Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is easier today than it ever was thanks to a large number of legit crypto exchanges out there. Among the plethora of popular options, we find Coinbase and Kraken, two of the most sought after options.
Coinbase vs Kraken: Key Information
Even though they might seem similar to the untrained eye, Coinbase and Kraken are actually two very different services.
Kraken is the brainchild of Jesse Powell, which was working at Mt. Gox before coming up with the idea of a new, revolutionary exchange that would be all about ensuring unprecedented security. Till this day, Kraken stands as one of the most secure crypto exchanges in the market, one that has never been hacked. Currently, Kraken is ranked 39th on CoinMarketCap with a reported volume of $57,248,518.
Coinbase was created in the same period as Kraken, but with a different philosophy: that of being the easiest to use crypto exchange. Today, Coinbase is one of the most respectable and most successful cryptocurrency exchanges.
Coinbase vs Kraken: Fees
Both exchanges are renowned for their relatively low-to-medium fees. However, it’s Kraken that steals the crown for the lowest fees out of the two. Kraken’s trading fees are generally well below the 0,36% mark, varying by currency pair.
Coinbase has a somewhat more complex fee system, and even though they are comparatively higher than that of Kraken, it’s worth noting that Coinbase is a far more complex service. For example, Coinbase accepts debit cards (which inherently have higher fees). Bank transfer purchases on Coinbase usually carry 1,49% fees while debit card purchases carry close to 4,00% fees. These vary greatly depending on the method of payment and the country you’re in.
Coinbase vs Kraken: Available Cryptocurrencies
Kraken is also ahead when it comes to supported cryptocurrencies. According to the Active Markets section on CoinMarketCap, Kraken currently supports 72 trading pairs. Coinbase offers a decent array of cryptocurrencies, including some of the most popular options out there such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Augur, Ripple, Stellar Lumens, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Tether, Dash, Zcash, Monero, Gnosis, EOS, and Bitcoin Cash.
Coinbase vs Kraken: Customer Support
Both crypto exchanges are known for their fairly good customer support. Be that as it may, there’s no crypto exchange currently on the market that’s capable of satisfying all the needs of its users in this respect. Hence, you will inevitably hear various complaints here and there.
The biggest complaint of users regarding Kraken’s customer support has to do with slow account verification times. Coinbase offers customer support through both email and phone and is renowned for responding to customer issues within reasonable time frames.
Coinbase vs Kraken: Security
It’s safe to say that both exchanges follow the absolute top industry practices in terms of security. Both crypto exchanges use offline cold storage to keep funds, as well as other security measures such as two-factor authentication. Even though Kraken has a unique security system, Coinbase provides a few extra precautions. Cryptocurrency held online in Coinbase wallets is automatically insured by a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London and US customers’ wallets are covered up to $250,000 by FDIC insurance.
Coinbase vs. Kraken: Pros and Cons
Since most of the attention when building Kraken went into developing top-notch security features, it’s no wonder that it is less suitable for beginners out of the two. Kraken is also the most complex out of the two, making it slightly inaccessible to newbie traders.
If the bigger fees are not a problem for you, then Coinbase might be the better option regarding simplicity. Coinbase is also a bit more accessible since it accepts debit cards.
Coinbase vs Kraken: Final Words
Picking between Coinbase and Kraken might have to do more with your preference and with your investment strategy (if you have one), if not for more practical reasons such as user accessibility and low fees.
If you’re looking to start out with cryptos and you want to make a small buy, then Coinbase is probably the better option, despite the larger fees. However, if you’re a seasoned trader looking to make some bold investments, then Kraken is definitely the better option.