- Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and bank.
- Suitable for beginners and pro traders alike with educational content on most altcoins.
- See how it compares with other exchanges.
Kraken is one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges and has some of the best educational content out there, particularly for altcoins. Additionally, it's simple to sign up and use Kraken, making it a strong contender for beginners.
Are you considering Kraken to trade cryptocurrencies? Find out what it offers, as well as how it compares against the competition in Australia with our in-depth review.
Inside this review
What is Kraken?
Kraken is an established cryptocurrency exchange that has been operating since it launched in 2011. It allows users to purchase a wide range of cryptocurrency tokens, from giants such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to a lot of altcoins as well. Additional features available on the exchange include staking, margin trading, and futures contracts.
Its trading fees are competitive and it supports many ways to deposit funds, making the entire experience of getting started with crypto investing a lot more streamlined.
Is it safe?
Kraken Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 163 237 634) has implemented industry standard security encryption and protocols.
95% of deposits are stored in offline cold storage, distributed across the globe for redundancy. Additionally, Kraken's servers are also kept under 24/7 surveillance by guards and video monitors.
Who is Kraken aimed at?
Kraken is available globally, with some exceptions due to local financial and cryptocurrency regulations. Their trading platform is designed such as to be suitable for beginners who are new to investing in digital assets. The simplicity of its high-end design belies the complexity of what lies beneath, giving advanced traders everything they need to build and manage their crypto investments in one place.
The number of tradable coins on Kraken increases on a regular basis. More than 90 cryptocurrency coins are currently listed, with everything from the biggest names (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) to lesser-known altcoins.
Most of what's available on Kraken globally is available in Australia, but there are some restrictions, including constraints on what cryptocurrencies can be traded.
There are three ways through which you can fund your Kraken account: with a card; depositing cash directly; or with cryptocurrency.
Most new traders will want / need to deposit fiat currency initially, most likely using a card, so we'll be discussing that method.
- To successfully fund your account, you will need to log in to your Kraken account and click on "Buy Crypto".
- Then, click on "Add Debit & Credit Card". If the currency in the "amount" field is not AUD, this will automatically update once you select your card as the payment method.
- Enter your credit card details and click on "Add New Card".
- Enter your card's billing address and click on "Save" when complete.
- Once the card has been added and validated, you can return to the main page and complete your purchase.
Kraken currently only accepts EUR for card payments. By selecting a credit card as the payment method, the fiat spending amount changes to EUR automatically, and the purchases are charged to your card in EUR as well. The platform aims to add support for more currencies in the future, such as USD, CAD, GBP, CHF, and AUD.
Kraken offers a wide range of useful features. These are the most prominent.
Users can also stake on Kraken, and staking is an excellent way through which anyone can maximise their holdings. This adds additional functionality to the tokens, so they do not just sit in the Kraken account and do nothing. Once assets are staked on Kraken, users can earn rewards on top of their holdings and grow them further by compounding future rewards.
With Kraken's margin trading options, you can leverage or borrow up to 5x the account balance you have to place more trades. The exchange allows investors to borrow up to $500,000.
Exercise caution if trading on margin since you are exposed to bigger gains and losses. It is not recommended for beginners.
Kraken's are split up across different categories.
- Instant buys: 0.9% fee for any stablecoins and a 1.5% fee for any other crypto or FX pair.
- Payment card processing fee: 3.75% + an additional €0.25 fee.
- Digital wallet payment processing fee: 3.75% + €0.25.
- Online banking fee: 0.5%.
Kraken Pro has a separate tiered schedule of fees based on your 30-day volume. The more you trade, the lower the fees will be.
Pros and cons
- Large selection of tokens to trade.
- Margin trades let you take on additional purchasing power.
- You can earn additional rewards by staking eligible assets.
- High end design makes it easy for beginners to use and powerful enough for experienced traders.
- High quality educational content as well as tutorials available on the website.
- Limited level of customer support, which might prove to be a nuisance for newcomers.
- Only supports EUR for card payments, possibly meaning you'll incur a foreign exchange fee.
- Some of the cryptocurrencies listed are not available in Australia.
- I.D. verification is required, so it might not be as private as some traders expect.
- Coinbase. One of the largest cryptocurrencies exchanges in the world. Geared towards the beginner user, but with higher fees. Coinbase Pro offers access to more altcoins and advanced features.
- CoinSpot. Buy, sell or trade hundreds of cryptocurrency tokens. Specifically focused on traders in Australia.
- Swyftx. An Australian-owned and operated cryptocurrency exchange that provides its users with access to 280+ digital assets. One of the few exchanges with a demo account to practice trading with.
- Cointree. Australian-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013. AUSTRAC-registered with a solid reputation.
Use these side-by-side comparisons to see how Kraken compares with competing platforms in more detail.
What KYC verification does Kraken require?
Laws and regulations require that Kraken verifies the account of any user by asking who they are and where they live. It is fully compliant with Australian KYC and AML regulations.
Is there a demo account?
Yes, but only for Kraken Futures.
Is crypto stored with Kraken insured?
Kraken delivers a bevy of trading features in a beautifully designed interface. It is suitable for beginner and more experienced investors alike. If you appreciate the power of simplicity — being able to trade and stake, with the potential to use more advanced financial instruments in future, and all on the same platform — then Kraken is a strong contender.
Australians are spoiled for choice since there are several high quality local alternatives available that offer similar functionality.
Disclaimer: We put our customer’s needs first. The views expressed in this article are those of the writer’s alone and do not constitute financial advice. Advertisers cannot influence editorial content. However, Finty and/or the writer may have a position in the cryptocurrencies mentioned. Finty is committed to providing factual, honest, and accurate information that is compliant with governing laws and regulations. Do your own due diligence and seek professional advice before deciding to invest in one of the products mentioned. For more information, see Finty’s editorial guidelines and terms and conditions.