Kraken.com review – Scam or Not?

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UPDATE: At the moment ( May / June 2017 ) the support of Kraken is totally overloaded, it takes weeks and months to get an answer – sadly also if you wait for the verification of your documents. In case you want to buy your crypto currency fast, its better to choose a different exchange.

Kraken is the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity. After trying to help MtGox recover from the hacking attack, Jesse Powell decided to offer the world the first professional BTC exchange – that’s how Kraken was born. The company was founded in San Francisco on 28th of July, 2011 and remains based in California.

The platform is an excellent choice for European users, but after a number of acquisitions in the last couple of years, their focus seems to be shifting from Europe to Worldwide market. kraken-cover

Verification

The verification process is straightforward, but Kraken can be a bit strict when it comes to the higher tier verifications. There are four tiers. Tier 1 and 2 take only a few minutes, but it can take longer if the application requires manual review. Tier 3 verification usually takes a couple of days to complete.

Kraken doesn’t allow deposits, withdrawals or trading without verification. Here’s how the user’s limits increase with tiers:

Tier 1 – Deposits and withdrawals are available in digital currency only. Trading, on the other hand, can be performed with digital as well as fiat currencies. Tier 1 verification requires:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • Phone number verification

Tier 2 – Deposits, withdrawals, and trading in digital currency are available. Depending on the country of residence, some users can get access to fiat currency deposits and withdrawals. Tier 2 verification requires only the user’s address.

Tier 3 – fiat currency deposits and withdrawals are available, and the funding limits are way higher than Tier 2. Tier 3 verification also allows margin trading. The verification requires:

  • Valid government ID
  • Recent proof of residence

In order to deposit fiat currency in the US, Canada, Japan, Germany and other countries depending on the type of currency, Tier 3 verification is necessary.

Tier 4 – Tier 3 with higher funding limits. Tier 4 offers both individual and corporate accounts. Verification for an individual account requires the KYC documents and a signed application form. Corporate account verification requires contacting support.

Deposit and withdrawal limits are sorted per tiers:

Tier 1 – Fiat deposits and withdrawals are not possible. Deposits in digital currencies don’t have a limit, while withdrawals are limited to $2,500 per day and $20,000 per month. Verification for Tier 1 requires some basic personal information.

Tier 2 -Deposits and withdrawals in FIAT currency are limited to $2,000 per day and $10,000 per month. Cryptocurrency withdrawals are limited to $5,000 per day and $50,000 per month. Verification requirement for Tier 2 is address verification, which can be confirmed with a utility bill on the user’s name.

Tier 3 – Fiat deposits and withdrawals are limited to $25,000 daily and $200,000 monthly. Withdrawals in digital currencies are limited to $50,000 per day and $200,000 per month. Tier 3 verification requires address verification from Tier 2, National ID card photo, Social Security number for US residents, and ID confirmation photo for German residents.

Kraken accepts the following fiat currencies:

  • US dollar
  • Canadian dollar
  • GB Pound
  • Euro
  • Yen

And users can trade these cryptocurrencies:

  • BTC
  • The DAO
  • ETC
  • ETH
  • DOGE
  • DASH
  • ICN
  • LTC
  • REP
  • XLM
  • XRP
  • ZEC

Possible trading pairs and fee schedule for each pair can be found here.

Kraken Fees Analysis

When it comes to fees, Kraken has reduced its prices drastically in order to stay ahead of the competition and currently is one of the cheapest trading platforms. The exchange charges the following fiat withdrawal fees:

EUR SEPA Withdrawal – EEA countries only €0.09
GBP PayCash Wire Transfer – 0.19% with £10 minimum fee
USD PayCash SEPA – EAA countries 0.19% with $15 minimum fee
USD SWIFT Withdrawal – all other countries 0.19% with $15 minimum fee
USD SynapsePay – available in 37 US states + DC, $5 flat fee
CAD EFT Withdrawal – Canada only, $10 CAD flat fee
JPY Domestic Withdrawal – Japan Only, ¥300 flat fee

Cryptocurrency withdrawal fees are even lower:

  • Bitcoin ฿0.00050
  • Ether Ξ0.00500
  • Ether Classic ξ0.00500
  • Ripple Ʀ0.02000
  • Litecoin Ł0.02000
  • Dogecoin Ð2.00
  • Stellar STR 0.00002
  • Iconomi ICN 0.200
  • Zcash ⓩ0.00010
  • Augur (REP) Ɍ0.01000

When it comes to deposits, Kraken doesn’t charge fees for the majority of transfers, but wire transfers carry the €5 fee for EU countries and 0.19% fee for USD and GBP deposits with the minimum of $20 and £10 respectively. All digital currency deposits are free as well, with the exception of Ripple which carries a fee of 50XRP.

Trading Fees

Trading fees are charged for both maker and taker, and they start at 0.16% for the maker and 0.26% for the taker. As the trading volume increases, fees percentage steadily drops all the way to 0.00% for the maker and 0.10% for the taker.

Trading

Kraken offers less than ten different cryptocurrencies for trading, but it is possible to make direct trades between all available pairs. Together with five fiat currencies, the exchange gives enough trading options for everyone.

For those who are looking to have maximum control over their trades, Kraken remains the best choice.

kraken-order

The exchange doesn’t support derivates or futures trading, but it has all the functions that can be found in the forex trading markets. Users can use limit orders, advanced orders with predefined triggers, leveraged positions, margin trading as well as short selling.

Margin trading is available on these currency pairs: XBT*/EUR, XBT/USD, ETH/XBT, ETH/USD, ETH/EUR, ETC/XBT, ETC/ETH, ETC/USD, ETC/EUR, REP/XBT, REP/ETH, REP/EUR.

XBT is Kraken’s short for Bitcoin, used instead BTC.

Ease of Use

Kraken software is highly rated for both professional and beginning cryptocurrency trading. The interface offers simple, intermediate and advanced templates, helping beginners to get their bearings and at the same time allowing expert traders to use all the advanced options they need.

The trading platform has official iOS application. Android app exists, but it’s unofficial version, made by Bitrocket IT.

Support

Kraken offers 24/7 support, with instant email and chat responses. The support isn’t very highly rated and it can take a couple of days to react, so some people were forced to act like this guy.

Other than that, no serious complaints were posted.

Kraken.com Security Check

Kraken is probably one of the most secure online cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. In the aftermath of the Mt. Gox collapse, Kraken was the first company to create a cryptographically verified proof of reserves which shows that the exchange holds 100% of customer funds, as it should. They hold the majority of funds offline in cold storage. Their servers are held in secure facilities with armed guards, retina scanners, and top-notch video surveillance.

kraken-main

The company has two-factor authentication, PGP encryption for email communication and global setting lock, which prevents any account changes in a particular time period.

So far Kraken hasn’t been hacked, but there were cases where careless users got their accounts hacked due to lack of 2fa security.

But even if their security is top notch, it happened to a lot of traders that kraken has capacity problems when there is a  lot of volatility in the market. That is problem when you want to react quickly to a market change or you want to buy/sell but the exchange is not responding.

Conclusion

The Kraken is a real industry leader, and one of the best bitcoin exchanges today.

Pros

  • Low fees
  • Excellent liquidity in EUR markets
  • Margin trading supported
  • Only exchange platform selected to support investigation into Mt. Gox’s stolen Bitcoins

Cons

  • Weak support for mobile platforms
  • Often has uptime problems when market gets hot
  • Volume lags a bit in BTC/USD

If you’re looking for a safe exchange with low fees (especially if you’re in Europe), then Kraken is an obvious choice. Post your experience with Kraken exchange in the comments, we would love to hear from you.

Go to kraken.com
Write a Review about Kraken.com:

15 User-Reviews for Kraken.com
  1. Jordan, 15. March 2017

    I created an account on Kraken ,and made directly the verification until trier 3 for make deposit without problem but since 6 days my deposit of 410 euros is still “in hold”.

    I sent in first 1 request and they never answered. I sent a lot after cause I want to know where is my money but nobody answer on their support.

    If you want lose your money go there.

    This website isn’t serious and not professional.

  2. Duane, 27. April 2017

    NO SERVICE AT ALL!!!

    WAITING DAYS TO WITHDRAW ETH.
    STILL NO SUCCESS.

    WILL NEVER USE THIS EXCHANGE AGAIN.

  3. Steve Hunt, 6. May 2017

    Kraken Support is horribly NON RESPONSIVE. I have reported problems with their software that are preventing “validation” and sent in three support tickets.

    After 1 WEEK … there has only been a “were sorry for the delay” … and NO help at all.

  4. s2ao, 1. June 2017

    I tried Kraken for the first time a few weeks ago, and had a terrible experience.

    I was planning to use them to build a portfolio of a few cryptocurrencies as an investment. First of all their various membership tiers where confusing, but that seemed OK. I set up an account and verified myself up to tier 2. I then tried to deposit some money through SEPA in Euros (one of only two options open to me, if I wanted to deposit in fiat currency).

    I am based in the UK, and my bank charges fees and stings me on the exchange rate, so normally, I use a third party service to do Euro transfers (something I have done for business many times before). It’s normally faster, I get a better exchange rate, and it’s simpler and all done online.

    2 days later, my deposit showed up on the account, but said it was ‘on hold’. I looked at what that meant and looked at the FAQs, it said it might take a couple of days to clear because of money laundering/fraud checks. Fine. I waited. 5 days later, still on hold. So I look at the help section and the FAQs. None of the reasons for the deposit being on hold apply to me. So, I fire an email up to Kraken support.

    My email goes into a black hole, I nudge Kraken every couple of days, no response. Finally, 8 days after my first email, I get a (possibly automated) message saying “sorry it took us so long to respond, but we think your deposit is no longer on hold”.

    I write back to them and say, no, actually, it’s still on hold.

    The write back saying “oh, you can’t send us deposits from a business account, you have to be tier 4 for that. Do you want to upgrade to tier 4”.

    At this point, I am fuming, due to the delay and useless customer experience. In the meantime, I had also decided to buy Ether through a different route (I decided to buy some about 4 days before it shot up, but instead got bogged down in this customer experience nightmare with Kraken).

    My response was, no I didn’t send it from a business account, I used a third-party service. It doesn’t say anywhere that I can’t use a third-party service, but if it does and I missed it, show me. Also, I really don’t want to deal with you after this experience, except to get the €500 that I sent you and that have been sitting in your account for nearly two weeks back.

    They have promised to refund the deposit now, but I still don’t have my money.

    In summary, useless customer service. Annoyingly complex service. Information on their website is incomplete. There are far better ways of buying holding cryptocurrencies out there.

  5. John, 6. June 2017

    I have a deposit more than 2 weeks ago and it’s on status on hold since then. I have uploaded the requested documents for tier-3 verification but it takes ages to get verified. Sending support tickets doesn’t help at all.

    I get the feeling this is becoming a scam.

  6. Meerten Rongen, 12. June 2017

    I am very sorry but with Kraken.com already TWO times the Stop Loss Market and the Trailing Stop Market orders do NOT trigger. I have lost 85% of my equity because of the following process: 1. Servers stop responding in the heat of the moment, needs an upgrade. 2. Stop Loss Market and Trailing Stop Market orders do NOT work as intended and WILL NOT save your money. Everything is gone, and it is not my fault. My only fault was to choose Kraken.com to be my exchange provider. Never again.

  7. Meerten Rongen, 12. June 2017

    I am very sorry but with Kraken.com already TWO times the Stop Loss Market and the Trailing Stop Market orders do NOT trigger. I have lost 85% of my equity because of the following process: 1. Servers stop responding in the heat of the moment, needs an upgrade. 2. Stop Loss Market and Trailing Stop Market orders do NOT work as intended and WILL NOT save your money. Everything is gone, and it is not my fault. My only fault was to choose Kraken.com to be my exchange provider. This company’s website has an extremely unprofessional blueprint. Never again.

  8. Andrea Piras, 13. June 2017

    After I get verified tier 3 i made a bank transfer of 3000 euros. after 2 weeks I’m still waiting to get my money from kraken! possible scam?? I don’t know!

  9. Justin DeBlois, 15. June 2017

    Kraken initially deposited my wire transfer in my account, then removed the funds from my account saying that the transfer failed. They later acknowledged that the transfer was successful, but have refused to provide the funds for several weeks. I do consider this a scam.

  10. Djulz, 20. June 2017

    I only had issues with them, now I get 504’s error on the website, cannot retrieve my LTCs!! Stay away from them!

  11. Eva, 23. June 2017

    I am writing this to warn others who are considering buying coins for money through Kraken. I deposited 2000 canadian dollars in May, weeks later no coins so I opened support ticket. I confirmed with my bank that the wire was successfull and I provided all documentation to Kraken support. After going back and forth a few times, six weeks later I am still waiting for some resolution, although at this point I am sure they got the money and I will most likely never hear from them again. Stay away

  12. Distressed, 28. June 2017

    I have a Kraken account. I have been unable to make a deposit to my account for over 3 weeks. The only option when one needs support is via email, no phone number listed. I’ve been hung out to dry. Kraken support is really bad!

  13. Antonio, 30. June 2017

    The support is tragic

  14. Evgeny, 3. July 2017

    FUCKING SCAMMERS!

  15. Dirty, 20. July 2017

    This is the worst piece of sh!t site EVER !
    Customer service is almost nonexistent…
    They will tie up your funds with some bogus password failure, make you wait in a customer service Q, and away goes your coin.
    You been warned.. I was warned and didn’t listen.

27 Total Ratings with 4.40/5 possible Rating Points. Bitcoin Exchange