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Kraken Review – Is Kraken Scam or Legit?

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Jul 23, 2020

Kraken Review

Assets are known to generate great income earnings for investors and traders alike. There are several assets that can be traded, such assets are stocks, commodities and even cryptos. The online trading space is large and there tends to be a variety of assets on most brokerage platforms.

Traders and investors decide how they discover trading skills, and how they use this skills in the financial market. This is done according to their personal preferences and some traders or investors tend to want to trade with a particular asset.

Some other traders or investors may be opened to the idea of trading with any form of online market assets.

Most individuals who want to delve into online trading, usually search for brokerage firms that will satisfy their trading needs and will help them achieve their financial aims. Several brokers in the online trading space provide various trading tools for all their clients.

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There are traders, mostly beginners, who believe in investing most of their funds, time and sweats in one single asset. Most of this traders are certain that investing in one asset will help them make greater earnings and that they will also be able to master the online market procedures through and through.

However, there are other traders who are more experienced when it comes to online trading. This are the risk takers and these particular people believe solely in investing in various forms of assets; this will create more opportunities to earn higher income.

Trading with multiple assets grants you access to several trading choices on the online trading space. The chances for earning higher income is unlimited in this space. Trading with several assets could just work well in your favor.

It has become a normal trend to just go on the internet, make researches and then choose to join any brokerage firm. You can easily register with any online brokerage platform from any part of the world, all you have to do is click the sign up button. 

However, this may sound as easy as slicing an orange, but choosing a brokerage firm is a lot of decisive work. You have to put so much consideration into it, and you also have to ensure that you are making the right choice.

Due to the high rate in scams and fraudulent activities on the online trading space, traders are advised to tread carefully so as to avoid loss of funds. It has become a thing for unregulated brokers to be part of the online trading space. You may lose your funds and self-assurance in your assets if you register with this unregulated brokers.

When choosing a brokerage firm to trade or invest with, always ensure to do a detailed background check so as to ensure the security of your funds. It is always best and advised to go with brokers who look out for your needs and are ready to aid you in any way available.

Ensure that the brokerage firm has a 24/7 customer care service; any brokerage firm that does not have a strong team backing it up is ready for doom. Ensure that whatever trading tool or support the platform offers, suits your needs as a trader or investor.

Below is a breakdown of Kraken as a broker:

Broker Kraken
Website www.kraken.com
Trading platform Web trader, Mobile trader, Meta trader 4 / Meta trader 5
Trading accounts Starter, Intermediate, Pro
Minimum deposit CAD 100
Customer service 24 hours
Options available Stock, Crypto, Forex, Indices
Security SSL encryption, Know Your Customers (KYC), and The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies.
Deposit currency options Euro (EUR), USD, Canadian Dollars (CAD), Japanese yen (JPY).
Payment methods Bank wire transfer (SWIFT, SEPA).
Trading Tools Market News, Technical Analysis, Forex Cross Rates, Real-Time Chart.
Supported cryptos Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP), Bitcoin cash (BCH), Dash, Moreno

Trading Platforms

Kraken platform offers Web Trader, Mobile Trader, and Meta Trader 4. This broker provides a unique trading platform to satisfy her clients’ requirements and needs. Necessary tools and indicators are in these platforms, and more importantly, this platform boasts of dual trading versions comprising web-based and mobile-based versions.

The Web Trader

The development of the web-based version incorporates next-generation tools and functionalities. One can have accessed this from any compatible device while giving traders and investors a top-notch trading experience.

Mobile Trader

The use of mobile devices for trading and financial transactions is on the increase. This increasing number of mobile users has necessitated introducing a cutting-edge Mobile Trader through the deployment of advanced technology. The Mobile Trader highlights include multi-language support, daily account statement, real-time client account summary, an intuitive interface, and advanced charts.

Meta Trader 4.

Is an electronic trading platform widely used by online retail foreign exchange speculative traders? It’s a very reputable trading that renders satisfactory service to Traders and investors around the world. The software is licensed to foreign exchange brokers who provide the software to their clients. What makes it unique compared to other soft wares is its excellent features and facilities. Meta Trading 4 gives many advanced tools as well as an impressive and gorgeous user interface.

Brief history.

In 2011, founder Jesse Powell visited the offices of cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox following that company’s 2011 security breach.[10] Powell told Bloomberg News he began working on Kraken as a replacement for Mt. Gox if that company were to permanently close, which it did in 2014.[11]

In September 2013, Kraken launched after two years of testing and development. The exchange was initially in bitcoin, litecoin, and euro trades. Additional currencies and margin trading were added afterwards.

In around July 2013, Kraken joined other U.S. American bitcoin players in the emerging payments and digital currency industry to become a Committee for the Establishment of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority (DATA).

In October 2013, Kraken formed an exclusive partnership with BaFin regulated Fidor bank. Fidor provides Single European Payments Area (SEPA) payments for depositing and withdrawing from Kraken accounts.

Deposit and Withdrawals

Deposits and withdrawals on kraken can be made via SWIFT, SEPA, wire and domestic transfers. Majorly deposits and withdrawals can be expected to take 1–5 business days.

With respect to deposits in fiat currencies, SEPA deposits are free, making Kraken particularly convenient if your location is within the European Union.

In my experience, on an average deposit takes approximately not more than 24 hours. It’s free to deposit in most of the accepted cryptocurrencies, but there’s a small address setup fee in a few cases.

A bank wire transfer within the United States costs $5 and $10, whereas it costs €10 or £10 from outside of the United States.

Kraken security

Kraken is considered as one of the most secure broker, its wallets have never been hacked before. Its platform has gone down only once 6 in January 2018 since it launched in 2011, and even then it went down in order to perform necessary system upgrades. And aside from this upgrade, it takes a wide range of security measures to reduce the risks of coins being stolen via its system, including the following:

Transferring new deposits directly to cold (offline) wallets, which are physically kept away from any online system thereby increasing the safety.

Storing the vast bulk of coins in cold (offline) wallets, with only the remaining coins kept to maintain Kraken’s liquidity being kept in online ‘hot’ wallets.

Storing a small number of coins in semi-cold wallets, which are kept on defended machines with locked drives. Encrypting all wallets and data in data centers.

All these measures guard Kraken’s platform itself against being compromised by hackers, for more security the exchange also has the following features put in place in order to protect individual accounts:

Master account lock.

Info-leakage protection: (opportunistic) login and password recovery attempts won’t reveal any account info or even the existence of an account.

Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication, by far the most secure way to protect your account using hardware authentication devices like YubiKey or its alternatives.

Two-factor authentication, which can be used for logins, trades, funding, and for actions performed using Kraken’s API.

PGP/GPG encryption for emails.

Each User verification document is always uploaded to a   highly secure system, which is isolated.

All sensitive user data is encrypted and can be decrypted only by accessing multiple security systems at once. This makes it even more difficult for hackers to penetrate.

Global settings lock, which can be activated to prevent changing of user account info (e.g. withdrawal address) by a third party who’s hacked into an account.

And if the above weren’t enough, Kraken also takes a number of measures to guarantee its legal compliance, system security, and financial security. These include the maintenance of full currency reserves with cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audits and the daily backing up of all data, all of which combine to significantly reduce the risk of users losing money.

Apart from the security on the platform’s side of things, Kraken also conducts regular security checks when onboarding new cryptocurrencies and crypto security devices like hardware wallets.

Kraken’s security practices are widely recognized. The Exchange Security Report 2.0 by ICO Rating features Kraken as the most secure exchange in the whole industry with a score of A. Exchange Benchmark Report, which also weighs the security of the exchange, puts Kraken in the 4th place amongst all exchanges with another superb a rating.

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Supported Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

Kraken supports a variety of deposit and withdrawal methods. These include cryptocurrency deposits and fiat deposits via bank transfer. There are no credit or debit card deposit options for instant crypto purchases.

The supported fiat deposit and withdrawal bank transfer options with time frame include:

  • SWIFT (2 – 5 business days)
  • Silvergate Exchange Network (near-instant)
  • SEPA / SEPA (Etana Custody / Fidor / Bank Frick) (0 – 5 days)
  • FewWire / FewWire (Etana Custody) (1 – 5 business days)
  • Canadian domestic wire transfer (1 – 3 days)
  • InterFIn (0 – 10 min)
  • FPS/BACS (Clear Junction) (0 – 3 days)
  • CHAPS (within the same day)
  • SIC (near instant on working days during business hours)
  • In-person cash/debit via Canada post (30 – 60 minutes)
  • Fiat deposits and withdrawals are not available for users at the Starter verification level.
  • The fees range from free to up to USD 50 or its equivalent based on the chosen method.

Exchange history and background

Kraken was founded in 2011 by early crypto pioneer Jesse Powell and launched in 2013. Since then, it has become one of the most reputable exchanges in the industry. Based in San Francisco, US, Kraken is a fully regulated exchange, meaning that you must pass Know Your Customer (KYC) checks in order to trade.

During its years of operations, Kraken has built a reputation as a secure destination and a popular choice among traders and institutional investors. It was the first crypto exchange to pass the Proof-of-Reserves cryptographic audit and provides crypto market price information to Bloomberg Terminal.

Kraken is a self-regulated exchange and complies with rules and regulations in all supported jurisdictions. It is also registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with FinCEN in the United States (reg. no. 31000136371793) and FINTRAC in Canada (reg. no. M19343731). Kraken Futures is regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (reg. no. 757895).

The exchange’s headquarters are in San Francisco, but it has offices in various cities all over the globe, which includes London in the UK, Chiyoda City in Singapore, and japan. Kraken exchange has received more than USD 126 million in venture capital. As such, it has acquired a number of crypto-oriented startups like CryptoWatch, CleverCoin, Bit Trade, Crypto Facilities, Coinsetter, Cavirter, and InterChange.

As of today, the exchange serves approximately 4 million customers in over 200 countries.

Kraken fees

Low fees are one of Kraken’s biggest attractions. All fees are charged on a per-trade basis, apart from the deposit and withdrawal fees. Kraken uses a typical maker-taker fee schedule based on the cryptocurrencies being traded and the volume a user has traded in the previous 30 days.

All trading fees fall into four categories: regular trading fees, stablecoin trading fees, dark pool trading fees, and margin trading fees.

Regular trading fees range from 0.16% for the makers and 0.26% for the takers, but they can be as low as 0.00% (maker) and 0.10% (taker) for users trading more than USD 10,000,000 per month.

Different fees apply to trading pairs involving stablecoins. Here, you pay 0.20% or less (based on 30-day volume) per trade regardless of whether you are on the taker or maker side of the deal. Traders exchanging more than USD 1,000,000 a month in stablecoins do not pay any fees.

Kraken margin trading fees

Margin allowance limits depend on your verification level. The maximum leverage available at Kraken is 5x. Another category of Kraken fees is deposits and withdrawals.

With deposits, these are free for the vast majority of cryptocurrencies. For some newer or less common currencies, such as Augur (REP), Gnosis (GNO), or Chainlink (LINK), there are deposit and wallet setup fees. For instance, LINK has a 0.6 LINK address setup fee and 0.6 LINK deposit fee, while GNO is free to deposit but has a 0.07 GNO wallet fee.

All withdrawals incur a fee with Kraken. As the sample table below illustrates, the withdrawal fees at Kraken aren’t the lowest compared with other exchanges, but they aren’t costly either. Also, the cost depends on the cryptocurrency being withdrawn.

Compared with other exchanges, Kraken’s fees are cheaper than Bitstamp’s (0.5% per trade) but slightly more expensive than Coinbase Pro’s (0,15% makers and 0.25% takers) and Bitfinex, which can boast of having the cheapest order execution fees amongst major fiat-to-crypto exchanges (0.10% makers, 0.20% takers).

Last but not least, different rates apply to Kraken’s margin trading. Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) pairs have a 0.01% opening fee and a 0.01% rollover fee for every 4 hours, while other cryptocurrencies cost 0.02% to open a trade and incur the same 0.02% fee every four hours.

As such, Kraken charges less than all major margin trading exchanges, though these trades get more expensive the longer your position remains open.

Conclusion

Kraken is a 100% legit cryptocurrency exchange for both beginners and pro traders. Its vast selection of features, low fees, clear user interface, and liquidity is definitely an attraction. However, kraken is not the best option if you’re looking for a place where you could buy cryptocurrencies quickly since it does not accept bank/credit card deposits. Aside from that, it is a top tier exchange with some of the best security practices in the industry, so if you don’t mind passing all the extensive KYC procedures, it’s definitely a great exchange to have in your trading journey. Kraken is not in any way decentralized.

Kraken Review Summary.

Kraken is a veteran US based cryptocurrency exchange platform that supplies an advanced trading platform complete with margin trading and OTC options.

Previously scorned for the platform’s instability, the site has since reconditioned its service with a focus on security and customer support. Kraken also offers one of the lowest trading fees around.

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