The Kraken exchange was founded in 2011, making it something of an old boy among digital exchanges. Although decidedly bitcoin-focused, the exchange is neither an exclusive bitcoin trading platform nor one of the highly diverse exchanges, where sometimes hundred of coins are on offer.
Another member alongside Coinbase and others of the San Francisco crypto industry, Kraken has enjoyed consistent adoption since inception, its popularity based largely on its intuitive architecture and watertight security.
Although New York has a strong crypto presence too, San Francisco is becoming known as the home base of several giants of the cryptosphere. The San Francisco area also leads the world when it comes to merchants accepting bitcoin payment, with over 200 merchants in the area accepting the digital coin.
Kraken is unusual in that it has always been a decidedly American exchange, yet manifested strong international appeal. This is seen in the fact that it is leading the world in BTC/EUR trading volumes.
The platform is sleek and intuitive and provides copious intel for experienced users to employ margin trading and advanced orders. With that said, many newcomers find their way into crypto via this exchange, as it is sufficiently simple and diverse in offering, while still enabling fiat transactions.
|P2P / Centralized||Central|
|Locale||San Fransico, CA USA|
|Coin Listing Process||Closed|
|Fees||0% to 0.26%|
The Kraken exchange was launched some seven years ago, in 2011, by the current CEO, Jesse Powell. The platform was only offered as a public trading space in September 2013.
Kraken Trading Volumes
During May of 2017, the Kraken exchange set a record for trading volumes documented in a 24 hour period. Although publicity often claims it is the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, it is but one of the largest, with impressive volumes.
Buoyed to some extent by EUR/BTC trades, the exchange targets America, Europe and Japan to generate its primary user base. The Kraken exchange has a market cap sitting at $115,510,812.
The Number of Coin Pairs on Kraken
There are just over 50 coin pairs offered on the Kraken platform, and the exchange maintains its original bitcoin focus.
Who Owns Kraken?
The Kraken exchange is owned by founder and CEO Jesse Powell. The exchange also became a Bloomberg Terminal source during 2014, indicative of its standing in the cryptosphere.
Kraken’s Main Function, Features, Benefits, and Reputation
The exchange performs mainly as a portal where new and existing users can trade fiat with bitcoin, while also offering a range of other fiat/crypto pairings. The company has one of the grandest reputations for security in the industry, having also been selected to disburse Mt. Gox creditor compensation, following that exchange’s collapse.
With a medium range on offer and clear and familiar protocols, the platform has successfully emulated the best attributes of legacy exchanges, bridging the old and new worlds of fiat and digital coins.
There is detailed intel onsite, and new users tend to graduate into employing the charting and other more advanced tools available. Liquidity is high on the platform, another reason many seasoned traders default to Kraken. Kraken allows users to employ bitcoin margin trading with leverage up to 5x, with shorting. Kraken also caters for more advanced stop-loss orders as well as automated trading.
Kraken has pioneered the first proof of reserves cryptographic audit system, and the exchange runs a “dark pool.” This is essentially a private securities exchange for large institutional investors to trade anonymously. The security has always been justifiably touted as watertight, and although many exchanges are secure to the maximum extent possible, Kraken has always presented as a step ahead.
Indeed, at the time of the Mt. Gox collapse, it was precisely additional security levels employed on its own dictates that kept the Kraken exchange out of even the possibility of such a hack being attempted.
Kraken KYC and AML Requirements
The Kraken exchange pitches a basic and an advanced account, a name and address, date of birth and phone number enables an entry-level account. For an advanced account, users will need to upload their ID and US citizens will have to supply their social security number too.
Unlike many P2P exchanges, Kraken makes users complete authentication. Particularly now that regulators have established mandatory baseline protocols for digital exchanges, the company follows American KYC legislation, as well as that of any country in which it operates.
Fees on Kraken follow a maker-taker model.
Although at times difficult to determine, assuming a trade falls below 50,000 currency units, maker fees sit around 0.16 percent and taker fees at about 0.26 percent. These are the fees applied to all bitcoin trades made by supported site fiats, like USD, CAD, JPY, EUR and GBP. These fees also apply to most of the altcoin trading pairs.
Kraken Fiat Acceptance
Kraken is perhaps best known as a secure venue where users can trade with a generous range of fiat and digital currencies. The company accepts deposits in a number of leading fiats. For European users, the exchange is tied into the SEPA payment system.
Kraken Trust Level
User trust in Kraken remains consistently high. The exchange has never given rise to moments of panic nor even extended dissatisfaction. Its UI has always been popular, and the company’s moves in acting as something of a curator in the Mt. Gox settlements, as well as its involvement with addressing regulatory requirements, holds it above many others.
The company enjoys a reputation of being a transparent, professional and yet fun platform that has nailed down user desires in a small corner of the industry.
Kraken Customer Experience and Support
Kraken enjoys a tolerance level few other exchanges do, and bitter user complaints are largely diminished online. That said, it remains an anomaly as the exchange support isn’t much better than many others. Kraken is in the arena past 50/50, but not by much.
Most frequently users bemoan the time taken to respond to support tickets, and in this regard the exchange is nothing special.
Kraken Security History
The Kraken exchange has never been successfully hacked. The platform’s security history is impeccable. With hindsight, it was precisely the next-level security employed on the exchange at the time that saw Kraken eliminated as a target for the hack on bitcoin’s “transaction malleability” that felled Mt. Gox and sent that exchange into bankruptcy.
Kraken Listing Procedures
The exchange itself determines listings, in accordance with their basic offering model. Users can submit coins for appraisal, although this is not a productive route on the exchange. Rather, management will evaluate coins and the exchange has shown a very moderate rate in doing so.
The Kraken exchange enjoys the favor of millions of new American and European users who value the ability to engage with fiat. In contrast to, say, Coinbase, that has a very similar offering, Kraken seems more dynamic, offers greater coin range and also cost slightly less to transact for most users. Having launched well, the company has maintained a core focus in its offering, watertight security on its platform, as well as a visible willingness to enhance the user experience. For all of these reasons, the exchange’s popularity remains high and trading volumes continue to grow.
With trend-setting security protocols, quick transactions and a legacy-style professionalism, the exchange is ranked in the top ten worldwide, and should move further up the ladder still. In marrying fiat currency and maker-taker fees to the American, European and Japanese markets, the company has hit a sweet spot with experienced and novice traders.