fiat-to-fiat trading pairs. Some of the cryptocurrencies on the list are Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), and Cardano (ADA), to name a few.
Before you can purchase or trade cryptocurrencies on Kraken, you must first fund your account with one of the fiat currencies that are accepted by the exchange, such as Canadian dollars (CAD), US dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), British Pound Sterling (GBP), Swiss Franc (CHF), or Japanese Yen (JPY)). Detailed deposit methods will be displayed once you have chosen the national currency you wish to use.
Payment Methods and Limits
Kraken accepts various payment options, such as bank transfers, cash deposits, Visa and Mastercard-issued credit/debit cards, ACH transfers, digital wallet transfers, or transfers via third-party payment providers.
The most commonly used payment option for Kraken account deposits is via a bank transfer from your bank account to Kraken, done using a unique reference number. The deposit limits depend on the level of your account verification. The higher the level, the higher your deposit limitations will be. Once you reach the top tier, there will be no deposit or withdrawal limits at all.
Kraken levies a maker/taker fee structure. The trading fees charged by this exchange are based on a 30-day volume of executed trades. In its most basic version, this pricing system encourages traders to invest more into the platform’s liquidity by offering them cheaper transaction costs as the investor’s trading volume continues to grow. Here’s the summary:
Let’s take a look at the following table:
30-DAY TRADING VOLUME (EXPRESSED IN USD)
MARKET MAKER FEE
LIQUIDITY TAKER FEE
From $0 to $50,000
From $50,001 to $100,000
From $100,001 to $250,000
From $250,001 to $500,000
From $500,001 to $1 million
From $1,000,001 to $2.5 million
From $2,500,001 to $5 million
From $5,000,001 to $10 million
$10 million or more
On the other hand, you might also consider paying a higher fee to use Kraken’s Instant Buy tool. It’s important to note here that all trades done using Kraken’s instant buy option are subject to extra processing costs, and they do not contribute towards the 30-day trading volume of the crypto investor. Stablecoins have a 0.9% fee if you want to buy them instantly, whereas all other cryptocurrencies are processed for a 1.5% of the transaction. There is an additional 3.75% fee for debit or credit card payments or a 0.5% transaction fee for an ACH transfer.
As a precautionary measure, some withdrawal restrictions are in place when you use Visa or Mastercard debit/credit cards to make a purchase through Kraken. This implies that all withdrawals, regardless of the type of currency, will be frozen for 72 hours as a security measure.
Similarly, if you make any additional purchases during this time period, those transactions will be locked in for the length of the remaining 72-hour period.
Trading Platform Features
Regardless of your level of trading expertise, Kraken provides you with the ability to execute your trading plan in a secure environment. This veteran exchange provides access to a variety of popular financial services, including the following:
- Trading and exchanging digital assets,
- Margin trading,
- Futures trading,
- Indices trading,
- OTC trading,
- Spot trading,
- Staking cryptocurrencies, etc.
There are also a variety of order types at your disposal, such as market and limit orders, stop-loss orders, stop loss limit orders, take profit orders, take profit limit orders, etc.
Kraken OTC Desk
Kraken’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) desk is suitable for Kraken investors who prefer to make big orders but do not intend to conduct them on the open market, as this would trigger market volatility. High-volume traders can trade directly with Kraken Traders through the Over-the-Counter (OTC) desk, which provides detailed trading costs and information.
Corporations and high-net-worth individual traders in need of a personalized trading experience can place big orders through the Kraken platform and benefit from its deep liquidity and discreet and customized trading experience.
Additionally, the Kraken OTC market accepts fiat currencies (CAD, JPY, USD, GBP, CHF, EUR, AUD) as well as all cryptos available for trading on the Kraken exchange. There are also no fees related to this financial service.
To be qualified for using Kraken’s OTC trading tools, the user must have a Pro level verified account and intend to transact at least 100,000 USD in value per transaction.
As the name implies, the Kraken Pro platform is aimed at professional traders. In contrast to the Kraken app’s basic trading features, the Kraken Pro app provides a professional trading experience by featuring complex trading instruments like margin trading or the use of advanced order types. In addition to entering the app using your Kraken account login credentials, you can also access the app using an API key available on the Kraken website if your account has a higher verification level status.
Futures Trading on Kraken
You can trade futures contracts for the most popular cryptocurrencies and derivatives on Kraken’s futures platform with up to 50x leverage. Because this trading tool is one of the riskiest financial instruments, Kraken offers a demo trading platform where beginners can become acquainted with this type of trading without the risk of losing real money.
Kraken has implemented the Equity Protection Process (EPP) to shield its users from experiencing a negative account balance when futures trading. Namely, Kraken simultaneously uses this innovative technological solution to manage all risks for all trading positions on the futures trading platform. The EPP keeps the company’s finances in check and prevents potential financial losses.
Currently, the Kraken futures market lists Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash futures. In addition, it is mandatory to have an Immediate or Pro verified account (applicable for individual traders) or a KYC-verified Pro account (applicable for the business clients) to be able to trade futures on Kraken.
Margin Trading on Kraken
Margin trading on Kraken allows you to execute spot purchases and sells of crypto through the Kraken trading platform using assets whose value may exceed your account balance fivefold. This means that Kraken supports up to 5x leverage.
With the margin trading option, Kraken will levy the crypto investors up to 0.02% of the trade to open a position in the order book and up to 0.02% (every 4 hours) in recurring pays to maintain the position open while using the margin trading option.
In order to be eligible for using the margin trading instruments on Kraken, you’ll need to meet the platform’s specific requirements, such as account verification and place of residence.
Is Kraken.com Safe to Use?
When it comes to protecting your holdings, Kraken implements industry-leading security measures. The exchange has an international team of cybersecurity experts who follow a risk-based framework to keep the clients’ investments secure.
In addition to developing security protocols for some of the largest brands in the world, examining end-user privacy violations, and uncovering security flaws in the IT systems used by millions around the globe, the Kraken team of developers boasts an impressive experience in the field of data security.
Furthermore, the servers for this exchange are housed in protected enclosures monitored by armed security guards and around-the-clock video surveillance.
On top of the military-grade security of users’ assets, Kraken holds 98% of the funds in geographically scattered cold storage wallets that are not connected to the internet.
Last but not least, Kraken implements many of the industry’s best online security protocols into its platform’s architecture, such as:
- Two-factor authentication protocol (2FA);
- Withdrawal confirmations by email with self-service account lock;
- SSL encryption that protects all sensitive account data, both at the platform and informational level;
- Real-time monitoring of all account activities, etc.
Moreover, only authorized employees have access to your sensitive data via login credentials and the data itself is immediately encrypted.
Among the various excellent services it provides, Kraken distinguishes itself from the rest of the crypto exchanges, delivering exceptional customer care. The support team is ready to promptly solve any of your Kraken or trading-related difficulties through a live chat 24/7.
Kraken also offers its users a phone line, a somewhat unique option among exchanges, but highly useful when you need a fast and elaborate solution to your problem. When few people or institutions work during important holidays, the Kraken crew is available to you. Contacting the support team through email, prioritized support ticketing, or the messaging/text app of your choice is also an option.
Furthermore, Kraken’s website provides an extensive knowledge base featuring a plethora of cryptocurrency guides to help traders learn more about the assets they are trading. This is especially advantageous for beginners, who can learn more about trading methods and blockchain concepts before venturing into their first trading experience.
Pros & Cons
- Outstanding customer support service;
- Low fees;
- Top-grade platform security;
- Vast selection of supported cryptocurrencies;
- Intuitive, beginner-friendly interface;
- Rich resource centre;
- Offline asset storage;
- Margin trading with 5x leverage;
- Futures trading with up to 50x leverage;
- Account management for the advanced traders;
- High liquidity.
- The Instant Buy option comes with higher transaction costs;
- Apart from being one of the rare crypto exchanges to provide financial services in the US, the platform is not available in Washington and New York.
Kraken is an excellent alternative for crypto investors searching for a platform with minimal trading costs and outstanding client support. Both beginners and professional traders can find Kraken suitable for their trading strategies. As a bonus, the new market participants can learn a great deal from Kraken’s learning resources before venturing into their first crypto trades. At the same time, seasoned traders are likely to enjoy the more comprehensive selection of cryptocurrencies accessible through this platform.
Kraken is considered one of the safest trading platforms in the industry. If we combine all of the aforementioned features with the low fees and the numerous trading options, we can clearly see that what we have here is a successful crypto project that will remain on the top of the game for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
The trading options are the most significant distinction between these popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Coinbase is a user-friendly exchange for fiat-to-crypto conversions that lacks complex trading alternatives. In comparison, Kraken is a cryptocurrency-first exchange that includes various trading options, such as margin and futures trading, and more.
To start trading on Kraken, you need to create a trading account on this platform. Make sure you’re on the official Kraken website (https://www.kraken.com). Afterwards, head to the top right corner of the exchange’s website and select the ‘Create Account’ option. You’ll need to complete a sign-up form by choosing a username (which cannot be changed later), a valid email address, and a secure password of your choice.
In order to proceed to the next step, you should first read and accept the Terms and Conditions (provided you agree with them). At this point, you should receive a confirmation link to your email address.
Finally, authenticate your password, answer the captcha if prompted, and select the Activate Account option to finish the registration process. After completing these steps, your Kraken trading account will be activated.
To begin with, you must be over the age of 18 and a resident of a supported country. The exchange will also ask you to provide a variety of documents to authenticate your identity throughout the KYC process and verify your account at the Starter, Express, Intermediate, or Pro level.
For the Starter level of verification, Kraken will require your complete name and surname, country of residence, date of birth, and physical address. If you proceed with the verification process and access higher account verification levels, you’ll be eligible for some additional benefits, such as unlimited deposits, higher withdrawal limit, margin trading with up to 5x leverage, API keys, etc.
On the other hand, this also means you’ll need to provide more personal data about yourself, such as your occupation, social security number, valid ID, proof of residence, a photo of your face, and so on. Please keep in mind that the papers required for your Kraken account verification vary from country to country.
Yes. Kraken has two official apps – the Kraken app, and the Kraken Pro app. Both apps are compatible with Android and iOS operating devices and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play or Apple App Store. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code of the apps from the Kraken support page to download the apps.
However, you should keep in mind that the mobile app features simplified tools and fewer capabilities than the web-based platform.