Kraken has swiftly become one of the most popular cryptocurrency-exchange platforms available. And this isn't poised to change in 2019: the service shows no signs of slowing down as it introduces new features, supported cryptos, and more.
As such, there are a lot of people interested in trying the service out.
Fees are one of the blockchain's hardest pills to swallow. It isn't as simple as pursuing a given platform supported currencies and jumping right into a transaction. Unfortunately, Kraken is no exception. But are the Kraken fees more consumer friendly than those offered by competing services? That's what we're going to be taking a look at in the coming breakdown—let's jump right into dissecting every crucial aspect of the Kraken fees.
Yes. Right out the gate, Kraken bars all substantial trades behind two fees: transaction fees and withdrawal fees. The former is deducted from every completed trade. Think of it as the platform's cut of the deal, which they're entitled to for hosting it in the first place.
All cryptocurrency platforms include this fee, and Kraken's is relative to the industry standard. What is less standard is their withdrawal fee.
To carry out a transaction, one needs cryptocurrency. With Kraken, the cryptos, regardless of the type, needs to be withdrawn in a manner similar to standard ATMs. Kraken takes a cut of these withdrawals, unfortunately. Many competing services forgo this extra fee altogether, and it is disappointing to see a service like Kraken stick to such an anti-consumer practice.
The fee's exact amount varies on the cryptocurrency being with withdrawn, with the percentage growing being higher relative to a given currencies value. Bitcoin, for example, can see fees as large as 2%. Furthermore, Bank Wire-based withdrawals use a flat rate. $5 USD for US residents, for example. This applies to the Kraken transfer fees as well.
There are Kraken deposit fees as well. These are much less significant than the service's withdrawal fees, but they are still worth mentioning. Deposit fees are also industry standard—you would be hard-pressed to find an online platform that doesn't include them. As a result, Kraken's inclusion of the fees is a difficult decision to fault.
Unlike Kraken's withdrawal fees, these aren't based on a percentage. All deposit fees are a flat rate, which can be either a positive or a negative depending on the size of a given transaction. If you're only looking to add a small amount, the minimum $5 USD fee is certainly obnoxious. For those adding larger sums, however, it's a much better deal. This is likely by design, as it encourages users to deposit larger amounts for each individual transaction.
Exchange fees are yet another constant for online cryptocurrency-exchange platforms. You aren't going to be able to find one that lacks them, as they are how these services make a profit once deals are completed. In accordance, what makes a service competitive is the size of these fees relative to other options. And in this area, Kraken is certainly competitive.
The Kraken exchange fees are impressively low. Makers are charged only 0-0.36% and takers only 0.08%. This creates an appealing proposition, especially for takers. Using Kraken for straightforward, spur-of-the-moment trades is wonderful thanks to the exceptionally low fees. These fees are yet another intentional design choice by Kraken's staff. While initial fees are tight, and there are some extraneous and unwelcome fees, you stand to save money the more you use the service thanks to the low exchange fees. Ultimately, this is one of the service's greatest selling points.
The Kraken Short Position Fees are similarly impressive. While they aren't as low as the exchange fees, they are still a welcome change from industry standards.
With Kraken, short position fees can be as low as 0.016%. This low figure makes using the platform uniquely easy, and the ability to engage in short position trades without a significant risk certainly adds to this fact. While this isn't the lowest we've seen for a short position rate—other services go as low as 0/05%—it's certainly competitive.
There are no Kraken Margin fees, either. If the rest of Kraken appeals to you, this is certainly more of a reason to stay rather than go.
To this point, you've likely asked yourself this question—how does Kraken compare to Coinbase? Anyone who's active in the blockchain knows that Coinbase is the service to beat in nearly aspect.
Customer service, security, fees, and more are all areas of the market that have been cornered by the giant. This fact is in large part due to them being the first service to take advantage of the widespread consumer interest in cryptocurrencies.
With the above in mind, Kraken fairs relatively well. While there are some clear disparities between the two, namely in customer support, Kraken manages to make a name for itself in a few key ways. One has already been discussed: Kraken's trading fees are uniquely low and certainly lower than those offered by Coinbase. Similarly, Kraken makes engaging in trades a much faster process than Coinbase does. This is likely due to Coinbase's greater size bringing with it much more competition and red tape.
Unfortunately, Kraken's security leaves a lot to be desired, as does their customer service. If these don't bother you, however, it may well be the better deal.
Ultimately, Kraken's greatest flaws are its ROI with extended use and large transaction, the Kraken trading fees, and its ease of use. Its cons come with its smaller user base, its poor customer service, and it's dreadful security options. Whether or not it's worth your time is up to you.
There are certainly arguments to be made when comparing it directly to Coinbase, however, and for that reason alone it may be worth checking out at the very least.
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