What is Kraken Crypto Exchange?

Since launching in 2013, Kraken has grown to become one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. It is based in the United States, and by mid-2022 was valued at around US$10 billion. It offers easy exchanges between various cryptos and fiat currencies.

Kraken’s co-founder, Jesse Powell, had been a consultant for the now-defunct Mt. Gox crypto exchange, which infamously collapsed in 2014. From day one, he strove to make Kraken as secure and transparent as possible, to avoid Mt. Gox’s issues. 

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to open an account at Kraken, buy crypto, and transfer it to another wallet.

Can Kraken be Trusted?

Because it is based in the United States, Kraken is subject to strict regulatory oversight by federal authorities. Whilst this means it can offer fewer cryptos than an offshore exchange, like Binance for example, it also means its business is run relatively conservatively.

Even so, we recommend that you don’t leave large amounts of your crypto on-exchange, and instead transfer it to a secure non-custodial wallet. For more information about the wallets available, both software and hardware, check out our handy crypto wallet guide.

Is Kraken Legal?

Yes. Kraken is completely legitimate and regulated. It is legally entitled to offer services to US residents, and also serves many other countries worldwide. However, there may be some state-level restrictions in the US, and some countries have their own laws regarding crypto use. If you are unsure of the legal status of crypto where you live, we recommend you contact the relevant authorities for clarification, or seek professional advice.

Countries and Regions Served

As of June 2022, kraken.com offered crypto exchanges services to residents in the following countries:

Burkina FasoCambodiaAzerbaijan
CameroonHong KongBosnia and Herzegovina
Cape VerdeIndiaBulgaria
DjiboutiJapanCzech Republic
Equatorial GuineaKazakhstanEstonia
The GambiaMalaysiaGermany
Ivory CoastMyanmarIceland
MauritiusSaudi ArabiaMalta
MozambiqueSri LankaMonaco
RwandaTimor-Leste / East TimorNorth Macedonia
Sao Tome and PrincipeTurkmenistanNorway
SenegalUnited Arab EmiratesPoland
Sierra LeoneVietnamRomania
South AfricaOCEANIARussia
TanzaniaAustraliaSan Marino
TogoFed. States of MicronesiaSerbia
ZambiaMarshall IslandsSpain
NORTH AMERICANew ZealandSwitzerland
Antigua and BarbudaPalauTurkey
The BahamasPapua New GuineaUkraine
BarbadosSamoaUnited Kingdom
BelizeSolomon IslandsVatican City
Cayman IslandsTuvalu
Costa RicaVanuatu
Dominican RepublicArgentina
El SalvadorBolivia
Saint Kitts and NevisUruguay
Saint Lucia
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United States 

Is Kraken Secure?

Yes. In fact, it is widely regarded as one of the most secure of all crypto exchanges. In addition to 2-factor authentication, SSL encryption, and other security measures, Kraken says it keeps over 95% of its funds in air-gapped cold storage. This means they cannot be accessed online, even in the event of a successful hack. 

At the time of writing, Kraken had never been subject to a successful large-scale attack. Because it is based in San Francisco, United States, Kraken is subject to strict oversight by official regulators.

Creating an Account with Kraken

Setting up an account with kraken.com is pretty simple – just follow the steps below:

  1. Go to kraken.com and select Create Account.
  2. Enter your email, select a strong password, and set your country of residence. By default it will be set to open a personal account (business accounts are also available).
  3. Check your email for an activation code and enter it. 
  4. Once you are signed-in to your new account. Select Verify to buy.
  5. Complete your personal details and select Continue
  6. Select your occupation and hit Continue.
  7. Select an official identity document type from: passport, driver’s licence, or ID card. Use your webcam to scan it, or upload a photo. Kraken will then check your document (this may take some time). 
  8. When you have been notified your ID has been verified, go to your account, and click Buy
  9. You will now need to verify your address by uploading a bank statement, credit card statement, or utility bill (dated within the last three months). Upload and then click continue. You will be emailed when verification is complete.  

Assuming you have the required documents ready, signing-up and getting verified so you can start buying crypto can take a few hours. 

Kraken offers two main account types: Personal and Business. The default account type is Personal and enables individuals to buy and sell cryptos and access personal trading services. Business accounts are corporate accounts that offer extras like custody services, sub-accounts, a brokerage program, API floating, and reporting services.

How to Deposit at Kraken

Like other major crypto exchanges, Kraken lets you purchase coins directly using Visa or Mastercards or from your account balance. 

To deposit fiat funds to your account, follow these steps:

  1. Click Funding on the main navigation menu.
  2. Your account page will open, then click Deposit
  3. Select the fiat currency you would like to deposit from the list. 
  4. Now enter the amount you would like to deposit and select the deposit method.
  5. Complete the form with the correct information, and continue. 
  6. Complete any security verification steps. 

Bank transfers can take up to 3 business days to clear and arrive in your Kraken account.

Supported Fiat Currencies

Kraken supports the following fiat currencies:

How to Buy Crypto at Kraken

To buy crypto at Kraken, simply select ‘Buy Crypto.’ 

If you have fiat funds already in your account, it will show a balance, and you can select to use those. Alternatively, you can add a Visa or Mastercard to your account. 

Click Buy, and then choose the fiat currency you want to pay with. Then which cryptocurrency and how much you would like to purchase. Confirm the transaction and complete any verification steps. 

Once the transaction is complete, your cryptocurrency will be available in your account.

Cryptos Available at Kraken

Almost 200 cryptos are available to buy at Kraken, including:

Bitcoin (BTC)Ethereum (ETH)Tether USD (USDT)USD Coin (USDC)Ripple (XRP)
Cardano (ADA)Solana (SOL)Dogecoin (DOGE)Dai (DAI)Polkadot (DOT)
TRON (TRX)Shiba Inu (SHIB)Avalanche (AVAX)Polygon (MATICWrapped Bitcoin (BTC)
Uniswap (UNI)Litecoin (LTC)Chainlink (LINK)Lumen (XLM)NEAR Protocol (NEAR)
Cosmos (ATOM)Monero (XMR)Algorand (ALGO)Ethereum Classic (ETC)Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Internet Computer Protocol (ICP)Flow (FLOW)Decentraland (MANA)The Sandbox (SAND)ApeCoin (APE)
Tezos (XTZ)Elrond (EGLD)Filecoin (FIL)Axie Infinity (AXS)Aave (AAVE)
Quant (QNT)EOS (EOS)MakerDAO (MKR)Zcash (ZEC)Bittorrent (BTT)
GensoKishi Metaverse (MV)THORChain (RUNE)The Graph (GRT)Fantom (FTM)Chiliz (CHZ)
Terra Classic (LUNA)PAX Gold (PAXG)Basic Attention Token (BAT)Curve DAO Token (CRV)STEPN (GMT)
Waves (WAVES)Loopring (LRC)Dash (DASH)Enjin (ENJ)Convex (CVX)
Kusama (KSM)BitDAO (BIT)Mina (MINA)Kava (KAVA)TerraUSD Classic (UST)
Compound (COMP)Gala Games (GALA)1inch (1INCH)Synthetic (SNX)Gnosis (GNO)
Qtum (QTUM)Serum (SRM)Threshold (T)LIDO DAO (LDO)Storj (STORJ)
ICON (ICX)OMG Network (OMG)0x (ZRX)Audius (AUDIO)Songbird (SGB)
Terra 2.0 (LUNA 2)Kyber Network (KNC)Ankr (ANKR)MXC (MXC)Yearn Finance (YFI)
Siacoin (SC)Moonbeam (GLMR)Ethereum Naming Service (ENS)Woo Network (WOO)Balancer (BAL)
Universal Market Access (UMA)Astar (ASTR)Sushi (SUSHI)Secret Network (SCRT)PlayDapp (PLA)
Keep Network (KEEP)Civic (CVC)Lisk (LSK)Ren (REN)Render (RNDR)
Powerledger (POWR)dYdX (DYDX)Request (REQ)Acala (ACA)Bancor (BNT

How to Transfer Crypto from Kraken to Another Wallet

Once you’ve purchased some crypto via Kraken, it’s easy to send it to another wallet (your own non-custodial wallet, to a retailer for payment, or a casino account etc). Just follow the steps below:.  

  1. Find the destination crypto wallet address. Copy it to your clipboard. 
  2. Log-in to your Kraken account and click Funding. You should see your current balance and asset types.
  3. Select Withdraw and choose the crypto you would like to send from the list. 
  4. You will now see the deposits and withdrawals page. Select Add [crypto name] address, and add the destination wallet address. 
  5. Include the appropriate tag or note, if required.
  6. Select the appropriate network, if not automatically selected.
  7. Choose how much crypto you want to send, select the destination wallet address, and review the transaction. 
  8. Confirm and complete and verification steps. 

The transaction speed and fees will depend on the specific crypto used, and things like network congestion and any security checks conducted by Kraken. For more information about transaction fees and speeds, check our crypto guides.

How to Transfer Crypto to Kraken and Withdraw it as Cash

Want to transfer crypto from another wallet (e.g. non-custodial wallet or online casino wallet) to Kraken and then withdraw it as cash? No problem, just follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to Kraken and find and copy the unique wallet address for the crypto you want to send (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin).
  2. Open your source wallet (or your casino account etc), and navigate to the crypto balance you want to make a transfer from. Select withdraw/transfer/send.
  3. Paste your Kraken address as the destination.
  4. Add the appropriate tag or note, if required.
  5. Select the appropriate network, if not automatically selected.
  6. Enter the amount of crypto you would like to send.
  7. Double-check everything carefully, and confirm the transaction.

Again, depending on the specific crypto used, the fee and speed will vary.

To make a fiat currency withdrawal from your Kraken account, you’ll first need to convert your crypto to fiat. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Log-in to your Kraken account and select Buy Crypto.Next, select Sell.
  2. Now, select the cryptocurrency, amount, and fiat currency for the transaction. Follow the prompts, and complete any verification steps.
  3. Your fiat currency from the crypto sale will appear in your account balance. Select Funding, and then Withdraw
  4. Specify how much of which fiat currency you would like to withdraw, then follow the prompts, selecting either your bank account or card. Review and confirm the withdrawal. 

Remember that clearance times can vary depending on the method used and your location. Bank transfers typically take up to 3 business days.

Kraken Transaction Fees

Kraken Customer Support

A range of support resources are available from the main navigation menu. This includes guides to Getting Started, Funding, Account Security & Verification, Trading, NFT Marketplace, Mobile Apps and more. 

You can also contact customer support via open chat, phone, or submitting a ticket request. These can be accessed from the navigation menu at the foot of the page, under About. Generally speaking, Kraken has a good reputation for support, with live chat and phone support being answered within minutes, and tickets within hours. 

kraken.com is available in several languages, including:

Final Word on Kraken

While Kraken may not be able to match the sheer range of cryptocurrencies offered by Binance, the choice in most countries is still extensive. Though fees can be slightly higher than some competitors, they are transparent, and all the information you could possibly need is at your fingertips. The site is well-designed and pleasant to use, making it a great choice for those new to the crypto space. 

Because it’s a US-based regulated cryptocurrency exchange, some would argue that Kraken is a little heavy on the verification and documentation side of things. But, once you’re up and running, this isn’t such an issue. Indeed, others would say the fact it’s based in the US helps assure Kraken is one of the safest and most secure crypto exchanges. 

In our opinion, Kraken is a fantastic choice for those looking to acquire crypto without compromising on usability, value, and security.