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Kraken bitcoin wallet reviewKraken Review () - The Most Secure Cryptocurrency Exchange?
Something that Kraken can no doubt be proud about is the fact that they have, to this day, still not suffered any sort of an exchange hack. While other early exchanges such as Mt Gox, Bitstamp, Poloniex and Bitstamp have all been hacked, Kraken managed to avoid any breaches.
This basically means that they keep most of their funds in a wallet that is not connected to the internet and is stored in a secure location. It was this lack of wallet best practices that allowed Mt. Gox to be so badly hacked. In terms of their system security, they make use of locked servers in locked racks in data centres that have armed guards.
All of the data on the system is encrypted and updated on a daily basis. They also separate their internal network from the uploaded client data. This means that staff members can only access your account for verification purposes and nothing else. To make sure that there are no possible attack vectors, Kraken does regular penetration testing. This is conducted by experienced cyber security and blockchain experts. Finally, on the fiat deposit side, Kraken wants to protect against any possible liquidity shortfalls in Fiat currency.
On the user account side, Kraken makes use of two factor authentication for account access. These are able to protect your account in the event that someone gets their hands on your password. There is also the option to place what is called a global settings lock on your account.
This will prevent any changes to your account over a set period of time and will hide the display of any sensitive information. Of course, Kraken has all the standard SSL certificates that protect you from any man-in-the-middle and phishing attacks. Cryptocurrency phishing or homograph attacks are quite common and making sure that you are visiting the actual Kraken website is your first line of defence.
Lastly, if you would like all of your email communications with Kraken to be PGP encrypted then they have the functionality for that as well. Once you have inserted your email PGP key, all of the emails that Kraken will be sending you will be encrypted with Pretty Good Privacy and will eliminate the chance of any email interceptions from hackers and the like.
With all these security procedures, Kraken seems to be quite a secure exchange. Of course, best practice will have you limiting the amount of coins that you will leave on the exchange at any one time. This means that many people will use the exchange in order to buy and sell Bitcoin for a Fiat currency. With that being said, Kraken currently offers trading to a number of different countries with different Fiat currencies.
They are available to residents in Europe, Canada and the US. They used to accept Japanese Yen payments but had to shut this down recently given banking regulations.
What really impressed us about Kraken was the range of crypto pairs that they had in comparison to some of the larger fiat exchanges. Below is a list of all the cryptocurrencies that you have the option of trading:. This is far more extensive than other competitors such as Coinbase, Bitstamp and the like. In terms of the particular Fiat crosses, they have over 47 market pairs.
Kraken has also crossed all of their altcoins with Bitcoin to create BTC markets. Fees directly impact on your profitability as a trader.
Hence, this is no doubt one of the more important points when looking at an exchange like Kraken. This fee model is used to incentivise market making. They also give traders a tiered fee schedule. This means that those who do more volume will get a lower fee.
These are the fees that are charged for each trade that you implement. The rolling volume is calculated by taking a look back at the last 30 days of trading volume on your account. While these trading fees are largely in line with most exchanges, it is quite surprising for us to see a segmentation of the fees between the maker and taker side of the trades. In terms of the fees that are charged for funding and withdrawing from your account, the following will apply:. While there are no charges to deposit cryptocurrency on Kraken, the following withdrawal costs apply to the top 7 crypto pairs:.
These fees are used to cover the network or miner fees that Kraken has to incur to propagate your transaction. It it interesting though that they have set these at a flat level instead of making it dynamic like most of the other exchanges. If you are going to start making use of the Kraken margin trading facilities then you will get charged two seperate fees.
This is essentially just a fee on the size of the position. This is the fee that you will be charged on the notional of the contract for keeping it open. You can think of this as anologous to an interest rate that is applied every 4 hours. As we mentioned, Kraken operates on a tier based structure when it comes to account limits for funding and withdrawals.
Unfortunately, even for the most basic account types, you will need to supply some form of information in this case date of birth, name and phone number. If privacy is a concern of yours then there are other anonymous trading exchanges that you can make use of. There are three different account verification levels at Kraken.
These are the Starter , the Intermediate and the Pro. Once you have submitted these documents to Kraken, you will have to wait for either an automatic or a manual verification. If you have made an application for a starter account, verifications are done automatically.
This can usually take no less than an hour. The Intermediate and the Pro levels require manual verification at the Kraken team. According to their guidance, this could take anywhere from days. This is probably also where many people can become incredibly frustrated. As verifications have to be completed manually, they require someone at Kraken to read over them and confirm that they are legitimate. During times of peak demand in the summer of last year, it was not unheard of for verifications to take in excess of two weeks for tier 2.
One can get a sense of the community frustration in this reddit post from last year. There are other examples of verification during the December rally to level three taking in excess of 3 weeks. Of course, one has to take into account that these were in times of extreme demand at the exchanges so it is likely that this has now come down slightly. Moving onto the engine of the beast, we now take a look at the Kraken exchange platform.
When you first visit the website you will have to complete a standard registration. This is the standard email and password combination in the image to the right. Once you have registered and are on the platform, they will ask you to secure your account with two factor authentication.
After you have set this up you can start the verification process. From here you can select the verification tier that you would like to go ahead with.
You will complete the verification requirements and submit the information that we have listed above. Once this is done you are ready to fund your account and start trading on Kraken. As we mentioned, Kraken is Fiat gateway that means you can deposit and withdraw in a range of different Fiat currencies. It is important to note, that like many of their competitors, they require some KYC procedures to be completed before you can fund your account in a Fiat currency.
If you are verified, then you are entitled to withdraw your funds to the same bank account that you sent them from. Withdrawal times can vary depending on where your bank is located. International Swift wires will usually take between business days before they will hit your account. This can sometimes be frustrating but that is the price one pays for using legacy banking systems.
Of course, you could also fund your account in cryptocurrency should you so desire. You can still do this on a Starter account with no deposit limits. This is probably one of the places that Kraken has suffered negative press in the past. People have been highly critical of the platform as it was riddled with errors and constantly crashed. There would also be bugs that would not capture a trade order when placed. However, in mid the exchange released its completely new and improved matching engine and trading platform.
They have also upgraded the trading interface as well as given the entire website a UI upgrade. Kraken has two methods in which you can trade crypto. The first is through the use of the order forms that you have right there in your account.
These can either be a market order executed at the market price or a limit order. For those who would like a bit more control over their order types, they can choose the intermediate or advanced order form. This will enable the trader to insert a number more parameters which we will go over below. It was developed for those traders who needed more charting functionality and trading tools in order to conduct more rigorous technical analysis. Below is the main user interface:. On the top left you have the option to quickly switch between the different markets.
Then, just below that you have the main charts and charting tools. Here you can map out your trend-lines, graph out specific technical studies as well as refine the chart parameters. For example, you have over 20 technical studies included in the package such as the Chaikin Oscillator, the Parabolic SAR and numerous moving average charts.
You can also draw fan lines, Fibonacci retracements and Fibonacci arcs. Then, right next to that you have the exchange order books as well as the previous orders. Finally, on the far right there are the more advanced order forms that you can execute. While you are perhaps familiar with the simple order types, it helps to know what the other orders mean. These are orders that will open a order for closing a position at the same time as the order for opening it. So, for example, assume you were about to go long BTC at a certain limit level.
You would place this order and at the same time, you could place the stop loss that you would apply to this open order. Something that Kraken provides that is not an option at the other large Fiat gateways is crypto margin trading. You can trade on margin with leverage up to 5 times.
Withdrawal confirmations via email are also possible so that even if a telephone is compromised an illicit withdrawal might be blocked. To ensure the security of all of these systems Kraken has their own security team as well as a bug bounty, should a third party discover an exploit.
Overall Kraken is one of the safer exchanges to trade on and their long security track record has proven their reliability. Powell reportedly began working on Kraken after he saw the potential that Mt. Gox might be shut down which of course it was. Kraken opened with just Bitcoin and Litecoin as trading pairs and they subsequently expanded their operation from that small start.
They are one of the largest exchanges by trade volume in the United States and their volume reporting is widely believed to be accurate. Kraken has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. It primarily serves American traders and investors although Kraken is also popular in Canada and Europe.
Kraken is not FDIC insured. This is similar to other cryptocurrency exchanges. Bittrex is perhaps the most famous example of an insurance fund. Kraken makes money by charging fees for individuals to trade cryptocurrencies on their platform. Generally, when you make a trade, a percentage of your trade is charged as a fee.
This is how almost all exchanges make money. Kraken and Coinbase are natural competitors as they are both American regulated exchanges with excellent safety records. Both Kraken and Coinbase have been around for a number of years and offer many of the same trading pairs. That being said, Kraken does have a wider feature set. They have more coins available for trade, they offer margin trading and futures contracts whereas Coinbase is purely a spot exchange.
The advantage of Coinbase is that they have more volume than Kraken and they also have a Bitlicense allowing them to accept customers from New York state. Kraken generally has a better reputation than Coinbase since it came to light that Coinbase has been trying to sell its data to the IRS and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Gemini supports only a paltry five coins as compared to the twenty or so that Kraken supports.
In addition, Gemini does not offer margin trading or futures contracts. As an exchange, Gemini primarily caters to institutional traders. They reduce their fees for trades done through an API connection. Also, part of the reason their trading fees are high to begin with is that Gemini is fully insured and they collect accreditations and licenses.
That makes Gemini a good fit for professional traders and investors who are willing to pay more for the most upstanding exchange. However, for most retail traders Kraken, with their lower fee structure, is a better fit. Binance is a much bigger exchange offering higher liquidity and more coins to choose from. Though some view less coins as better, since there is less likely to be a hack. Kraken has binance beat in terms of truthworthiness as well. Binance has never proven its reserves so there is no way to know if they actually have all user deposits on hand at any given time.
Binance is known for having very responsive customer service, whereas Kraken falters a bit here, with long response times over chat and email only. With regard to fees, they are both quite low, with neither being able to claim lower fees than the other because the fees will depend on the market and the liquidity on the exchange at the moment of the trade. Fees on Gemini are much higher than on Kraken, and Gemini has never proved its reserves, though few believe that Gemini is engaging in fractional reserve banking of customer funds.
Gemini is known for having better customer support as its attracts a higher value client than Kraken tends to pull in. Kraken and Coinbase Pro both offer some very advanced trading features for the experienced trader.
Kraken has also proved its reserves, unlike Coinbase Pro, which has refused to undergo any sort of Reserve audit like Kraken has. In terms of fees, if you are a market taker, its better to use Kraken. However, if you are a market maker, its better to use Coinbase Pro. Bitstamp is a European exchange which has the honor of being the oldest crypto exchange still in existence.
Kraken and Bitstamp have similar trading volumes, although Kraken usually has more volume. One advantage of using Bitstamp is that they have a lower minimum trade volume. The minimum trade on Bitstamp is 0. That makes Bitstamp a better option for anyone planning to execute small trades.
Perhaps one of the best advantages of using Bitstamp instead of Kraken is that Bitstamp has a popular mobile App. Kraken at one point had an iOS app but it was discontinued. Kraken makes no mention of an App being released in the future, leaving us to believe that Bitstamp is the best option for anyone who needs to have access to a trading platform at all times. Bitpanda is a Bitcoin broker based in Austria.
It offers a wide range of payment methods and has good prices. IO allows for the buying of bitcoins for low fees via credit card.
Customers can also purchase for free with bank transfers. Coinbase Pro is an exchange run by San Franisco based Coinbase. It has been active since and supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and Bcash trading.
Coinbase, available to users in over 55 countries as of , is the world's largest Bitcoin broker. Coinmama is a bitcoin broker based in Israel. They specialize in selling bitcoins for credit card to nearly anyone in the world.