Kraken Review in 2023: Pros, Cons, and Features

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Reviewed by
Zachary R.
Crypto Analyst

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In this 2023 Kraken review, I will examine what Kraken is, its history, the team, the pros and cons of the platform, and more.

I will explain everything you need to know, from the fee structures and available trading pairs to the reputation and customer service quality at Kraken.

Whether you’re an institutional or retail investor, you don’t want to pay high fees or use a slow trading platform with an inadequate selection of tokens. 

There are plenty of bad exchanges out there, so it is essential to choose a good one. I’m here to find those good ones, so you don’t have to.

Should you consider Kraken as your exchange? 

Let’s find out!

DisclaimerThe information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial, investment, or legal advice. Cryptocurrency investments are volatile and high-risk in nature. Consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before making any investment decisions. We are not responsible for any loss incurred due to the use of information on this website. Do your own research and exercise caution. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

2023 Kraken Review: Kraken Home Page


Key Takeaways 

I understand you may not have enough time to read my full Kraken review, so here is an actionable summary to help you.

Pros of Kraken

Pros Description (Normal): 
Kraken is the only crypto company in the world with a US banking license, which is notoriously difficult to obtain.
Pros Description (Normal): 
There are five different types of trading interfaces varying in complexity. Most exchanges only offer ONE.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Let your digital assets work for you by staking them and earning interest through Kraken’s ‘Earn’ accounts. You can earn up to 20% annually!
Pros Description (Normal): 
Kraken serves institutional and high-net-worth individuals through their white-glove OTC services.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Kraken has curated a strong offering of 78 tokens and 357 markets full of liquidity.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Trade with as much or as little as you want.
Pros Description (Normal): 
The more you trade, the less you pay in fees.


Cons of Kraken

Cons Title (Bold): 
No Futures Products for US citizens.
Cons Description (Normal): 
US Citizens can only use trade spot products due to complicated regulatory frameworks. Other US exchanges, however, do offer futures products.
Cons Title (Bold): 
No Fiat / Fiat Trading for US citizens.
Cons Description (Normal): 
US citizens can not trade fiat/fiat pairs; however, they can trade all the available crypto/fiat and crypto/crypto pairs.
Cons Title (Bold): 
Not Many Features outside of Trading.
Cons Description (Normal): 
Kraken focuses on trading and staking. Other exchanges have NFT marketplaces, debit cards, hotel & airline bookings, and more exotic offerings.
Cons Title (Bold): 
Small Selection of order types.
Cons Description (Normal): 
They don’t offer OCO orders or trailing stops.



Year founded: 

San Francisco, CA


Fiat Currencies: 
Canadian dollar
Australian dollar
Japanese yen
Swiss franc

Coins Available: 
Bitcoin Cash
USD Coin
Curve DAO Token
The Graph
Keep Network
Basic Attention Token
OMG Network
Ethereum Classic
Kyber Network
PAX Gold

Products and Services: 
Spot Exchange
Futures Exchange




Reputation and Security 10.0/10

Kraken has established itself as one of the most secure crypto exchanges in the world. Kraken is the only crypto company that has obtained the Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI) license. 

This means at some point in the near future, there will be a Kraken Bank. Banking licenses are notoriously hard to come by, so kudos to Kraken for jumping through all the hoops. 

Kraken’s founder, Jesse Powell, has also attached his name and reputation to the company and is often a guest on American news channels such as CNBC or Fox News to discuss market events. This is further justification for Kraken’s good reputation.

Kraken License and Insurances

Is Kraken legit? Yes, very much so. 

As stated above, Kraken has obtained the coveted SPDI license, is a registered money service business (MSB), is registered with FinCen in the US & Canada, and is fully compliant with CFT, AML & KYC regulations.

Security Features

Is Kraken safe? Yes, Kraken is a safe crypto exchange and very serious about security. It offers one of the best ways to buy Bitcoin and crypto.

There are higher levels of verification required to trade leveraged and margined products and increase withdrawal limits. 

Below is a list of the security features Kraken enables.

2023 Kraken Review: Kraken Security Features

All in all, Kraken is a VERY secure platform.

Kraken also allows you to configure a master key to ensure your account’s safety even if your 2FA device is compromised. They recommend using the Yubikey or authenticator app methods.

Complaints Received

Having gone through various third-party review sites, I noticed a surprising amount of bad reviews of the Kraken exchange. This was interesting to me because all of my experiences with the platform have been great. 

After reading these reviews and seeing the official response to each review from the Kraken customer service team, I have to say my opinion of Kraken is even better than before. 

These reviews are very inflammatory and inaccurate. I am not sure why they are there, but they look like many of the scam bot comments I see all over the crypto world.

The best part is that Kraken’s customer service team has responded to each of these negative reviews with paragraphs and links to articles debunking the claims in the review. 

Although only a handful of these complaints may be legitimate, the genuine engagement by Kraken to resolve these issues emphasizes their devotion to customer service. 


The Kraken crypto exchange is led by CEO Jesse Powell, who has been in crypto since the beginning. 

He has done a great job at compiling a team and building a compliant, secure, and sophisticated trading platform for amateurs and veterans alike. 

After browsing the Kraken page on LinkedIn, I found 211 employees with LinkedIn profiles right there on the network. 

That is 211 people who are willingly putting their professional reputation on the line in the name of Kraken. 

This is more proof of Kraken’s trustworthiness and shows me there is no such thing as a Kraken scam. You will not have your funds stolen by Kraken without legal repercussions like you might at an exchange where the team is anonymous.

Market Share

At the time of writing, Kraken is the 11th biggest exchange globally with over $1 billion in spot volume and roughly $500 million traded in futures contracts over the last 24 hours.

Prohibited Countries 

Before I move forward with the essence of my Kraken review, make sure you don’t use this platform for spot trading if you reside in the following countries. 

AF Afghanistan
CG Congo (Brazzaville)
CD Congo (Kinshasa)
CU Cuba
IR Iran
IQ Iraq
LY Libya
KP North Korea
SY Syria
TJ Tajikistan

See All Prohibited Countries

Kraken does offer restricted trading services in several other countries. Futures trading and leverage features have additional country restrictions, so please check Kraken’s website for details first.

Kraken Fees 9.0/10

Kraken has five fee structures, one each for instant transactions, Kraken Pro users, stable coin & FX pairs, margin trading, and futures trading. I’ll detail the instant and the Pro fees as those are the ones most users will encounter. 

While these fees are relatively low compared to their competitors, expect to encounter Kraken trading fees, Kraken margin fees, and Kraken transaction fees.

Instant Transaction Fees 

Type Fee
Kraken Instant Transaction Fee (Stablecoins) 0.9%
Kraken Instant Transaction Fee (any other crypto or FX pair) 1.5%
Card Processing Fee 3.75%
Bank Processing Fee 0.5%

  Kraken fees

Kraken Pro Fees

Kraken Pro fees range between 0% to 0.26% depending on where your account’s trading activity is within the past 30 days. Kraken trading fees decline with volume. 

The more you trade, the less it costs!

Below is a table of the Kraken Pro fee structure. 

30-Day Volume (USD) Maker Fee Taker Fee
$0-$50,000 0.16% 0.26%
$50,001-$100,000 0.14% 0.24%
$100,001-$250,000 0.12% 0.22%
$250,001-$500,000 0.10% 0.20%
$500,001-$1,000,000 0.08% 0.18%
$1,000,001-$2,500,000 0.06% 0.16%
$2,500,001-$5,000,000 0.04% 0.14%
$5,000,001-$10,000,000 0.02% 0.12%
$10,000,000+ 0.00% 0.10%

Kraken Pro fees

One notable aspect of the trading platform is the ability to pay fees in either USD or BTC. That should be music to the ears of BTC whales.

Exchange Features 9.0/10

Kraken has a very robust suite of financial products. They have many different trading interfaces, staking abilities, spot markets, futures markets, and soon banking services.

Many of these features are offered in both a simple and an advanced context, which is excellent for people learning their way around the more advanced features. 


Exchange Token

Kraken is one of the few old-school exchanges without a token. 

That is a neutral fact about the platform - exchange tokens are common but not a necessity, so this does not affect my opinion of Kraken. 


Kraken offers 33 futures markets to eligible participants.

Unfortunately for the United States, they do not have access to these futures products due to regulatory uncertainty.

It’s the same situation with Binance and Deribit. They are not offering these leveraged products to US clients because they don’t want to start a paper trail that may end with harsh regulatory oversight one day. 

Kraken allows futures traders to use 50x leverage to eligible users - so a 2% initial margin requirement. 

Kraken also offers margin availability of up to 5x everywhere except Japan. As stated, Kraken’s margin fees are between 0.1% and 0.2%  to open a position and 0.02% every four hours to maintain that position. 

These fees are reasonable, as many other exchanges have higher fees.

OTC Desk

Kraken has developed a powerful OTC trading platform. This allows users to execute substantial trades with private and personal services. Generally, institutions and high-net-worth individuals are the main clients of an OTC desk. 

There is 24/7 support at Kraken’s OTC desk, and they offer every one of their listed fiat and cryptocurrency pairs.

Trading Interfaces

Kraken has been around since 2011. They service everybody from veteran HODLers & institutions, to crypto beginners and the DOGE army. 

Because of this wide array of users, Kraken has created five different trading interfaces that range from as simple as possible to professionally complex. 

I’ve outlined each of the interfaces below with an accompanying screenshot.


For those who want to buy, sell, or convert cryptocurrencies as market order, you should use the “Buy Crypto” button on the right side of the top of the home page. Then select your payment method, choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy, decide how much you want, and click Buy.

2023 Kraken Review: Buy Crypto Page


You should use the Trade- Simple interface for those of you who want to buy, sell, or convert cryptocurrencies as limit orders. 

You simply click the trade button on the top left, and you’ll see an option for the Simple interface. 

This interface lets you input a fixed price into your order, so you don’t pay more or sell for less than you want to.

2023 Kraken Review: Trade / Simple Page


The Trade - Intermediate tab is located in the same place as the Trade - Simple and Trade - Advanced tabs. The Trade - Intermediate tab introduces traders to alterations of the trade type and leverage. It also allows traders to add a time frame to their trade. 

The Trade types are the following Market; Limit; Stop Loss; Take Profit; Stop Loss Limit, and Take Profit Limit.

Here, you can choose to utilize up to 5x margin and submit your trade to be “Good-till-custom dates” or to start at a custom time. 

You also have the option of selecting your trading fee currency as being either USD or BTC. 

2023 Kraken Review: Trade / Intermediate Page


The advanced functionality of the trade tab introduces one more concept - a conditional close. 

Not only can you place your trade with all the bells and whistles of the Trade - Intermediate tab, but you can actually set the price conditions for your trade to close. 

2023 Kraken Review: Trade / Advanced Page

Trade Environment

Speaking of bells and whistles, check out all the features Kraken has to offer in their Trade Environment tab. This is what I’m talking about! 

To access the Trade Environment, click on the Trade tab and click the black chart button above the time refresh button.

2023 Kraken Review: Trade / Pro Page

Kraken’s Trade interface is built for traders who understand market structure and leverage. 

The left side of the screen is designated for charts and indicators, the middle section is for the order book, and the right side of the screen is meant for order placing and leverage determination. 

The asset’s order book, otherwise known as the depth-of-market, shows you the relative liquidity that has been placed as limit orders above or below the current price. 

I really liked how you can hover your mouse over the order book, and text will pop up on the top left side of the screen that details how much money would be required to move the price of that asset to another price. 

Fiat & Cryptocurrencies

There are 224 crypto/fiat pairs, 121 crypto/crypto pairs, and 12 fiat/fiat pairs available to trade 24/7. 

Kraken offers 357 markets with deep liquidity. That is impressive for a centralized exchange.

Naturally, each of these markets will vary in liquidity, but in my experience on the platform, the order book for everything I looked at was full, and the spreads were tight. 

The Kraken minimum deposit is zero dollars. This is the industry standard. 

It means you can start to hone your trading skills with as much or as little risk capital as you feel comfortable with, and you won’t have to worry about any extraneous fees.

Pairs Available

Of the 357 pairs available for trading, over half of them are crypto/USD, crypto/EUR, or crypto/BTC. 

Currently, Kraken offers 78 spot cryptocurrency markets against the world’s major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, JPY, AUD) and 33 cryptocurrency futures markets.

Many exchanges do not offer crypto/BTC trading, so again, kudos to Kraken. 

Those of you who enjoy keeping your money in crypto are in luck. Along with trading crypto/BTC, Kraken allows you to trade 31 crypto/ETH pairs, 13 crypto/USDT pairs, and a variety of other crypto/crypto pairs. 

User Experience

Platform Functionality

The features are very user-friendly, and I never came across any functionality issues. Not only is the interface visually delightful, but the exchange itself has deep liquidity and high transaction volumes. 

Design and Appearance

The design, appearance, and user interface of Kraken is excellent. Their five different trading interfaces ensure that traders of all levels of sophistication will be able to find what they’re looking for. 

I had no issues moving from one page to another or scrolling around the website’s documentation pages. 

Registration Process

The registration process was straightforward. I had to set up an account and follow the KYC rules just as I would at any other exchange. I was approved within one day. 

To have access to margin, the OTC desk, and futures, you would need to finish the second level of verification, which requires additional documents to be submitted. 

Payments 9.0/10


There are various Kraken deposit fees and Kraken withdrawal fees that are associated with different cryptocurrencies. For a full list of the minimums and fee structures regarding deposits and withdrawals, I recommend checking out the Cryptocurrency Funding section located in the Kraken Help Center.

Note that using a credit card to buy crypto will involve different fees than if you were to use a debit card.

The Kraken withdrawal process for cryptocurrency does require you to pay a fee depending on which cryptocurrency you’re withdrawing. The Kraken minimum withdrawal size also varies depending on which cryptocurrency you are using.

Kraken Deposits

Kraken enables users to deposit and withdraw both Fiat and cryptocurrency. You can fund your account by depositing any of the six fiat currencies available (USD, CAD, JPY, GBP, CHF, AUD) or any cryptocurrency available for trading on Kraken. 

Below are the methods for domestic and international deposit methods for fiat. 


2023 Kraken Review: USD Deposit Methods


2023 Kraken Review: EUR Deposit Methods


2023 Kraken Review: CAD Deposit Methods


2023 Kraken Review: JPY Deposit Methods


2023 Kraken Review: GBP Deposit Methods


2023 Kraken Review: CHF Deposit Methods


2023 Kraken Review: AUD Deposit Methods


Your Kraken account can withdraw any of the cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies available. 

To withdraw cryptocurrencies, you will need to input the wallet address you would like to send to. For Kraken fiat withdrawals, you will need to connect a bank to your account that accepts whatever fiat you are attempting to withdraw. 


The limits on what you can withdraw are presented below. Exchanges are required to do this to ensure they can maintain adequate levels of liquidity at all times. 

As you can see, there are four tiers of limits dependent upon verification level, your residency, and the asset you are trying to withdraw. 

Cash Limits

2023 Kraken Review: Cash Limits

Cryptocurrency Limits

2023 Kraken Review: Cryptocurrency Limits


Customer Service 10.0/10

The customer service of Kraken is top-notch. Their contact page is evident on their website, and there is a 24/7 live chat option. My chat took minutes to answer, and I talked to a human. 

They also have a massive support center, pictured below, with information on all their features.

2023 Kraken Review: Help Page

The customer service representative told me they use a translator service, so ANY language is available in their customer service department. 


Noteworthy Features 9.0/10



No Kraken crypto review would be complete without a mention of their banking plans. As stated, Kraken is the only crypto company in the world that has obtained the SPDI banking license

Is Kraken trustworthy? Given everything I know about the platform and its banking plans, my answer is a resounding yes. 

Kraken’s bank is slated to begin operations in late 2021 and early 2022. 

Below is an image of their banking page. I am subscribed to their email update list as I am excited to see what comes of this.

2023 Kraken Crypto Review: Kraken Bank


Kraken allows you to stake certain tokens and currencies to earn yields. This means you can earn a new share of blockchain or DeFi rewards by lending your tokens out. 

Below are the current staking rates.

DOT 12%
KSM 12%
ADA 4-6%
ETH 5-7%
SOL 6.5%
XTZ 5.5%
KAVA 20%
EUR 1.5%
USD 2%
BTC 0.25%
FLOW 4-6%

Kraken staking rates

The ways exchanges like Kraken earn money from these products can vary, but you can imagine them borrowing your money for 5% and lending it to someone else for 10%.

It’s all good as long as you earn more than you would in a traditional American savings account that typically offers between 0.01 and 0.03%.

Kraken Mobile

Kraken has developed an impressive set of trading apps for mobile devices. There is the Kraken app, which is built for all the trading interfaces aside from Pro.

2023 Kraken Review: Kraken Mobile App

The Pro version also has many more integrated features of the exchange, such as access to order books, advanced orders, and more in-depth charting software. 


2023 Kraken Review: KrakenPro Mobile App


Because crypto is relatively new and there is a large amount of misinformation, many exchanges have begun releasing research reports and free training academies. 

Kraken does not release public research reports, but they do have extensive educational materials in their documentation. If you want to learn more about how to buy crypto, you'll have to look elsewhere. 

You can find video tutorials on how to use their platform and informative articles about crypto technologies and features such as staking and Proof of Work (PoW).

Kraken Review: Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this Kraken exchange review. I sure did!

Kraken has built a world-class exchange and has been around for quite some time. Given their active users, the large number of cryptocurrencies they offer, and their good reputation, you can expect a very high-quality experience with the platform. Plus, Kraken is one of the safest crypto exchanges out there, so you can enjoy investing without worrying about your holdings.

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We are CryptoManiaks.  Collectively, we have over 25 years of experience in the crypto world and are all passionate about guiding people through the complex world of crypto investing.

Written by

Zachary R.

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