According to Coinmarketcap.com, on this day 2nd October, 2018, the crypto community is only a few coins shy of hitting the $230 billion mark. Now, these coins (well, most of them) are traded on platforms called exchanges, pretty much like the stock exchanges.
In this post, we will talk about one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges called Kraken.
But before we embark on this Kraken exchange review, here is a little cheat sheet I found very valuable towards identifying a good crypto exchange.
Having watched the video, here is what to expect in this review:
- What is Kraken?
- How to trade on Kraken
- The good and the bad side of this crypto-exchange platform
- Our independent rating according to this Kraken review and more.
Without further ado, let’s get on with it!
Kraken Bitcoin Review: What is Kraken?
Having been around from 2011, this could be considered as one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. However, Kraken seems to have fallen behind some of the newer exchanges we see around today.
Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange specializing in the trading of Bitcoins and it enables its users to trade both in fiat and cryptocurrencies. The platform is said to be the first exchange to have its trading volumes and prices displayed on the Bloomberg Terminal.
Is Kraken Safe?
This platform continues to enjoy the trust of many crypto users due to the fact that they have been around for close to a decade now with no single hacking history.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this is also the reason why Mt Gox selected them as their trustee.
So, how exactly does the Kraken team maintain the safety of its platform?
Security continues to be one of biggest issues of concern to crypto traders, and hopefully, this Kraken trading review will shed some light on why we believe this is one of the most secure platforms in existence.
Kraken relies on “air-gapped” cold storage wallets that contains some of the most rigorous security procedures to secure its digital assets. Using cold wallets enables this platform to store its coin portfolio on offline storage devices that are not prone to hacking; a measure that Mt Gox probably ought to have taken to prevent the hacking that led to the loss of millions of dollars.
Their systems are even more secure – their servers are kept secure in data centres manned by security guards and high-level security systems. The information stored in the data centers is encrypted and updated after every 24 hours.
Kraken also features two-factor authentication for user accounts. This ensures that both authorized and unauthorized logins to an account is verified via a different platform even after keying in the correct password. So, in case someone else gains access to your account’s password, you can easily stop any unauthorized access.
In addition, Kraken ensures that their client and internal databases are maintained separately to prevent any unauthorized access of user information by external or internal parties.
To cushion you against phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks, Kraken contains the standard SSL certificates to ensure that users are always complying with safety measures provided by the platform.
How to Trade on Kraken
Having gone through all the safety measures, let us now have a look at how the platform works.
The first page of the Kraken website contains the area for setting up your account.
You will be required to sign up using a valid email address and a strong password.
Kraken contains three verification levels – once you’ve signed up, you will automatically be a member of the level one verified accounts.
To get verified for other levels, you simply click on “verify” and a requirements is to submit certain verification documents, including a valid identification card or a driver’s license.
Unlike a few other platforms, Kraken allows you to add your bank details for easier transacting on the exchange. It is important to note that this must be your official bank account and that Kraken does not transact with third-party bank accounts.
Once your account gets verified, you can proceed to fund your Kraken account by selecting the “funding” tab on the menu. This will initiate the process of transferring funds from the source of your money into the exchange. If you entered your bank account, the transaction could take a few days before going through as is typical for all crypto purchases via banks.
If, however, you fund your account using a digital currency such as Bitcoin, the transaction should not take more than half an hour to be completed.
Once you are done funding the account, you’re all set to start cracking on with the exchange.
Our Kraken Rating
Customer support – 4/5 stars
Fees – 3.7/5 stars
Security – 4.5/5 stars
Ease of use – 4.5 stars
Overall Rating – 4.2 stars
The Reason behind the Rating
Customer support: Kraken provides several customer support channels, including a live chat, email address, and social media platforms. From what I have gathered, the response time of customer queries is fairly good.
Fees: The platform calculates its fees as a percentage of a transaction, but I found it to be a little higher than most other platforms. Here is their updated fees schedule.
Security: Kraken is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges backed by tightly secured servers and communication channels.
Ease of use: From the signup process to the point of transacting, it could take a user an average of 5 minutes to start trading using the level one verified account.
- Highly reputable
- World-class security features
- Very easy-to-use
- Features margin trading and short selling
- A limited number of trading coins
- Limited payment methods
And it’s a wrap!
I hope you found this Kraken Bitcoin review useful.
One thing I would like you to take away from this review is that the security of any platform is what may sometimes matter the most; so, next time you plan on trading on an exchange, make sure that security is always top of your checklist. I hope this platform will be among your top choices for a cryptocurrency exchange.
Look out for more reviews!