Kraken Exchange Review 2018 – Security, Platform & Fees

There is no doubt the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange is one of the best in the world. Our Kraken Exchange review is based on personal experience in dealing with them and is as unbiased as possible.

Let’s jump straight into it.

kraken exchange review 2018

Who is behind the Kraken exchange?

Kraken is a truly global cryptocurrency exchange. It was founded in 2011 in San Francisco and operates in Canada, Japan, the EU and the US.

It is the worlds largest Bitcoin exchange in Euro Volume.

It also acts as the intermediary for many of the Mt Gox creditors and is thought to be the exchange executing the Mt Gox administrators Bitcoin sales.

Kraken was the first Bitcoin exchange to have their trading price and volume displayed on the Bloomberg terminal.

Security of the Kraken exchange

Kraken was the first exchange to pass a cryptographically verifiable proof of reserves audit.

Basically, they are not making up their holdings.

It is the Tokyo government’s court-appointed trustee (Mt Gox) and created the first Cryptocurrency Bank regulated by Germanys Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

Crypto Exchanges get hacked and it’s a real issue as to how they store their coins. At Kraken, only the coins that are needed for daily use are stored in hot wallets which are online wallets.

Most of the coins are stored in cold wallets which are completely isolated.

Like most secure exchanges Kraken provides Two-factor authentication for verifying your account and this is for Login, funding and trading.

Verification when applying for a Kraken account

There are different levels of account verification at Kraken. Plus you will notice a daily limit and in some cases a monthly limit.

Currencies accepted on the Kraken exchange

The great thing about the Kraken exchange is the wide range of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies available for funding and withdrawing.

Fiat Deposits accepted:

Cryptocurrencies accepted at Kraken

The Kraken Trading Platform

The platform is probably best described as rustic but sturdy. The overall look is not as colourful and modern as many of the new exchanges. I do note that Kraken is testing a Beta version of Charts and trading facilities.

kraken exchange review trading platform

Essentially the Kraken dashboard page has everything you need at your fingertips, your orders, your positions, trade history and the dynamic revaluation of your current positions.

Depositing and withdrawals are clear and easy to do.

Charting on the Kraken Exchange

Thank god Kraken is updating their charting. However, what they provide is once again everything you need, just without all the modern bells and whistles.

When you hit the chart tab you are taken to the order book, market depth and the Volume data.

Unfortunately, it is not dynamic so you have to keep refreshing the page. This could be a deal breaker if you like crypto trading.

kraken exchange depth and trade window

If you go to the chart symbol you are provided with a Tradingview chart widget that uses the Kraken Exchange’s data. Good enough for all your charting requirements.

kraken exchange trading platform charting

Trading and Order entry with Kraken

Kraken obviously put a lot of thought into their order entry system for those looking to trade cryptocurrency.

It caters for all levels of knowledge and has 3 levels:

  1. Simple
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced

Click play on the video below to view my Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Review and placing a live limit and conditional order and running through the three order levels you can use.

Although the features of simple and intermediate are similar, essentially you choose your trading pair (say buy bitcoins) and enter the amount to buy or sell in either currency.

The order can be executed at market, which means at the next available price or as a limit order where you choose the price and wait for someone to deal on that price.

Placing trades on your Kraken account

The advance order system is designed for cryptocurrency traders, it has all the order types, including:

Kraken exchange order entry ticket

The conditions around the stop loss entry or exit are clear.

The problem is the interaction between the order entry and the ever-changing market, at present it is just to slow and clunky for an active trader or anyone looking to trade volume.

Concluding the Kraken Exchange Review

This Kraken trading engine is solid, secure and reputable. Perfect for the investor who trades rarely.

However, the platform in its current form is just not up to the task for the active trader. If your background is active Forex trading and using platforms like MetaTrader 4, then you will be in for a shock.

In busy markets when the status of your orders is vital, the Kraken exchange is just too slow.

The other problem I have encountered is that the site sometimes goes down during heavy market action.

This can be a frightening experience if you have a lot of orders in the market.

The Kraken exchange is old and sturdy but once they modernise the platform it will once again be one of the best exchanges. Our Bittrex Exchange Review will give you some perspective of which one is best for you.

If you are looking to buy cryptocurrencies and build your cryptocurrency portfolio, then you need an exchange you can trust.

Click here to view our top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges reviewed for 2018.

Use Digital Currency – How it works

How our Bitcoin Gift Card works

What is a Bitcoin Gift Card?

A Bitcoin Gift Card is the perfect way for the newcomer to get their first Bitcoin. It comes with a paper wallet and simple instructions to set up a software wallet so that you can transact with Bitcoin over the internet. Bitcoin Gift Cards are available in AU$25, $50, $100 and $500 denominations.

Who should buy a Bitcoin Gift Card?

Anyone new to Bitcoin will find no easier way to get their first Bitcoin.

They can be gifted by an existing cryptocurrency enthusiast, or bought by anyone wanting to get involved for the first time themselves.

How can I pay for my Bitcoin Gift Card?

You can pay with either cryptocurrency through our payment gateway, or you can use Australian Dollars through our POLI Pay facility.

Can I use a Bitcoin Gift Card to top up an existing software wallet?

Yes. When you receive your additional Bitcoin Gift Card, you can simply import the "Secret" wallet identifier from your Bitcoin Gift Card into your existing software wallet. This will move your Bitcoin from your Bitcoin Gift Card into your existing software wallet. 

What does my Bitcoin Gift Card include?

Your Bitcoin Deposit, wallet and key generation and network transfer.

How long does it take to receive my Bitcoin Gift Card?

Going through to checkout takes about 2 minutes. You won't find an easier process anywhere. Once you've placed your order, it can take between 10 and 60 minutes to receive your Bitcoin Gift Card depending on the speed of the Bitcoin network at time of purchase.

How our Flexi eGift Cards work

We have partnered with GiftPay, an aggregator of online deliverable eGift Cards in Australia.

Through our agreement with GiftPay, you are able to purchase a Flexi eGift Card from us, redeemable at a broad range of retailers in Australia.

Watch the Video to see how it works

What is a Flexi eGift Card?

A Flexi eGift Card is an electronic gift card that lets you choose where you'd like to shop! In the past if you were given a gift card for a particular shop but didn't want to buy anything from that shop, you were stuck. But now with a Flexi eGift Card, you get to choose at which shop you spend your gift. 

What's more, you may be able to split your Flexi eGift Card and spend it at different shops! For example, if you have a $30 Flexi eGift Card, you could choose to split it up into a $20 Myer eGift Card and a $10 iTunes eGift Card. 

Where can I spend it?

You can spend your eGift Card at a broad range of Australian retailers. For a full list of our retailers, click here. (page showing full list of retailer logos)

How do I redeem it?

Your Flexi eGift Card will be emailed to you. Click the link in the email to open your Flexi eGift Card.

Then convert your Flexi eGift Card into any combination of gift cards or vouchers up to the total available balance. How you redeem your chosen gift card depends on the card or voucher chosen.

Pay a BPay Bill

What Bills can I pay?

You can pay any bill that has the BPAY logo and Biller Code including credit cards.

Are there any payment limits?

Yes. You can pay a maximum of $1000 per transaction based on regulatory limits. You can however break up a bill into multiple $1000 tranches and enter the same biller and customer reference code.

How does the transaction work?

When you enter the amount you wish to pay, the BPAY biller code and your bill’s customer reference number, you will click through to our checkout.

At checkout, you will be asked to leave your details, which enables us to satisfy our legal requirements under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017. This sounds ominous, but takes about 2 minutes.

When you proceed to payment, you will be shown the digital currency amount payable and the wallet address to send your digital currency to.

Once you have sent your digital currency to our payment gateway wallet, you will receive an email notifying you that your payment has been received. We then convert your digital currency to AUD and pay your BPAY bill on your behalf.

Are there any fees?

Yes. At checkout you will notice our 3% fee added to your bill amount. This is to help us manage the currency risk of a volatile digital currency market when converting to AUD for us to pay your bill. We use a third party payment gateway to enable the digital currency transaction. Our considerations when choosing a gateway was security, pricing (spread) and speed. You’ll note when at checkout (before proceeding to payment) that the price you receive on your digital currency is very competitive. Other digital currency BPAY facilitators charge up to 6% per transaction on the currency alone, which in our view is akin to highway robbery.


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