A few things about Kraken
Kraken is one of the world’s largest and most popular Bitcoin exchanges, considered to be the largest, in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes and liquidity.
Based in San Francisco in 2011, it was the first Bitcoin exchange to have its trading price and volume displayed on the Bloomberg terminal. The exchange was also the first to pass a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit and succeeded in becoming Tokyo’s court assigned trustee and striking a partnership with Germany’s Fidor Bank.
Kraken has organized three funding rounds so far, raising $6.5 million from 13 investors which include Money Partners Group, Blockchain Capital and Digital Currency Group. Kraken has also bought market visualization platform Cryptowatch and two Bitcoin exchanges, Coinsetter and Clevercoin.
Kraken’s software is as user friendly as it is professional. It was designed to help beginner and experienced traders alike by offering different templates that vary in difficulty.
There are unofficial versions made for mobile devices for iOS and Android users.
In terms of security, Kraken is positively regarded as being one of the most secure exchanges known to date. After the major hack of Mt. Gox, Kraken was chosen as the platform through which payments to creditors of Mt. Gox received their claims.
Kraken also holds the title of the first company to create a verified proof of reserves, proving that the company holds all of its customer’s funds.
The majority of funds are held offline in cold storage in secure facilities.
Kraken uses two factor authentication, PGP encryption for emails and a global setting lock, which limits the number of changes that can be made in an account in a certain time period.
So far there have been no major hacks, but users have had their accounts attacked due to lack of 2FA security. Users have also reported capacity problems during high fluctuation periods in the market.
Services and fees
Users can buy and sell crypto assets, as well as margin trade. Deposits and withdrawals for US users are made through bank wire service that cost $5 dollars. Bank wire transactions that are not in US cost $10 USD, 10 EUR or 10 pounds.
Users in Canada can deposit and withdraw Canadian dollars through bank wire free of charge. Same goes for those from Europe that use SEPA wire transfer for their transactions.
Japanese users pay no fees for any withdraws and deposits that do not pass a 5000-yen limit.
Fees for market makers are 0.16% and 0.26% for takers (for the lowest volumes). As the volume increases, the percentages drop down to 0.0%for the maker and 0.10% for the taker.
Only particular instruments of the exchange are offered leverage. The leverage levels vary from 1:2 to 1:5, seeming very low in comparison to those offered by Forex brokers (1:500 leverage) and other crypto exchanges that offer 1:10 for Bitcoin trading.
Kraken charges for leveraged trading, its fees ranging from 0.01% to 0.02% depending on the instrument and it will be applied every four hours.
Minimum initial deposit
No minimum initial deposit has been mentioned by Kraken so far.
Trading cryptocurrencies and accepted fiat currencies
Although being famous for its Bitcoin and Ethereum to EUR/USD exchange services, Kraken can also trade a variety of altcoins: Litecoin, EOS, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Iconomi, Zcash, Augur, Gnosis, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, Melon, Theter, Thesis, Gnosism, EOS. Kraken plans to add new coins to the list.
Kraken supports euros, Japanese yens, US dollars and is one of the few exchanges that provides trading in Canadian dollars and sterling pounds.
Methods of payment
Fiat currency payments can only be done through bank transfer. If you are from within the European Economic Area and have a bank account there, the SEPA payment system is accepted. Cryproccurency deposits are also supported.
Kraken offers 24/7 support via instant email and an online chat. There have been many complaints that Kraken is very slow to answer complaints, taking up a couple of days to give an answer.
So far, Kraken has received mixed reviews from users across the crypto community.
– Users that have given Kraken positive reviews said that it was very competent in terms of trading and delivered a very smooth experience. Kraken’s global availability makes it a first choice for many international traders.
– Kraken is also considered to be very solid security wise, seeing the fact that it was the only exchange platform to be selected for the investigation into Mt. Gox’s stolen Bitcoins.
– The negative comments are mostly related to the exchange’s slow customer service. This has been the source of frustration for of the platform’s users. The support for its mobile users is also very weak.
– It has also had problems having uptime when the market is experiencing extreme fluctuations.
Kraken is a reputable Bitcoin exchange platform which has majorly contributed to the evolution of the cryptocurrency world.