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Kraken

Kraken

200+

Coins 

0.16% / 0.26%

Trading Fee 

USA

HQ

Last Updated Jan 19, 2024  |  Affiliate Disclosure

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Highlights

  • Kraken Canada is a fully regulated crypto exchange with 200+ cryptocurrencies, high liquidity, and Interac e-Transfers.
  • Founded in 2011, they are one of the world's oldest and safest crypto exchanges. They've built a reputation around security and compliance, and have never been hacked.
  • Key reasons to consider Kraken in Canada are its strong reputation, advanced trading tools, high trading volume, and zero-fee staking.

What Is Kraken?

Kraken has been operating since 2011 and has established itself as one of the world's oldest and safest cryptocurrency exchanges. They are based in San Francisco and have become one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world with over 10 million users.

When using Kraken, you can expect to find industry-leading security, beginner and advanced trading tools, staking with zero fees, 24/7 customer support, and more.

Background Info

  • Founded in 2011
  • 10M+ Clients
  • 1800+ employees
  • Supported in 190+ countries
  • Based in San Francisco, USA

Our Review

Kraken users in Canada will enjoy 200+ cryptocurrencies, industry-leading security, advanced trading tools, and no-fee staking. It also scored second best in fees for cashing out BTC to a CAD bank account. However, some of the drawbacks to consider are deposit and withdrawal fees and the maker/taker fees which start at 0.16%/0.26%.

Overall, Kraken offers a wide selection of cryptocurrencies with high liquidity and great security. If you don't mind the 0.16%/0.26% maker taker fees, it can be a great choice. Keep reading to learn more about the US-based crypto exchange.

Where It Shines

  • Zero-Fee Staking: While many platforms offer staking, Kraken is the best because it has zero fees and most of the coins can be unstaked at any time.
  • Low Spreads & High Liquidity: Hundreds of millions or billions in 24H trading volume.
  • Great Place to Cash Out CAD: Kraken tested 2nd best overall for selling BTC and cashing out to a Canadian bank account.
  • Pro Trading: Powerful trading platform with many trading pairs, different order types, live order books, and more.
  • Best Reputation: Kraken has never had any hacks or incidents and it's also one of the oldest platforms founded in 2011. They take security very seriously.

Where It Falls Short

  • Interac e-Transfer Fees: 1.50% fee to deposit and $10 fee to withdraw.
  • Total BTC Purchase Fee: 1.60% total fee when tested which was 7th overall. If you want to buy crypto with CAD, there are cheaper options out there like NDAX and Newton
  • Geo Restrictions: Futures trading, margin trading, and some assets are limited or restricted for Canadian residents. A VPN won't work for Kraken.

User Interface

  • Web app

  • Mobile App

  • PRO App

Key Features & Benefits

Here are the key reasons you might want to use Kraken as a Canadian:

  • 200+ Cryptocurrencies: Not only does Kraken have a wide selection of coins, they also have lots of liquidity which is just as important if you want to get great rates.
  • Zero-Fee Staking: While many Canadian exchanges offer staking, Kraken is the best because they do not take any staking fees and they are one of the safest centralized crypto exchanges. Over 10+ assets can be staked, most of which can be unstaked at any time.
  • Best Reputation: Kraken has been operating for over a decade and has established a solid reputation. They do everything by the book, which includes becoming OSC regulated, publishing proof of reserves, and a lot more which I cover in the security section.
  • Pro Trading: Kraken Pro is a fully customizable advanced trading platform with hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in 24H trade volume.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: If you need help, Kraken can be contacted 24/7 via live chat, phone or email. You can also visit their support center for helpful blogs, articles and FAQs.

Other Features

While Kraken's best features are listed above, here are the other services they offer as well:

  • Interac e-Transfers: Kraken added support for e-Transfers allowing you to to quickly deposit and withdraw Canadian dollars from your bank account.
  • *Margin Trading: While Kraken offers margin trading with up to 5x leverage for Canadians, the Canadian laws require you to have at least $5 million in assets to access this feature. It's best to compare our list of leverage exchanges and list of Perp DEXs. Some of the leading platforms include Lbank and ApeX.
  • NFT Marketplace: Just like Coinbase, Binance, and other exchanges, Kraken now has its own NFT marketplace.
  • Extras: Mobile app, OTC desk, educational guides, and an affiliate program.

Kraken Walkthrough

Kraken recently updated their user interface and I think it looks much better and feels easier to navigate. Here's what the Kraken platform looks like on the inside.

Home Dashboard

Kraken Main Dashboard

The main dashboard is clean and beginner friendly. However, if you like, you can also set Kraken Pro to be the default dashboard when you login. 

Kraken Pro

Kraken Pro Trading View

Kraken Pro users will enjoy lots of advanced trading features like analytics, charting tools, advanced order types, and more. The layout is also fully customizable, as you can drag and drop everything on the screen.

Kraken also has lots of liquidity, usually with hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in 24 hour trading volume. On the downside, there are only 7 CAD trading pairs, so you will have to convert your funds to USDT or one of the other popular currencies.

Kraken Earn (Staking)

Kraken Staking

Coinbase, NDAX, Bitbuy, Wealthsimple, and many reputable Canadian exchanges offer staking. However, Kraken is the best because they do not charge any staking fees and offer the most coins.

Currently, over 10+ coins like ETH, DOT, and ADA can be staked, most of which can be unstaked at any time. Your rewards will be automatically deposited every 1-2 weeks, depending on the asset.

Kraken Transaction Fees

Fee Type

Amount

Instant Buy ($CAD)

1.50%

0.90% for Stablecoins

+ spread

Instant Buy (credit card)

5.2%-7.1% + spread

Kraken Pro (tiered, see below)

0.16% Maker

0.26% Taker

0.20% for Stablecoins

NFTs

2.00% Transaction Fee

$0 Listing Fee

Cell

Pro Trading Fees

Like many crypto exchanges, Kraken has a tiered fee schedule based on your 30 day trading volume. 

Kraken Pro Trading Fees

Kraken Fees Compared

To see how Kraken stacks up against the rest of the industry, I bought Bitcoin on 20+ Canadian exchanges and brokers and published the results. The goal was to determine the true all-in fee when you factor in spreads, trading fees, and so on. Kraken performed extremely well.

Kraken had a 1.60% total fee to buy BTC with Canadian Dollars which was 7th overall. However, this number was high because Kraken charges fees for CAD deposits. If you wanted to fund your Kraken account by transferring crypto, it would be one the cheapest crypto exchanges in Canada. 

When it came to selling BTC and cashing out to your bank account, Kraken scored 2nd best overall with an all-in selling fee of just 0.37%. Additionally, they tested 4th place in spread fees for Bitcoin. The trading fees are higher (0.16%/0.26%) than competitors like Binance and KuCoin (both at 0.10%).

Deposit & Withdrawals

Once your Kraken account is funded, it's one of the cheapest platforms in Canada. However, funding and withdrawing Canadian Dollars is not free like most places. If you use Kraken and want to avoid the CAD deposit fees, I recommend funding your account with crypto. To do this, VirgoCX is a great choice because of its overall low rates. They cover the first $6 in crypto withdrawal fees and have free CAD deposits.

CAD Deposit Methods

Type

Fee

Time

Limits (24 hours)

Interac e-Transfer

0.50% (max $30)

0-1 business days or instant

Min $5 

Wire Transfer

$12.38

1-5 days

Min $100

Canada Post (in-person)

$1.25 + 0.25%

30-60 mins

Min $20

Credit / Debit Card

5.2%-7.1%

Instant

$6,500

CAD Withdrawal Methods

Type

Fee

Time

Limits (24 hours)

Interac e-Transfer

$10

Instant or 1 day

Min $15

EFT

0.35%

2-5 business days

Min $50

-

-

-

Crypto Withdrawal Fees

Type

Fee

Minimum Withdrawal

Bitcoin

0.0004 BTC

0.0004 BTC

Ethereum

0.003 ETH

0.002 ETH

USDC

20 USDC

40 USDC

Security

All things considered, Kraken is considered a safe cryptocurrency exchange and has robust security features. 95% of crypto is in cold storage and they've been operating for over a decade without any hacks. Additionally, their website communicates their security practices well.

While Kraken is considered safe, it doesn't replace the need for a crypto wallet. 44% of the platforms RankFi has reviewed have had a hack or incident. We strongly recommend storing and protecting your crypto on a self-custody wallet, ideally a hardware wallet.

Kraken's Security Measures

  • Founded in 2011 and have never been hacked
  • 95% of deposits held in cold storage
  • Published their Proof of Reserves
  • OSC regulated (pre-registration stage)
  • FINTRAC registered in Canada (MSB #M19343731)
  • Website states that their "Servers reside in secure cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and video monitors"
  • Bug bounty program exists
  • KYC required for sign up
  • Visit the Kraken security page for more

User Security Features Available

  • 2-Factor Authentication
  • Email confirmations for withdrawals
  • View login history for suspicious logins
  • Address whitelisting
  • Configure an account timeout setting
  • High priority 24/7 live chat
  • View system status in real-time

The Bottom Line

Kraken is a great platform in some areas, but like all crypto exchanges, it has drawbacks as well. The main drawbacks are mostly with certain fees. Whether or not you should use Kraken depends on what features you find most important and will use most often.

The pros include a wide selection of 200+ cryptos, zero-fee staking, and a high quality trading platform for professionals. It's also one of the safest crypto exchanges in the world and has lots of liquidity as well.

The key downsides are some of the fees. The Instant Buy for beginners has high fees and depositing and withdrawing Canadian dollars is not free like most places. There is also high maker/taker fees on the Pro trading platform.

Kraken vs. Competitors

NDAX.io

NDAX had the lowest fee to buy Bitcoin with Canadian dollars (18 platforms tested). It's my top choice in Canada.

  • Lowest fees to buy Bitcoin
  • Free e-transfer deposits
  • Based in Canada
  • Low volume on some coins
  • Only 30+ coins
Kraken

Kraken is fully regulated in Canada and offers 200+ cryptos, professional trading, and high liquidity. 

  • e-Transfers supported
  • Industry-leading security
  • Zero-fee staking
  • 0.16%/0.26% trading fees
  • Fiat withdrawal fees
MEXC Global

One of the largest non-KYC exchanges. You can withdraw 30 BTC/day with just an email address.

  • 1,500 coins
  • Zero spot trading fees
  • 200x Leverage
  • Unregulated
  • VPN might be required

FAQ

Is Kraken Licensed in Canada?

Yes, as per Canadian regulations, Kraken is a Money Service Business (MSB) registered with FINTRAC. These are the same requirements that ShakepayNetcoinsNewton, and other exchanges in Canada follow. They are also in the pre-registration process with OSC regulators (Ontario Securities Commission).

Is Kraken Safer Than Binance?

Both platforms are industry leaders in security and reputation, but Kraken might have a slight edge because it's older and has never been hacked. Kraken was founded in 2011, has never been hacked, and is good at communicating its security practices. On the other hand, Binance was founded in 2017, has been hacked once (but reimbursed its users), and has a multi-billion dollar insurance fund (SAFU).

Author

Alex is the owner of RankFi.com, where he covers all things finance, Web3, and cryptocurrency. He has been investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since 2017.


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