Oleg Galeev

Updated 6 months ago

Kraken Review: Too Expensive For Canadians

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange with 100+ cryptocurrencies. We signed up to Kraken and reviewed it to see if it’s worth using. Here’s our Kraken review.

Kraken Crypto Exchange Summary

Kraken has a number of popular cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot, Chainlink, Dogecoin, and many more so it is a good place to trade altcoins. With the largest amount of euro trade volume in the world, Kraken is one of the biggest exchanges today. 

Kraken is available worldwide and accepts deposits in USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, JPY, CHF, AUD, AND AED. Interac deposits have a 1.5% fee and withdrawals cost $10.

The exchange has a number of features including staking and futures trading as well as 24/7 support. 

  • kraken crypto exchange logo

    3.4/5

  • Pros & Cons

    • Many Currencies accepted
    • 100+ cryptocurrencies
    • Staking
    • Crypto education guides
    • 24/7 support
    • OTC Desk
    • Interac e-Transfer
    • Fast verification
    • Low spread
    • Low trading fees
    • High fees for Instant buy
    • High Interac deposit fee
    • High fiat withdrawal fee
    • Futures trading not available in Ontario
  • Fees

    •  0.9% fee trading fee for stablecoins
    • 1.5% trading fee for other coins
    • 3.75% credit card processing fees
    • 1.5% deposit fees
  • Coins

    Over 100 coins

Features

Kraken has a number of features such as Instant Buy for quick purchases of crypto with card or digital wallet payments. It also has Kraken Pro, intended for more experienced users who would like access to advanced order types, charting and order book data. 

Kraken also has a blog, videos, a podcast, and numerous guides about crypto. This content provides overviews of the services that Kraken offers, as well as opinion pieces, security advice, crypto 101, webinars and more. 

There is also an affiliate program where you can earn 20% of trading fees for referring friends. 

Kraken supports developers by offering a quarterly open-source developer grant where developers can win grants to fund their development projects. 

Soon, Kraken will launch an NFT marketplace and a “crypto bank” for US customers with oversight from Wyoming Division of Banking

Registration & Verification Process With Kraken Crypto Exchange

The process of verification is quite simple for Kraken for Canadians. Unlike Canadian exchanges Kraken does not ask you to submit a selfie nor does it ask you personal financial and investment questions. Verifying with Kraken took just a few minutes and was one of the easiest processes we’ve experienced. 

What You Need to Open an Account:

  • Must be 18+
  • A government-issued ID
  • Enter occupation

To get verified you first need to create an account and choose a username. Next, fill out all your details including your address. 

Verifying identity on Kraken crypto exchange

Next, add your occupation.

Adding occupation while registering with Kraken crypto exchange

Then upload your ID.

Uploading ID on kraken crypto exchange

Kraken will then check your information and email you once your account is verified. 

Kraken Fees

Kraken’s full fee schedule can be found here. There are different fees depending on your deposit method, what type of crypto you trade, as well as whether you use the Instant Buy option or Kraken Pro. 

For Instant Buy there is a 0.9% fee trading fee for stablecoins and a 1.5% trading fee for other coins. 

For Kraken Pro users, there is a 30-day volume-based maker/taker fee model. For volume between 0 to $50,000, the fees will be 0.16%/0.26%.

If using Instant Buy, these trading fees are in addition to card processing fees (3.75% + $0.25) or digital wallet processing fees (3.75% + $0.25) or bank wire processing fees (0.5%).

There is a 1.5% deposit fee for Interac e-Transfer. 

We consider Kraken fees expensive compared to other crypto exchanges that operate in Canada

Kraken Spreads

Kraken charges trading fees instead of a high spread, to cover their costs. It means you won’t be caught out by a large hidden spread. However, the spread is about 0.2%.

How Much Does it Really Cost to Trade with Kraken?

To buy $100 worth of bitcoin with a debit card you must pay Kraken’s 1.5% trading fee plus the card processing fees. You will therefore end up with $94.58 worth of bitcoin and pay $5.42 or 5.42% in fees. 

To deposit $100 via Interac, there is a 1.5% fee, so you will get $98.50 in your account. 

With that, we bought bitcoin using Kraken’s Pro platform. 

We received 0.00318 BTC or $98.04 worth. This meant we paid $0.46 or 0.46% in fees. The spread was therefore $0.20 or 0.20%, which is much lower than other exchanges we have reviewed. 

We sold our bitcoin back to CAD and again paid a small fee. There was also a $10 fiat withdrawal fee meaning we received $88.06 back in our bank account. So we lost over 10%!

Kraken Liquidity

Kraken has high volume which means more liquidity. It is also the top crypto exchange by euro volume in the world, meaning it is one of the top exchanges for bitcoin liquidity. Kraken also has low spreads and fees incentivizing more trades which adds to its liquidity. 

Currencies & Deposit Methods

Kraken offers Canadians the ability to deposit Canadian dollars into their fiat wallets via bank wire or Interac e-Transfer. You can also use accepted credit or debit cards to purchase crypto but your bank may reject the purchase. 

You can also deposit other fiat currencies including USD, GBOP, EUR, JPY, AED, AUD, and CHF.

How Long Do Deposits Take?

Bank wire deposits from Canadian banks can take up to 5 days to process. Interac e-Transfers are almost instant. 

How Long Does it Take to Withdraw Coins?

Withdrawing crypto depends on the speed and congestion of the network. For withdrawing bitcoin to a private wallet, it can take up to 10 minutes. 

Kraken’s Security and Safety

Kraken is one of the largest exchanges in the world so they take security seriously. Over 95% of digital assets are kept in cold storage. All account information is encrypted, their servers are locked in cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards. There is also a bug bounty program that rewards people for finding vulnerabilities in their systems. 

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. You can also add a time lock on your account so no one can login until the lock period ends.  

Kraken Mobile App

Kraken’s mobile app has a high 4.2-star rating from 18,000 ratings on Google Play and a 4.7-star rating from 1700 rating on the App Store. Most people enjoy the overall layout and user-friendliness of the app. 

There is also the Kraken Pro app designed for experienced traders who wish to have additional features such as charting and order book data at their fingertips. The Pro app has equally high ratings from users. When using the Pro app, you can take advantage of cheaper trading fees. 

Trading Platform

The dashboard is easy to navigate with your account balance right in the middle. 

Trading platform on KrakenKraken Pro is currently in Beta mode so there may be changes in the future. It is not suitable for beginners since the platform can seem daunting. 

Kraken Pro screenshot

For experienced traders, the Pro platform offers everything you need to make trades. There are many indicators you can choose to view on the charts and setting a limit or advanced order can be done on the left. 

The Instant Buy option is much more simple and perfect for those looking to make a quick trade or purchase with their card. 

Instant buy on Kraken

Select the crypto you wish to buy, then if you haven’t already, you’ll be prompted to add a card. 

Once you’ve done that, you can enter the amount you wish to purchase and review the transaction.

Finalizing bitcoin transaction on Kraken
If you wish to deposit funds instead, you can click on “funding” at the top of your dashboard. Then enter the amount and select Interac as the deposit method. 

You will receive an email with a link to complete the transfer. Log in to your bank to confirm the transaction. 

Kraken’s Customer Support for Canadians

Kraken has 24/7 live chat and email support. There is also a help centre on the website with useful troubleshooting articles and there is phone support in the USA, UK and European Union. 

Kraken’s Consumer Ratings, Reports & Reviews on Other Platforms

Kraken has a poor 2.2-star rating on Trustpilot with 68% bad reviews. Some of the more positive reviews like Kraken’s smooth service and low fees when using Kraken Pro.

Positive review on Kraken on Trusrpilot

Another Positive review on Kraken on Trustpilot

Other users who have used Instant Buy think the fees are too high. 

Negative  review on Kraken on Trustpilot

 

Does Kraken Offer Staking or Other Services?

Yes, Kraken offers Futures and margin trading, though people in Ontario are restricted from these services. 

Kraken offers staking on several digital assets including Ethereum (4-7%), Cardano (4-6%), Cosmos (12-15%), Kava (23%), Polkadot (9-12%) and more. Staking yields depend on the asset and how long you stake, but more information can be found here

Does Kraken Have an OTC Desk?

Yes, Kraken has an OTC Desk for institutions or high net-worth individuals making large trades. You’ll get 1-on-1 support and full asset support 24/7. 

Does Kraken Restrict or Freeze Accounts?

Unfortunately, many people have complained of Kraken closing or freezing their account for apparently no reason. 

Negative review on Kraken about freezing account
Another negative review on Kraken on Trustpilot
One more negative review on Kraken on Trustpilot about freezing accountBased on these reviews it seems that Kraken often closes accounts for seemingly unknown reasons. However, Kraken usually admits that these decisions are made based on legal and regulatory requirements. Whether it’s because these people do not meet certain requirements is unknown but if your account is suspended or closed, you may be left wondering why. 

Bad explanation from Kraken regarding closing a Canadian account
Kraken Alternatives For Canadians

There are several Canadian crypto exchanges that offer free and fast deposits, which may be a better option than Kraken. We recommend Bitbuy.

Bitbuy was Canada’s first regulated exchange and it complies with the Ontario Securities Commission. It has variable trading fees from 0 to 0.75% and it holds over 97% of funds in cold storage. Deposits are fast and free via Interac making Bitbuy a good choice for Canadians.  

 

Kraken

Bitbuy

NDAX

Trading fees

0.16%/0.26%

0 to 1.5%

0.2%

Cryptocurrencies

100+

16+

35+

Additional features

Futures & margin trading, staking, OTC Desk, NFT marketplace, crypto education

OTC Desk

Staking, OTC Desk

Customer Support

Average

Good

Poor

Security

Excellent

Excellent

Good

       

Common Crypto Exchange Scams With Kraken

Even if you use a reputable crypto exchange, you must always be vigilant about your crypto activity. 

Often, scammers will create websites of crypto exchanges that resemble the real thing. They may also send phishing emails claiming that there is a problem with your account or request additional information. 

One Kraken user was approached by a scammer asking for a deposit in order to complete verification. Luckily the user did not send the funds.

Review about Kraken scam

These scams are typical and people fall victim to them all too often. 

If you are ever approached by an exchange to provide information or money, always double check the official email address or social media account of the exchange. Exchanges should never ask you for money, so if you are being requested to deposit funds, be aware that it’s probably a scam. Check out the article on common crypto scams in Canada.

Conclusion

Kraken is an “ok” exchange for Canadians to use since it has a lot of features including staking and futures trading. Deposits and withdrawals are fast and Kraken has a very low spread and trading fees.

The Instant Buy platform is expensive, so we advise you to get familiar with the Pro platform to get the cheapest fees.

Unfortunately, not every service is available in Ontario due to the Ontario Securities Commission regulations, but Canadians in other provinces have full access. 

Unfortunately, the 1.5% deposit fee and $10 fiat withdrawal fee are a let down but with the low trading fees, the wide range of cryptocurrencies available, and the easy verification process, Kraken is a good choice for Canadians. However, there are better choices available that you can browse in this article.

Kraken rated as a #24 in the list of the best crypto exchanges for Canadians

See Full List

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. 

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