Kraken users in Canada will enjoy 200+ cryptocurrencies, industry-leading security, advanced trading tools, and no-fee staking. It also tested 2nd best in fees for cashing out BTC to a CAD bank account. However, some of the drawbacks to consider are the deposit and withdrawal fees as well as the maker/taker fee which starts 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 if you want to learn more about the US-based crypto exchange.
Where It Shines
Where It Falls Short
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 1800 employees.
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.
- Founded in 2011
- 1800+ employees
- Available in 100+ countries
- Based in San Francisco, USA
Key Features & Benefits
Since being founded in 2011, Kraken has become a veteran in the crypto industry. Here are the key reasons you might want to use Kraken as a Canadian:
While Kraken's best features are listed above, here are the other services they offer as well:
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.
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 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)
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
Instant Buy ($CAD)
0.90% for Stablecoins
Instant Buy (credit card)
5.2%-7.1% + spread
Kraken Pro (tiered, see below)
0.20% for Stablecoins
2.00% Transaction Fee
$0 Listing Fee
Pro Trading Fees
Like many crypto exchanges, Kraken has a tiered fee schedule based on your 30 day trading volume.
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
Limits (24 hours)
1.50% (max $30)
0-1 business days or instant
Canada Post (in-person)
$1.25 + 0.25%
Credit / Debit Card
CAD Withdrawal Methods
Limits (24 hours)
Instant or 1 day
2-5 business days
Crypto Withdrawal Fees
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.
Kraken's Security Measures
User Security Features Available
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 Shakepay, Netcoins, Newton, 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 becuase its older and 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).
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.
I've reviewed every crypto exchange in Canada. If you're still unsure, here are some Kraken alternatives you may want to consider: