Review 2019 – Scam or Not?

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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


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.


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.


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.


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. 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.


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.

Kraken Review Conclusion

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


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


  • Weak support for mobile platforms
  • Often has uptime problems when market gets hot
  • The support is slow and crappy, verifications take ages
  • 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.

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Share your Experiences about

164 User-Reviews for
  1. Jennifer, 27. August 2019

    Kraken sucks. Can’t log in despite repeated resets and no support from Kraken despite repeated requests for support. I think they are just scamming people.

  2. disappointed, 21. August 2019

    Terrible slow and inefficient approval process.
    In the same time amount I already had gone through the process with bitstamp.

  3. Ryan Metz, 16. June 2019

    Flash crashes at least once or twice a month, and they do not care.

  4. Antonio A., 18. May 2019

    After about a year of trading, they disabled my account with thousands of Euros, without any notice, reason and rights.
    And it’s still disabled.

  5. Anna, 19. April 2019

    Hello! Now released a new token!
    More information here!

  6. Don, 7. April 2019

    This site provides easy to use buy and sell methods. My troubles started when I try to download trading records from Kraken. I tried for hours to change the date range of the records that I want, but all I get is 03/07/19 to 04/07/19. This site is totally useless for tax reporting.

    If you are a US taxpayer this site is a pain to use. You will have to enter each trade manually.

  7. Mary Jane, 5. April 2019

    They have definitely upped their game over the last year! New coins being added, livechat feature, futures trading… Compared to my experience with them in 2017, they are like a new company! Well done guys 🙂

  8. Sophie, 4. April 2019

    Their LiveChat feature is very responsive! I like the fact that I can reach out to a live person to ask my questions so I can have solutions sooner than later. Just kinda sad that they only have wire transfer options as a means of funding. But I understand as Kraken values Security above anything else. The convenience of debit/credit card transfers are easier to fake.

    10/10 would recommend!

  9. Kate O Hara, 13. February 2019

    I lost an incredible amount of Funds to the fake Binary option Brokers, It all started from a phone call and after some persuasion I decided to invest, after months of constant investment I decided to ask for a payout this was the beginning of my turmoil, to my dismay I was still asked to invest more. Being a Single Mother of 3 kids this really affected me and despite all efforts to contact them failed. Luckily enough for me I was introduced to

    Binaryoptionrecoveryspecialist -.- com within a week, to my surprise all my funds were returned to me thank you so much.

  10. Johan, 18. July 2018

    @Marie Cohen
    What a strange story. I have never heard of someone renting out properties through Kraken. They are just an exchange on wich you can buy/sell cryptocurrency.
    Maybe you were scammed by someone pretending to be Kraken

  11. monika osteen, 22. June 2018

    I strongly recommend you buy or sell bitcoins at cryptoexmart. com because they provide great and fast services without the hassles of registering to all cutomers worldwide. I buy and sell bitcoins and they have never failed me!

  12. Marie, 20. May 2018

    Why is these scammers not shut down by the German government? They operate out of Germany. Bad reflection on the country. I will not trust any German based .com ever again.

    They all belong in Jail.

  13. Marie Cohen, 20. May 2018

    I have booked a property in Amsterdam through Kraken. They then cancelled due to “property no longer available” That was 2 month ago. I received an email stating they will fully refund my 900 Euros. I am still waiting. Stating to look like a serious scam website this Kraken. I did all they asked transfered the money into the bank account though my bang got the email stating the place is reserved and 2 week before my departure they cancelled, and still no refund. People should seriously stay away from them, it is a very sofisticated scam!!!

  14. peder, 10. May 2018

    USELESS exchange. I’m no IT-wiz but never visited a website that lags, freezes the browser and is slow even during off-hours.

    IMPOSSIBLE for daytrading, and ANNOYING even for low-frequency trading.