What Is Kraken? Is It the Best Crypto Exchange?

America has a mixed reputation as a destination for cryptocurrencies. However, it is host to some of the biggest and most prominent crypto exchanges, one of which is Kraken. It is one of the most reputable crypto exchanges worldwide.

So if you’re in the US (or anywhere in the world!) and looking for a crypto exchange to use, Kraken is one you should consider.

What Is Kraken?

Kraken is a household name in the crypto space. It is one of the world’s top crypto exchanges and one of the oldest. Created in 2011, the exchange currently serves over nine million users from more than 190 countries.

Kraken is a fully regulated exchange that complies with the laws of the US and is one of the few exchanges that American residents can use. You can buy, sell, and trade different cryptocurrencies on this exchange at relatively low fees.

The exchange’s primary mission is to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies to bring financial freedom to the many unbanked of the world, which explains why its services are available to hundreds of countries globally.

Kraken Is a Crypto Trading Platform

Kraken is known primarily as a crypto trading platform where you can buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. It offers these services in different ways, including over-the-counter sales, spot sales, and more.


OTC means over-the-counter, a type of crypto trading in which you can easily buy cryptocurrencies without going through the complexity of the crypto exchange if you don’t have to.

Kraken offers deep liquidity, private, and personalized services to institutions and high-net-worth individuals needing to fill large orders that might be too disruptive if placed on open markets at the exchanges.

You can access this service 24/7 if you live in the Americas, Europe, or Asia-Pacific, except on major holidays.


Using Kraken’s Spot trading, you can buy cryptocurrencies instantly at the current price and get your assets on the spot. It is another means of easily buying cryptocurrencies without too much complexity.


Kraken offers a seamless, flexible futures trading. There’s also a high-performance API for programmed trading. In addition, with the Kraken Futures Multi-collateral advantage, you have a variety of collateral you can use to open new positions or maintain existing ones.

This is facilitated by the Multi-Collateral Futures Wallet, which allows you to use various collateral types to manage all of your positions without needing to move funds around.

Crypto Staking on Kraken

Crypto staking is a popular way to earn passive income with digital assets. You can earn rewards on your crypto holdings with Kraken, with some delivering up to a 23% annual return. You can receive rewards payments twice a week and cancel anytime.

There are 15 cryptocurrencies currently available for staking, including Bitcoin, Tezos, Solana, Cardano, Polkadot, Tron, and many more. Most of the listed cryptocurrencies are among the best crypto coins for staking. All you have to do is sign up with a few clicks and select your cryptocurrency of choice to start staking.

What Are Kraken’s Fees?

Kraken’s fee schedule mainly discourages the conversion of cryptocurrencies into stablecoins as it charges a lot more for such transactions, depending on your trading volume for the last 30 days.

Stablecoin Fees

30- Day Volume (USD)MakerTaker
$0 – $50,0000.20%0.20%
$50,001 – $100,0000.16%0.16%
$100,001 – $250,0000.12%0.12%
$250,001 – $500,0000.08%0.08%
$500,001 – $1,000,0000.04%0.04%

For Kraken Pro, the taker and maker fees are quite small, depending on your trading volume for the last 30 days.

Kraken Pro Fees

30- Day Volume (USD)MakerTaker
$0 – $50,0000.16%0.26%
$50,001 – $100,0000.14%0.24%
$100,001 – $250,0000.12%0.22%
$250,001 – $500,0000.10%0.20%
$500,001 – $1,000,0000.08%0.18%
$1,000,001 – $2,500,0000.06%0.16%
$2,500,001 – $5,000,0000.04%0.14%
$5,000,001 – $10,000,0000.02%0.12%

Fees are quite high for buying crypto using payment cards and digital wallets, too, at 3.75% each. However, online banking and ACH processing is a good option that charges only 0.5% for instant buys.

Instant Buy Fees

Kraken FeePayment Card Processing FeeDigital Wallet Payments Processing FeeOnline Banking/ACH Processing Fee
0.9% fee for any stablecoins 1.5% fee for any other crypto or FX pair3.75% + 0.25c3.75% + 0.25c0.5%

Support for Institutional Investors

Kraken is also known for its support for institutional investors. Remember their OTC, which is designed mainly for institutional investors? Through that feature, institutions enjoy fiat and crypto funding options with high monthly limits, including fiat funding in 7 global currencies, via multiple international partners.

They can also have 24/7 access to Kraken’s dedicated Institutional Relationships and Account Management teams via email, phone, or a preferred encrypted messaging service. Kraken staff attending to institutional clients are chosen deliberately to suit their needs to get the best support when needed.

Is Kraken Secure?

If there is any bragging right Kraken has, it is the fact that it has never been breached in its 11 years of operation. This goes to say that the exchange’s security is top-notch and has set a standard for other exchanges in the space through its comprehensive controls.

These controls, like 2FA, were put in place to ensure there is no theft of financial assets or information.

Developer Grants

As its main mission is to further the adoption of cryptocurrencies, Kraken offers a development grant to support developers in the crypto space. Developers can apply for quarterly open-source developer grants awarded by Kraken to help them fund their dream development projects.

For grant considerations, priority is given to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Lightning (LN), Monero (XMR), Other public cryptocurrencies, and Rust developers.

Affiliate Program

To reward those who help to bring new crypto users to the platform, Kraken has an affiliate program that pays its customers 20% of the trading fees paid by people they refer to the platform for the period they use Kraken. The fees calculation includes spot trade fees, margin opening fees, and margin rollover fees.

Affiliate rewards are paid directly to your bank account by bank transfer rather than in crypto. You will receive the payment in your default bank currency.

To participate, you must have a finance or crypto-related social media account with at least 5,000 followers (a Facebook group with this number of followers will also serve). You can also use a finance or crypto-related website or mobile app with any amount of traffic.

Should You Use Kraken?

If you’re in the US or wish to enjoy any of the listed features, Kraken is a good choice. Its fees are modest compared to Coinbase, the biggest American crypto exchange, and the security is unmatched.

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