Kraken is one of the world's oldest crypto exchanges, established back in 2011. It is one of the largest crypto trading platforms, and is extremely popular in the US, where it's headquartered. Kraken has low trading fees (0.16% for makers, 0.26% for takers), and additional features such as staking, margin trading and futures. But how does Kraken fare in the Australian market, and is it worth considering? Let's have a look to see how Kraken stacks up against Australia's top cryptocurrency exchanges.
What is Kraken?
Kraken is one of the rare instances of crypto exchange where it is very simple for beginners to use, yet still packs a ton of more advanced features. Besides the usual instant buy/sell you find on most basic exchanges, you can also find spot trading, futures trading, margin trading, staking, and even an OTC (Over-the-counter) service. The only real downside with Kraken is that Australian users can only access 19 of the 185+ coins on the platform. Nevertheless, it is still a popular exchange in Australia, and here is a list of the best features that attract Australian users to Kraken.
- Easy to use, making it perfect for beginners to crypto
- Instant buy/sell available for newcomers
- Low trading fees of 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers
- Mobile app for convenient access whenever you like
- Staking so you can earn interest on your crypto
- Margin trading, futures trading, forex trading all supported
- 24/7 Live Chat customer support
- Advanced charts and analysis tools on Kraken Pro
Australian alternatives to Kraken
Instantly buy and sell crypto
For complete newcomers to cryptocurrency, buying crypto from a market, and placing orders can be daunting and confusing. Kraken makes it super easy to get your hands on crypto, with the instant buy and sell feature. In the menu, there is a big 'Buy Crypto' button, and once you click that, you are taken to a page where you conduct instant transactions. You can buy, sell or even convert (swap one coin for another) in just a few seconds.
Trading on the market
If you have a bit more experience with crypto trading, you may want to place orders on the market which incur lower fees, and gives you more options. For example, you can place a market order, limit order, stop loss, take profit, and more, and you can even use up to 5x leverage.
Staking to earn interest
Staking is a really great way to invest in crypto because you are making it work for you while you hold it. You earn interest on your staked crypto, similar to the way you earn interest in a bank with Australian dollars. On Kraken, you can currently stake 11 cryptocurrencies and even 2 fiat currencies (USD and EUR) which is not seen on other platforms.
Live chat support 24/7
Having a good customer service support team is crucial in keeping users happy. Kraken has done this, with their 24/7 live chat team that is ready to answer your queries. They are very responsive and helpful, and are a godsend if you are a new user trying to navigate your way around the world of crypto.
Kraken Pro for advanced traders
If you are an experienced or professional crypto trader, you will enjoy Kraken Pro, which has detailed charts and analysis tools to help you trade more successfully. This can be intimidating for new users, so I recommend this only to those that have extensive knowledge in trading.
Fees and Payment Methods
When you deposit AUD into your Kraken account, there are several methods of payment.
- Bank transfer/OSKO: free of charge
- Google Pay and Apple Pay: 3.75% + $0.25
- Credit and debit card: 3.75% + €0.25
Please note: all credit and debit card purchases are made in EUR, even if you are based in Australia. The amount you choose in AUD will be converted to EUR before the charge is made to your card. You will need to ensure that your bank allows your card to convert AUD to EUR.
If you want to instantly buy, sell or convert crypto using Kraken, the fee is 1.5%.
When you trade on the market, the fees are much lower, at only 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers. If you are a large volume trader, your fees can be reduced based on the amount you traded in the previous 30 days.
There are no fees to withdraw AUD from Kraken to your Australian bank account.
Kraken really cares about the safety of their users, and they have implemented many different measures to ensure funds are not stolen. More than 95% of their cryptocurrency is kept in offline cold storage, and their servers are located in secure cages with continuous armed surveillance. Kraken is regulated by FinCEN offering financial stability, with full reserves, and following the highest levels of legal compliance.
Pros and Cons of Kraken
Kraken is a really great choice for Aussie users that are new to crypto but want a little bit more out of the exchange. It is easy enough for beginners to use, but has additional features like staking, margin trading, and futures trading that make it a platform you can continue using even after gaining more experience. The low trading fees of just 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers are another benefit to using Kraken. The only big drawback of Kraken is that they only allow Australian users access to 19 coins at the time of writing. US residents have access to a much wider range, but unfortunately it is limited for Aussies. If you are after a crypto exchange with more coins, you can try Swyftx or Digital Surge (both have over 300+ coins). You can also read my article about the top crypto exchanges in Australia (click here) to help make up your mind. I have also included a table below that contains some of the key info about these exchanges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Kraken is a trustworthy crypto exchange that has been around in the USA since 2011. It is one of the most popular exchanges, and has many users in the US.
Kraken's fees are quite low if you trade on the market, with 0.16% fee for makers and 0.26% for takers. If you are instantly buying, selling or converting crypto, then the fee of 1.5% is quite high. It is free to deposit and withdraw from an Autralian bank account, so there are no fees incurred there.
This depends on your personal needs. If you are a beginner to crypto, Kraken is more suitable as its platform is more user-friendly, and they have 24/7 Live Chat support, whereas Binance cannot be contacted, even using email. However, if you are an experienced trader, Binance is the platform for you, with lower trading fees (0.1%), over 600+ coins, and even more additional options such as P2P trading and NFT marketplace.