At the time of this writing, Bitcoin just blasted through to another all time high. At times like this, people all around the world are wondering, “How can I buy Bitcoin?”. If this sounds like you, or if you simply want to know about one of the best exchanges in crypto, read the rest of this Kraken review below.
What is the Kraken Exchange?
Kraken (that’s “Crackin‘” if you live in the United States and “Cray-kin” if you’re in the UK) is one of the few crypto exchanges in the world where users can trade fiat currency (Euro, US and Canadian Dollars, Pounds, Yen) for Bitcoin. There are many other exchanges that allow people who already have Bitcoin to trade it for other coins, but there aren’t that many places other than Coinbase that let you buy in with cash.
We’ll cover a lot more details about this awesome exchange in this Kraken review. Read on for more details.
- Website URL: https://www.kraken.com/
- Founded: 2011
- Deposit Methods: Credit Card
Register at Kraken
What’s Unique About Kraken Exchange?
One of the first things you’ll notice about Kraken is how minimal and streamlined it looks. It’s easy to navigate because the site never feels bloated. There are only as many pages and features as there need to be, nothing more.
One thing that can be confusing to new Kraken users is the use of the XBT currency code for Bitcoin, rather than the more common BTC. XBT is the official currency code of the ISO (the International Organization for Standardization). Maybe it’s more official? Anyway, you’ll soon get used to it.
There’s a lot more to say about Kraken, but you should know by now if you’re interested in trading with this trusted cryptocurrency exchange. We’ll go into greater detail about all of the above and introduce some more important ideas in the rest of this Kraken review.
Minimum Deposit: £10
US Clients: ✔️
Trading Platform: Web Based Trading Platform
Number of Assets: 1
Types of Assets: Cryptocurrencies
Kraken Compared to Other Bitcoin Exchanges
You already know that, like Coinbase, Kraken allows users to buy Bitcoin with USD and EUR. In addition, Kraken has many more trading pairs than Coinbase, which only supports Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.
You can see how Kraken isn’t everything for everybody, but they cover ground that pretty much no other exchange covers. For this reason, Kraken should remain essential for the foreseeable future, if they can handle some of the problems we’ll talk about later on… Alternative Cryptocurrency Exchanges.
How to Sign Up With Kraken
It couldn’t be much easier to sign up with the Kraken exchange. All you have to do is submit a new username and password. Once you’ve confirmed the signup email, you’ll be able to use the full site, with certain limitations.
If you want to put USD or EUR into your account to start buying Bitcoin, you’ll have to give Kraken a little more information
As you can see, Kraken requires more personal information the more money you want to be able to use within the exchange.
Getting Verified on Kraken
- Tier 0: You can’t do much of anything other than look around the site. Go ahead and move on to Tier 1, OK?
- Tier 1: This requires basic personal info like date of birth and phone number. You can now take Bitcoin and altcoins you have in other wallets and move them into your Kraken wallets. These can now be traded for any of the digital coins supported on Kraken. You cannot buy Bitcoin with USD or EUR, however.
- Tier 2: Tier 2 will require you to get your home address verified. This security measure helps Kraken stay within the laws of various international tax codes, and provides additional security for the site. At this level, you can deposit up to $2,000 each day, with higher withdrawal limits and monthly deposits/withdrawals.
- Tier 3; OK, high roller, are you ready for Tier 3? To unlock it, you’ve got to submit your government ID and an image of your face with some other documents. These requirements are pretty standard among crypto exchanges, and Kraken’s long history of integrity should put your mind at ease. In return, you’ll be able to move lots more money, as well as unlock margin trading.
- Tier 4: This is for rich people and businesses. If you want this level of access, you’ve got to talk with Kraken customer service directly. (Let us know how it goes. We’re curious.)
What Coins Can You Buy and Sell on Kraken?
Kraken has a limited selection of coins compared to an exchange like Bittrex. On the other hand, they have way more options than Coinbase. The complete list of coins supported on Kraken is as follows:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Monero (XMR)
- Dash (DASH)
The Kraken iPhone App
Kraken has an iPhone app that allows complete desktop performance on the go. The app has yet to be developed for Android, but since a handful of the biggest crypto exchanges don’t have an app of any sort, we’ll take what we can get.
How Does Kraken Margin Trading and Leverage Work?
To many, margin trading with crypto sounds like a good way to make a risky investment even riskier, but Kraken allows it and you might want to try it, and you can make a ton of money doing it, so here’s how it works.
Leverage is a way to use borrowed money to invest in an asset (crypto, in this case). The idea is that if you make a good trade and the value of your crypto goes up, you will have made much more profit than you could have with your money alone. You sell the coins and use some of the money to pay back the loan, then take the rest of the profit and buy a boat. If you have 5:1 leverage and $1,000 in your trading account, you’d be able to buy $5,000 worth of crypto.
Margin is a related concept, but it’s not exactly the same thing. A margin is the amount of money that is held as collateral when trading on margin. It’s money that you can see, but which you can’t spend. It’s important to note that if you make a bad leveraged trade and lose money, you could lose a lot more than your margin. Leverage trading is risky and should only be performed by people who really understand the market and the potential hazards of this kind of trade.
If this doesn’t make sense, maybe don’t worry about leverage. Just trade with what you have. If you do understand leverage, we wish you the best of luck.
What Are Some Complaints About Kraken?
Recently, people havre been complaining about Kraken quite a bit. And it turns out they have a point.
Like so many systems in the cryptocurrency industry, Kraken is having a scaling problem. Just like Bitcoin, Kraken has become too popular, and its technology is being stretched to its limit.
These issues have been going on for a few months now, and Kraken has been very transparent about the issues they’re dealing with. When people call Kraken a scam, they’re usually just whining about something they don’t understand. But when people say they’re frustrated with Kraken, they have every right to be. It’s just that the Kraken development team is also pretty frustrated. More Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Kraken’s Scaling Issues Are Not an Isolated Problem
As stated above, scaling issues are a big problem for every large system in the new blockchain economy. Blockchain has incredible scaling potential…in theory…but very few large systems have been able to make it a reality.
For example, Bitcoin can handle only about 6 transactions per second at the time of this writing. Sometimes the network will have thousands of unconfirmed transactions, just because the network can’t keep up without a major update.
Recently, the Ethereum blockchain started experiencing the same problem when the Cryptokitties dApp became a viral hit. Cryptocurrencies are becoming so popular so fast that the whole industry is having growing pains.
We want to point this out because Kraken is having the same issues. If you try it and it’s not working the way you want, try back later. The team is strong, they’ve conquered bigger problems in the past, and we think they’ll be successful this time too. But it’s important that we mention this so that you don’t have the wrong expectations.
The Kraken Team
Speaking of the Kraken team, let’s talk a bit about who is in charge of this well known crpyptocurrency exchange.
Here we offer a shout-out to whoever does Kraken’s social media. Whoever you are, keep bringing the lolz.
If You Still Have Trouble Figuring Out Kraken
Kraken is easy to use, but if you’ve only used Coinbase, or if you are trying to buy Bitcoin for the very first time, it can be a little challenging. We hope this Kraken review has been very helpful, but if you still have questions, this video from Crypto Collision will walk you through the sign-up and trading process step by step.
Final Thoughts on Kraken Bitcoin Exchange
At this point you should understand what Kraken is, how to sign up, and what Kraken can be used for. We’ve explained what Kraken is, but do we recommend it?
When it’s running on all cylinders, Kraken is one of the best Bitcoin exchanges in the game. But Kraken hasn’t been at peak performance for awhile now. This is incredibly frustrating for Kraken’s long time users, and for people trying to use the exchange for the first time.
We think Kraken is going to make it. They remain transparent on social media and responsive to customer questions and complaints. They were so good for so long, we expect great things in the future. If you try Kraken and it works as advertised, you’ve found an awesome crypto exchange. If features are still locked, wait and try again later.
This is not ideal for users, but it’s also a sign that Kraken remains incredibly popular. As it grows to support the onslaught of new traffic, Kraken will regain its role as one of the essential cryptocurrency exchanges.