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Kraken vs. Gate.io: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

In this comparison of two leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken and Gate.io, we consider various factors, including mobile/desktop trading experience, security, Canadian compliance, and customer support. While both platforms have their merits, key differences, such as access for Canadian users and security measures, significantly impact their overall appeal.

Description

Kraken is a Canada-friendly, but US-based crypto exchange that has been operating since 2013. Kraken has a strong reputation due its security and compliance with US regulations. Kraken aims to accelerate mass adoption of cryptocurrency and offers a wide range of coins.

Launched in 2013, Gate.io is one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with $12 billion+ daily trading volume. However, Canada is on the list of disallowed countries under Gate.io terms same as the US and many other counties. Because of this, they can randomly block your account at any time so we WOULD NOT recommend using it. If you are looking for a similar exchange, we would recommend using Bitget instead or checking our list of the best crypto exchanges in Canada

Coins

90+

1000+

Fees

  • nstant buy incurs a 1.5% fee (0.9% for stablecoins) plus: 
  • 3.75% and€0.25 card processing fee or,
  • 3.75% + €0.25 digital wallet processing fee or,
  • 0.5% online bank transfer fee
  • Free crypto deposits 
  • Some free crypto withdrawals minus network fees
  • Other various crypto withdrawal fees
  • 0.2%/0.2% maker/taker fees
  • 0.15%/1.5% maker/taker fees when paid in GT
  • Lower trading fees when holding 100+ GT or 0.05+ BTC
  • $30 + 3.5% bank transfer for up to $2,000 (USD only)
  • Various third-party fees for card payments

Pros

  • Wide range of coins
  • High fees when not using Pro
  • Good for beginners
  • Free CAD deposits
  • Advanced tools with the Pro platform
  • Staking
  • Thousands of altcoins available to trade
  • Advanced trading features and tools
  • Unique features
  • Comprehensive help and data available
  • Low trading fees
  • Get additional benefits by holding GateToken
  • OTC Desk
  • NFT marketplace

Cons

  • No Interac e-Transfer
  • Deposits can take 1-5 business days
  • Extremely high trading fees
  • Tend to freeze accounts for no apparent reasons
  • Slow support
  • Not allowed in Canada
  • CAD bank accounts not supported
  • Must use third-party for card purchases
  • Some trading options not available to Canadians
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Bad app reviews

Account Limits

Low

No major limits

Methods to buy

  • Wire transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit/debit card using third-party service
  • USD bank transfer to OTC desk
  • Crypto deposits

Security

  • 95% of coins held in cold storage
  • Servers monitored 24/7 by armed guards
  • 2FA available
  • Confirm withdrawals via email
  • Fully Audited
  • Hot and cold storage to keep customer funds safe
  • 2FA

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Kraken's mobile app boasts a high rating on both Google Play (4.2-star from 21,800 ratings) and the App Store (4.7-star from 3.500 ratings), offering a user-friendly experience. The platform also has a robust desktop interface, suitable for both novice and professional traders. Gate.io's mobile app has a 4.4-star rating on Android and a 4.0 rating on iOS. However, the desktop trading platform offers comprehensive features comparable to Kraken, although user reviews suggest it might not be as beginner-friendly.

Kraken

Kraken's app is well-designed and offers tools for both beginners as well as advanced tools for more experienced traders.

Kraken has an “Instant Buy” option, where users can purchase crypto in seconds with their card or from funds in their fiat wallet. Instant Buy, while convenient, incurs high fees. There is a standard purchase fee plus an additional fee depending on the method of payment. Still, the Instant Buy option is suitable for beginners and is easy to navigate.

Kraken Pro has more reasonable fees based on the maker/taker method. However, the interface could be confusing for beginners. It shows advanced charting and offers more trading tools and order types.

Kraken’s mobile app has a 4.5-star rating from 3000+ reviews on the Apple App Store and a 2.2-star rating from over 13,000 reviews on Google Play. A lot of users say the app has trouble loading, certain funding or purchase options are unavailable and it is generally not user-friendly.

Kraken desktop interface

Kraken desktop interface

Kraken Pro screenshot

Kraken Pro Trading view

Kraken app interface #1

Kraken app interface

Kraken app interface #2

Kraken app interface while trading

Gate.io App

Gate.io’s iOS app has a 2.5-star rating from 700 reviews and a 2.5-star rating from 10,000 reviews on Google Play. It is quite low, we would recommend using a desktop app. Many reviewers have said that they cannot log in, that the 2FA does not work, you are often sent to blank pages and overall a bad user interface. We never had such issues though. 

Gate.io desktop app interface

Gate.io desktop app interface

Screenshot of “big data” market tracker on Gate.io

Gate.io data screen

Gate.io mobile app screenshot (main page)

Gate.io mobile app screenshot (main page)

Gate.io mobile interface

Gate.io mobile interface

Security Compliance

Kraken keeps 95% of users’ funds in cold storage. All account information is encrypted, their servers are locked in cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards. 

To help secure your Kraken account you can use two-factor authentication. You will receive an email notifying you of any withdrawal, and there is an account timeout for added protection.

Gate.io is quite a reputable exchange. Forbes Advisor gave it a 4.5-star rating and named it one of the best crypto exchanges. Gate.io utilizes hot and cold storage to keep customer funds safe. On its website, Gate.io says it is the first exchange to invest millions in security and law funds. They also claim to be fully compliant and certain features such as futures trading is not available to Canadians because of regulationsThey can block your account at any time.

Both Kraken and Gate.io prioritize user security. Kraken safeguards over 95% of digital assets in cold storage, encrypts all account information, and uses physical security measures. Gate.io also employs a combination of hot and cold storage for customer funds and touts significant investment in security and law funds. However, Kraken's robust security infrastructure, with additional features like two-factor authentication and account time locks, provides a slight edge.

Regulatory Compliance

Kraken is fully compliant with US regulations. The exchange is independently audited to show that customers’ funds are properly held. Canadians can use the platform as well.

Gate.io is not compliant crypto exchange in Canada.

Kraken is fully compliant with Canadian regulations, accepting deposits in CAD, among other currencies (except certain services in Ontario). Unfortunately, Gate.io lists Canada as a disallowed country, potentially leading to account restrictions or blocks. Canadian federal organizations like the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) monitor such platforms for compliance. In this aspect, Kraken’s operation is clearly more transparent and reliable for Canadian users.

Customer support

Kraken offers a 24/7 live chat and email support. It also offers a good amount of learning documentation and helpful articles on its website. Unfortunately, many people say Kraken has poor customer support with tickets taking a long time to be resolved if ever.

There is a helpful help centre and blog on the Gate.io website which teaches you how to use their many features. They also have a live chat function and you can submit a support request when you’re logged in. Unfortunately, Gate.io has many bad reviews on Trustpilot with people complaining that they are unable to withdraw or that customer service is slow or does not respond. 

Kraken provides round-the-clock support via live chat and email, with additional phone support in certain regions. Gate.io also offers live chat and a ticket-based support request system. Despite this, user reviews on Trustpilot suggest some dissatisfaction with Gate.io's customer service responsiveness.

Conclusion

While both Kraken and Gate.io are solid cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken takes the crown for Canadian users. The platform's comprehensive features, robust security measures, superior mobile app, and, crucially, clear compliance with Canadian regulations make it the more reliable choice. Gate.io, despite its rich altcoin offerings and diverse trading options, falls short due to its lower mobile app ratings and ambiguous status for Canadian users.

We recommend choosing Kraken over Gate.io for your cryptocurrency trading needs. By opting for Kraken through our referral link, you support us in conducting comprehensive independent analyses of crypto trading options for Canadians.

If you find that neither Kraken nor Gate.io meets your requirements, we encourage you to explore our monthly-updated list of the best exchanges for Canadians to trade crypto. This list provides a range of alternative options that may better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Author

Oleg is a Canadian citizen & crypto expert who has been trading since 2016. He started out with Coinbase, Kraken and Peer-to-Peer exchanges. After some time, centralized exchanges started charging crazy fees to their users.

He decided to review different crypto exchanges that operate in Canada and start a Youtube channel in order to educate Canadians on what kinds of things are going inside each one while giving them unbiased advice. On top of that, Oleg also has experience with NFT, airdrops, and crypto staking and he is constantly checking on new crypto assets.

His writing has been featured in popular Canadian media sources such as Toronto Sun and Ottawa Citizen.