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Kraken’s top-notch security, lower trading fees and range of available cryptos can make it a good choice for investors just starting with cryptocurrency and those who are more experienced. Though as with Coinbase, aim not to dwell at beginner status for too long to avoid losing significant chunks of your investing dollars to fees on its training wheels platform.
But if you’re after a cheaper platform to make quick crypto purchase, you would probably be better served by Binance.US’ platform, which only charges 0.5% for this kind of trading, compared to about 2% for Kraken’s Instant Buy interface. Keep in mind, though, that regardless of where you do it, you’ll want to move out of this style of purchasing crypto relatively quickly to minimize fees. Even on Binance.US, you can slash your fees to 0.10% simply by switching to the trading platform.
More experienced crypto investors may be excited to take advantage of Kraken’s range of coins, staking and margin offerings. While the last of those had been a distinguishing trait for Kraken over many other leading platforms, in the U.S. this recently became restricted to those with very large amounts of assets, though it remains open to those outside of America. Advanced American traders can still benefit from Kraken’s large amount of cryptocurrency trading markets and increasingly low fees as trading volume increases. That said, all investors should tread cautiously with even simple crypto trading on Kraken or any other platform. Don’t invest any money you can’t afford to lose.

Kraken Features

In addition to being one of the first cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Kraken has a lot to offer investors of all levels. Some of its top features include:

Security

Over the years, cryptocurrencies have proven particularly vulnerable to hacks resulting in millions of dollars in lost coins. While most hacked exchanges have reimbursed their clients for any lost value, you don’t want to wind up at a crypto exchange with low cybersecurity that might leave your coins ripe for the picking. Kraken takes its commitment to security seriously, ranking first with a perfect score on crypto exchange security review site CER.
Notably, Kraken has not had any major hacking events in its 10-year history, which even the international industry mainstay Binance cannot claim. Not only does Kraken offer safe coin storage, with 95% of deposits held offline in cold storage units spread across the world, but it also promises platform security:
Its servers are kept in secure cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and video monitors. In addition to physical security measures, Kraken encrypts all of your sensitive contact information at the system and data level and regularly engages in vulnerability testing of its own system.

Ease of Use

Though its Instant Buy platform can make Kraken a pricey first foray into crypto, there are no barriers to entry if you’re just getting started. Most user types (Kraken has four) let you get verified in minutes automatically. The highest tier, Pro, can take several days as it requires certain documents be reviewed manually. Once you’re verified, you can fund your account with fiat currency, such as U.S. dollars, and start purchasing cryptocurrencies. Though most major crypto platforms these days allow this, not all do and instead require users to buy cryptocurrency elsewhere to make purchases on their platform.

An important note: Kraken-login uses third-party companies to handle these fiat fund transfers, and each of these companies has varying minimums and fees for account funding, meaning you may end up owing a fee when you transfer your cash in, if you aren’t careful.

In addition to being caught off guard by the number of fiat transfer options, new investors may feel a little overwhelmed by Kraken’s assumption of customer knowledge, although the platform does offer decent educational information—but you’re mostly on your own with the actual investing. Finally, the Kraken app recently launched in the United States, with the exception of New York and Washington. Though the app currently does not allow debit or credit card payments, it does allow for both Instant Buy trading and traditional trading using other payment methods.