Kraken.com is a large and strongly growing crypto exchange, which shines by simple operation and overview. In addition to the Bitcoin, 16 other Altcoins and 5 FIAT currencies, including Euro and US Dollar, are traded here. Kraken.com offers trading and good security settings, but requires some proof of identity, so you will have to wait immediately after registration. The account can be linked to the Fidor bank, which makes it possible to buy coins quickly.
Kraken.com is a crypto exchange based in San Francisco (USA) which, according to its own statement, has the largest trading volume worldwide between crypto currencies and euros. With several hundred thousand customers the stock exchange belongs to the Top-10 world-wide.
The company behind Kraken.com was founded in 2011, followed 2 years later by the launch of the website. Already in October 2013 the cooperation with the German Fidor-Bank started, which – like Bitcoin.de – enables fast trading without annoying waiting times (see below).
Since then, Kraken.com has been working continuously to improve its offering, for example by raising security standards or adding new old coins. The use of the stock exchange is free; there are only fees for the purchase / exchange of crypto currencies (see below).
Security measures: 2-factor authentication (2FA) for login (+ optional for funding, trading), master key for account resetting 17 crypto currencies and Euro, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, British Pound and Japanese Yen
Suitable for: Beginners and Advanced
Anonymity: step-by-step verification against higher trading limits required
Daily payout limit: depending on verification level
Fees: trading fees for buyers and sellers staggered; between 0.10 and 0.26 percent for buyers; 0.1 percentage points lower for sellers each
Payment options: different depending on crypto currency
Language: English, Korean, Japanese
Mobile App: no
Lending/Funding: not supported
Registering at Kraken.com is easy: enter your email address, username and password, confirm your terms and conditions and you’re done!
If you want to deposit Bitcoin or Altcoins afterwards, you will unfortunately reach a first limit: At the current verification level “Tier 0”, it is unfortunately not possible to make deposits and withdrawals. Neither in FIAT money nor with crypto currencies. Thus a too fast trade after the first registration is not possible.
Fortunately, the hurdles for the “Tier 1” level are not high: Full name, date of birth, home country and telephone number are quickly stored. After about one day this level was activated and confirmed by e-mail.
Now our deposit limit is unlimited; the payouts are limited to 2.500 USD daily or 20.000 USD monthly. Only FIAT money cannot be used yet, for this you need “Tier 2”. Interestingly, “Tier 2” is activated immediately after entering the address, without waiting time. In any case you can start now!
Remark: In the next animal levels the limits double or increase tenfold, in addition FIATs are added. For this you need the personal address (Tier 2), scan of the passport, an old invoice, photo ID (Tier 3). For the highest Tier 4 level (100.000 USD daily or 500.000 USD monthly) you have to contact customer service directly.
All crypto deposits are free of charge. SEPA deposits are also free of charge.
Directly after the activation of “Tier 1” we have deposited Bitcoin on Kraken.com for testing purposes. Just click on “Funding” in the top left corner and select the currency. Then simply select the desired crypto currency and first generate the address and then use it.
After our Test-Bitcoin was displayed about 30 minutes later, we exchanged Ripple and Monero. Kraken.com makes this very easy and similar to other exchanges.
Kraken and the Fidor Bank
In order to be able to deposit FIAT money, you must have reached the verification level “Tier 2” (see above), but as a German user “Tier 3” is unfortunately required!
Since Kraken.com cooperates with the Fidor Bank, Fidor account holders can deposit money on Kraken within a few minutes. A genuine advantage, if it must go fast.
Similar to Bitcoin.de, you connect your Fidor account to Kraken.com.
The initial transaction to and from a Fidor Bank account takes a little longer because the transfer has to be checked and confirmed by a Fidor Bank compliance specialist. That’s how long Kraken’s status is “On Hold”. Don’t despair, it can take a few days!
The transfer is automatically released after the transaction has been checked and approved.
Then you can transfer Euro contributions from Fidor to Kraken without any loss of time. This makes Kraken.com currently the first choice if not only Bitcoin, but also Altcoins wants to buy.
Kraken supports the standard 2-factor authentication (2FA) for login. Unlike other crypto exchanges, you enter this directly with the login (and not with the next screen). Optional is the 2FA activation for trades during funding (= deposit) and trading.
If you wish, you can also deposit a master key in the form of a 2FA for account reset. If you have an e-mail provider with PGP/GPG support, you can deposit the PGP key with Kraken and have encrypted e-mails sent to you.
Our assessment: Kraken.com has a modern and good security offer. Especially in comparison to other stock exchanges we would have wished for 1-2 more security settings. These include e.g. IP whitelists and adjustable e-mail notifications for logins, etc.
In addition to a secure password, we strongly recommend the activation of 2-factor authentication directly after the first login. Kraken.com offers some options to customize the 2FA:
As an American stock exchange, Kraken.com adheres to the money laundering regulations and know-your-customer principles: The Kryptobörse Kraken is not anonymous.
In the context of the transparency and the acceptance of crypto currencies in the public this is to be supported naturally, also other crypto exchanges (e.g. Poloniex (our test) or Bittrex (our test)) have these defaults. The Hong Kong stock exchange Bitfinex (click here for the test) completely refrains from an identification. This of course makes the application easier for us and saves time.
The limits depend on the verification level and can be taken from the table:
On “Tier 4” the daily deposit and withdrawal limit rises to 100,000 US dollars, just as high values can be paid out in the form of crypto currencies.
Monthly, the limits increase in parallel to 500,000 US dollars.
In order to activate “Tier 4”, customer service must be contacted.
Kraken concentrates on a few but very important crypto currencies. You can currently find them there:
Bitcoin (BTC) – at Kraken.com abbreviated as XBT
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Augur REP tokens (REP)
With 17 coins Kraken has a smaller offer than e.g. Poloniex (66 coins) or even Bittrex (200 coins).
Our estimation: All important coins are represented on Kraken. In addition, Kraken currently has some Altcoins in its portfolio, e.g. GNO, ICN or MLN, which are not often found on other major stock exchanges. If you are interested in the coins, you can find them on Kraken.com.
IOTA and OmiseGo would have been desirable from our point of view. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find out if Kraken was working on it.
It can be assumed that Kraken has consciously opted for a manageable offer that reflects currencies that will continue to make a name for themselves in the future.
Proponents can see this as a hint for investors who want to diversify – sceptics probably see some market influence here.
Pros and cons
Here is a short list of the pros and cons we could make out for Kraken.
Kraken.com is a very convincing stock exchange, which shines with good security and manageability. The usability is good, the support responded to a (banal) test request within an hour! The only (but understandable) limitation is the loss of time due to verification and the resulting loss of anonymity.
Interested investors also get the chance to purchase certain old coins on Kraken.com, which are not always available on other major stock exchanges.
In short: A very solid and by the acceptance of euro very recommendable for the entrance into the crypto scene. We especially liked the connection to the German Fidor Bank.