OKX vs Kraken
34 min read

OKX vs Kraken Review 2023: Top Exchanges for Crypto Trading Compared!

By Tayler McCracken

Kraken and OKX are two world-leading, best-in-class exchanges that are utilized and loved by users all over the world for good reason.

Both exchanges have been successfully operating in the crypto industry for years, have solid track records, and are renowned and respected within the crypto community. Both platforms have enjoyed tremendous levels of success, attracting millions of crypto traders from all over. For users based in the United States, Kraken is almost always the exchange I recommend, and both Kraken and OKX are fantastic choices for anyone located outside of the States.

While this OKX vs Kraken review aims to provide a high-level overview of each exchange to help you determine which one is better suited for your crypto journey, we also have dedicated in-depth reviews on each where we cover these platforms in more detail:

OKX Review

Kraken Review

We also have an article on the top Crypto Exchanges if you would like to explore other options on your journey to find which exchange is right for you.

OKX vs Kraken Summary:

 

Kraken

OKX

Headquarters:

San Francisco, California, USA

Seychelles

Year Established:

2011

2016

Regulation:

FinCEN, FINTRAC, FCA, AUSTRAC, FSA

Virtual Asset Trading License– HK SFC VFAA compliant– Malta Financial Services Provisional Virtual Assets License– Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority 

Spot Cryptocurrencies Listed:

185+

350+

Native Token:

N/A

OKB

Maker/Taker Fees:

Lowest: 0.00%/0.10%

Highest: 0.16%/0.26%

Lowest: -0.005%/0.020% Highest: 0.080%/0.1% 

Security:

Very High:

Very High:

Beginner-Friendly:

Yes

Advanced trading concepts can be confusing for beginners. Many features and products on OKX may be overwhelming for new users. 

KYC/AML Verification:

Required

None for limited trading. Users will need to KYC to reach higher volume trading limits. 

Fiat Currency Support:

USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, JPY

Purchase crypto with 90+ fiat currencies and withdrawals are supported in 12 fiat currencies. 

Deposit/Withdraw Method

Full fiat on and offramp services with the following methods:

ACH, Wire, SWIFT, Signet, SEN, Debit/Credit card, SEPA, FPS CHAPS, e-Transfer, Osko, SIC, Furikomi, Apple/Google pay also available depending on jurisdiction. Crypto deposits/withdrawals also supported

 

Deposit- Buy crypto with 129+ supported services for bank transfers, card purchases, Apple Pay, etc. Crypto deposits accepted. 

Withdraw– Crypto only 

OKX Inline

OKX vs Kraken

Both OKX and Kraken are highly respected, trustworthy, and leaders in the crypto exchange industry. Users of these platforms enjoy the added security and peace of mind of knowing these exchanges are regulated and comply with local laws and regulations in their respective jurisdictions.

Both exchanges provide a seamless, professional-grade trading experience and go above and beyond what is expected of them in terms of security with robust and comprehensive security measures that we will cover later on.

According to Coin Market Cap, Kraken is the #3 largest exchange in the world regarding spot trading volume with OKX sitting at the #7 spot, while OKX enjoys the #2 spot for derivatives trading with Kraken down at the #9 spot at the time of writing.

OKX review
Image via CoinMarketCap

Further on in the review, we’ll take a closer look at each exchange individually, but first, we want to give you an overview of our findings by comparing OKX versus Kraken.

OKX vs Kraken: Products Offered

OKX and Kraken are a bit different in their product offerings and target customer. To save you some time right off the bat, if I were to sum these two up, I would say that Kraken is, hands down, the better exchange from a beginner-friendliness perspective, and for users looking for a simple and easy place to buy and sell crypto.

kraken homepage

A Look at the Kraken Homepage

It is difficult to beat Kraken for users who are looking for a simple user interface and a highly secure platform that supports withdrawals to bank accounts. Kraken is also often considered the most secure exchange in the world and is the only one in the top five that has never experienced a security breach or hack. For advanced users, there is also Kraken Pro, catering to traders with more comprehensive trading needs, making Kraken suitable for newbies and crypto pros.

👉 Sign up to Kraken and enjoy industry-leading security!

OKX (formerly OKeX) is the better exchange for those looking for an “all-in-one” crypto exchange, as they offer considerably more products and features than Kraken. OKX is leading the industry in Web3, DeFi and NFT innovation. 

okx

A Look at the OKX Homepage

OKX also has about the lowest trading fees in the industry, comprehensive fiat and deposit support options, a professional-grade trading engine, and a brilliantly designed UX/UI. OKX is a great platform for anyone who wants to be on the cutting edge of Web3 and DeFi innovation. It is good to note that, unlike Kraken, OKX does not support fiat-to-bank withdrawals.

👉 Sign up to OKX and get a 40% discount on trading fees for life! 

To highlight a little more about products and features, here is what Kraken has on offer:

  • Spot and Margin trading
  • Indices
  • Forex
  • Futures
  • Highest security in the industry
  • Best customer support in the industry
  • Buy 185+ crypto assets with 7 different fiat currencies
  • NFT Marketplace
  • Staking
  • Polkadot and Kusama Parachain Auctions
  • Kraken Pro for advanced traders
  • Portfolio tracking
  • Mobile App

Here is what OKX offers: 

  • Buy crypto with over 90 fiat currencies 
  • Swap crypto easily with the convert feature 
  • Access an advanced trading interface for Spot, Margin and Derivatives trading 
  • 125x leverage on Futures, 5x Leverage on spot pairs 
  • Leveraged tokens 
  • Easy integration to DeFi and Web3 DApps 
  • Trading Bots 
  • Earn section, crypto lending and launchpad 
  • NFT marketplace 
  • Safety + Security with comprehensive licensing and regulatory compliance and robust security measures 
  • Mobile app

From a pure trading perspective, users cannot go wrong selecting either platform, but for users looking for more functionality outside of trading, especially those looking to earn passive income on their holdings, OKX will likely be the go-to.

Exchanges that are regulated in the US like Coinbase and Kraken seem to have their hands tied when it comes to offering earn products, as we saw when Coinbase approached the SEC with their intentions to launch APY-generating products only to be threatened with a lawsuit. Yield-bearing products are a notable exclusion from US-regulated exchanges, users looking to earn should opt for OKX, OkCoin, Binance, or KuCoin.

Kraken offers a basic staking interface where users can stake their crypto assets to earn passive APY on 11 different assets with APYs as high as 23%.

If you are interested in Guy’s take, check out the video below to find out why Kraken makes his top 5 list for crypto exchanges:

That covers the products and key features at a glance, now let’s jump into how else these two stack up.

OKX vs Kraken: User Friendliness

User-friendliness is the first major area where we see these two platforms differ. OKX is a professional-grade trading platform with advanced features, markets, order types, products, and functions that may be confusing and overwhelming for new users.

This is not meant as negative criticism towards OKX, they understood their niche was catering to advanced and professional traders and purposely designed a platform that is incredibly powerful and can accommodate traders from all backgrounds. This crypto exchange also prides itself on being an all-inclusive “one-stop” platform, and you cannot feature such an impressive catalogue of products and advanced functionality while also being super beginner/user-friendly.

Though with that being said, OKX is very well-designed and anyone who knows their way around a crypto platform or gets familiar with OKX will find it pretty intuitive and user-friendly with time.

OKX also features a simple “one-click” buy and convert feature that is ideal for beginner traders and anyone who doesn’t need to access a charting interface:

OKX one click trading

Easily Buy Crypto on OKX

OKX also does a great job separating different sections of the app and wallet, making it suitable for new users and those who need to access advanced functions and features:

OKX mobile

Image via OKX

As user-friendly as OKX can be, Kraken certainly takes the win as it is simply one of the cleanest, easiest-to-use, and most beginner-friendly crypto platforms out there.

Kraken took an approach where they compete with the likes of SwissBorg, Coinbase, and OkCoin, focusing on beginner friendliness, providing a forgiving platform for those who are taking their first baby steps into the world of crypto and building a platform that can be useful for traders on any step of their crypto journey.

kraken review

Image via Kraken

The problem with being too user-friendly is that it is often at the sacrifice of extra functions and features available on the platform. The more products, functions, features, and “bells and whistles” a platform offers, the more cluttered and less user-friendly it becomes, which is something Kraken understood well when they released Kraken Pro.

What I like about Kraken is that everything is easily available from one platform. Users looking for the easiest, cleanest, and most simple to use interface can enjoy Kraken, while advanced crypto users can open up Kraken Pro, which offers all the trading, charting, and order functionality needed to appease advanced users, offering the best of both worlds.

I also feel it is worth giving a shout-out to both Kraken and OKX for building their own unique, beautifully designed platforms from the ground up, offering a fantastic user experience and sleek, clean, intuitive websites. One annoyance I’ve noticed in my years of using and reviewing crypto exchanges is how many platforms simply cloned the Binance platform and made an identical interface, only changing the colour scheme.

When it comes to the actual trading interface, Kraken offers two options for simple and advanced trading for users who don’t need charting functionality:

Kraken trading options

A Look at the Simple and Advanced Trading Screens

Kraken traders can also access Kraken Pro from the same login and site, which offers charts and technical tools, watch lists, depth charts, order books and order forms:

Kraken Pro screen

Trading on Kraken always functions seamlessly and is a pleasure to use, as you would expect from one of the world’s leading exchanges. The charting interface is provided by the industry gold standard TradingView, making Kraken suitable for even the most advanced technical analysis traders.

Turning our attention now to the trading interface on OKX:

OKX trading interface

A Look at the OKX Trading Interface

Aside from TradingView, traders can also access OKX’s native trading interface, which provides further functionality and a depth chart. There is also a “basic” trading screen for those who don’t need all the extra features. Trading on OKX is also as high quality as you will find on any of the top exchanges with nearly instantaneous order execution and a world-class matching and trading engine.

Both platforms feature enough advanced trading functionality and deep liquidity for professional and institutional traders, while also supporting simple trading interfaces that beginners may find less overwhelming.

Both OKX and Kraken also offer highly rated mobile apps for traders who like to take crypto trading on the go.

To sum this section up, Kraken is better suited for the average user simply looking to buy, sell, and trade crypto, and advanced traders can take advantage of Kraken Pro. Kraken is also the obvious choice for users needing a fiat offramp.

OKX is the better platform for users looking to do more with their crypto than just trade as they offer DeFi, Metaverse, GameFi, general Web3 integrations and functionality, a more robust Earn section, a launchpad, and more.

OKX vs Kraken: Fees

Fees are an important consideration when selecting a crypto exchange, especially for users who will be frequently trading as trading fees can eat into profits.

Fortunately, both OKX and Kraken are quite fee friendly with OKX having about the lowest fees you will find among any of the major exchanges. The fees on Kraken come in a bit higher, but certainly not enough to break the bank.

Both crypto exchanges use a tiered fee structure with Maker\Taker fees being determined by a trader’s 30-day rolling trading volume and/or assets held. 

Here is a look at OKX fees for spot trading:: 

spot fees

Image via OKX

You can find the full list of fees on the OKX Fees page

Here are the Kraken fees traders can expect for spot trading: 

Kraken trading fees

Image via Kraken

You can find a full list of fees on the Kraken fees page.

Though OKX takes the win by having lower trading fees, it is good to note that Kraken will be the cheaper platform to buy crypto as they natively support bank transfers and deposits. OKX does offer a few methods to purchase crypto with 0 fees, but in general, any exchange that can accept fiat bank deposits will typically be cheaper as the most cost-effective way to buy crypto is by depositing fiat and then accessing the trading interface to swap it for the crypto asset of choice.

Pro Tip: This goes for any exchange, always try to fund your account via bank account and avoid “instant buy” features or card purchases as these more convenient methods often come with significantly higher fees. Bank transfers are generally the cheapest way to go.

Exchanges like OKX and KuCoin facilitate crypto purchases through third-party service providers that often charge higher fees for purchasing crypto, which is why Kraken will be the lower-fee exchange to buy crypto in most cases. It is quite common for users to have an account at both exchanges so they can buy crypto on Kraken, and then send crypto to OKX for free to take advantage of the features on OKX.

OKX vs Kraken: Security

Security is one aspect where both platforms absolutely shine. In fact, according to Certified, an independent exchange security analysis company, Kraken is the #2 most secure exchange in the world, second only to Crypto.com. Kraken has held onto the number two spot for as long as I can remember.

certified

Image via cer.live

As mentioned earlier, Kraken is the only top five exchange that has never been hacked, and the fact they have been running since 2011 makes their track record all the more impressive.

The Kraken team has decades of experience building security programs for the world’s top brands and are so highly respected in the industry that they have launched Kraken Security Labs, an elite team of security researchers that work with other companies to help ensure their security is up to scratch.

Kraken invests heavily in security, safeguarding funds, and privacy, and takes the following security measures:

Safe Coin and NFT storage- 95% of all deposits are kept in offline, air-gapped, geographically distributed cold storage. Kraken holds full reserves so that users always have access to fund withdrawals.

Platform Security- Kraken servers reside in secure cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards and video monitors. Physical access is strictly controlled, and all code deployments are reviewed.

Information Security- All sensitive information is encrypted at both the system and data level. In addition, access is strictly controlled and monitored.

Penetration testing– Kraken employs an expert team dedicated to testing its systems via different attack vectors to identify any vulnerabilities. Kraken also offers a bug bounty for anyone identifying potential issues with the platform’s security.

Platform Monitoring– A dedicated security team continuously monitors the platform for suspicious activity.

From a customer perspective, users can enjoy peace of mind with the following security features to protect their accounts:

  • 2FA- Google Authenticator or Yubikey
  • Email confirmations for withdrawals with self-serve account locks
  • Customizable API key permissions
  • PGP signed and encrypted email
  • Configurable account timeout for another layer of protection
  • Global settings time lock

Kraken also has a $100m fund set aside to reimburse customers in the unlikely event of a hack. Pound for pound, Kraken is definitely one of the safest and most secure exchanges in the world.

While Kraken takes a win in this category, OKX is certainly no slouch in the security game and also takes a considerably more robust approach to security than most exchanges.

OKX has not suffered a security breach since 2017, and the fact that they are regulated and licensed in multiple jurisdictions makes them one of the most trusted exchanges around.

OKX takes a unique approach to security, mixing online and offline storage systems secured with multi-signature protection, multiple backups, and location-separated QR codes and key personnel.

OKX security

Image via OKX

Here is a look at the security lengths undertaken by OKX:

  • Each cold wallet address stores no more than 1,000 BTC and each address is only used once. 
  • Private keys never come into contact with the internet or USB drives. Each private key is encrypted and held on an offline computer using AES with any non-encrypted keys being deleted.
  • AES encrypted passwords are held by employees in different locations. 
  • The offline private keys are only accessible via QR codes, never coming into contact with the internet. 
  • QR codes are printed and copies are stored in separate bank vaults on different continents, each requiring in-person access. 

OKX holds 95% of funds in offline, air-gapped cold storage environments outside of the reach of hackers. The hot wallets that store the other 5% of funds utilize semi-offline multi-signature mechanisms and multiple risk management methods to verify deposits and withdrawals, protecting against unauthorized access. 

In the event of a security breach that places the 5% of funds kept in hot wallets at risk, or if any users lose funds due to a successful hack, OKX has a risk reserve fund to reimburse users. All this together makes OKX a good choice for those seeking a secure platform. 

From a customer perspective, users can enable the following security options to secure their accounts: 

  • Login Password 
  • Email Verification 
  • 2FA for login 
  • Google Authenticator 
  • Mobile Verification 
  • Secondary password for withdrawals 
  • Anti-phishing code 

Security is one of the most important considerations when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, and both of these platforms take highly respectable and impressive security measures. Users can rest easy on both these platforms knowing that both OKX and Kraken and security leaders in the industry.

Alright, now that we have covered a side-by-side comparison, we will dig a little deeper into each exchange individually.

OKX Overview 

What is OKX?

OKX is a cryptocurrency exchange in the Seychelles that has been one of the most popular havens for traders since its launch in 2017. Thanks to the robust platform and easy navigational interface, OKX is a suitable platform for beginners and experienced traders looking to trade spot, derivatives, margin, futures, perpetual swaps, and options markets.

Featuring both a simple and advanced trading interface for traders looking for easy or robust trade execution, and with a well-populated area full of educational content teaching the skill of trading, OKX is an apt place for any style or skill level of trader.

OKX NFT

OKX is a Great Platform For NFT Enthusiasts. Image via OKX

OKX is one of the fastest-growing crypto exchanges thanks to its comprehensive trading features, order types, seamless trading interface, KYC-free trading for spot and futures, and the safety and reputation that comes along with being regulated and licensed.

OKX is also becoming very popular for traders looking to utilize trading bots, features a well-stocked Earn section, crypto loans, a launchpad, and the OKX Wallet makes DeFi, Metaverse, NFT access, GameFi and DApp access an absolute breeze.

The OKX brand is a subsidiary of OKCoin, which is owned by OK Group, a company founded in 2013 by Mingxing Xu. After the success of OK Coin, they launched the OKX crypto exchange, catering to a more sophisticated type of trader.

Cryptocurrencies Offered on OKX

OKX exchange has over 350 crypto assets supported and over 500 trading pairs available across the spot, margin, and derivatives markets for users in over 180 countries around the world.

OKX Products 

OKX has a massive selection of products and features on offer, too many to cover them all here. You can find out more about what OKX features in our dedicated OKX review, but we’ll cover the highlights below. 

OKX Cryptocurrency Trading 

Trading crypto on OKX is a flawless experience with nearly instantaneous trade execution and order fulfilment. OKX provides one of the best-performing trading interfaces in the industry, making it clear why the platform has attracted millions of users and sees billions of dollars in trading volume.

trading interface OKX

A Look at the Charting Screen. Image via OKX

OKX supports advanced order types and a charting platform powered by TradingView so it can meet the needs of any type of trader from retail to professional. 

Traders will find the following order types available:

  • Limit Order: These orders are good till cancelled. They are simply orders that are placed at some predefined level.
  • Advanced Limit: This is a standard limit order with more functionality around how you would like the order to be executed. For example, it could be Post Only, Fill-or-Kill or Immediate or Cancel. “Post Only” is a standard order. Fill or Kill will execute the entirety of the order or kill it. Immediate or Cancel will execute it now at the best price or cancel
  • Stop Limit: This is an order placed only once a specific trigger price is met. Once the trigger price is met, a standard limit order is placed.
  • Trail Order: With this order, a limit order will be placed once the price has retraced after breaking a certain trigger level. This is called the “Callback Rate.”
  • IceBerg Order: This is an order that allows a trader to place a large order without incurring too much slippage. This order automatically breaks up a user’s large order into multiple smaller orders.
  • Time-weighted average price (TWAP): TWAP is the average price of the order over a specified period of time. It is basically a strategy that will attempt to execute an order that trades in slices of order quantity at regular intervals. The fill price equals the TWAP price.

OKX also features a one-click Convert feature for traders who are looking for the most hassle-free way to trade.

OKX Earn 

OKX has a multi-product Earn section for users looking to earn passive income on their crypto. There are low-risk and high-risk options available for short and longer-term investments, accommodating different risk appetites and investor profiles.

OKX Earn

Image via okx.com/earn

Earn products include options like savings and staking, to advanced higher return options like dual investment. We have a detailed OKX Earn article if you want to know more about what is on offer.

OKX DeFi 

OKX is the leading platform to bridge the gap between CeFi and DeFi, providing a convenient “all-in-one” interface that allows users to benefit from the world of DeFi, without having to get involved in all the complexities associated with traditional Decentralized Financial applications.

OKX DeFi

Image via OKX

One of the largest barriers to entry preventing new users from getting involved in DeFi is the complex nature involved with self-custodial wallets and the different wallets and networks needed to interact with various DeFi protocols.

OKX is bringing DeFi to the masses and making it user-friendly by leveraging their beautifully designed user interface, to make it easy for users on the front end, while having all the complex “DeFi stuff” executed behind the scenes on the back end.

Through OKX and the self-custodial web wallet, DeFi platforms like Aave, Compound Finance, Sushiswap and others can all be accessed all from one place. 

Polkadot & Kusama Slot Auctions 

Fans of Polkadot and Kusama will be pleased to hear that OKX provides one of the easiest platforms to get involved in the DOT and KSM parachain slot auctions.

Taking part in Polkadot auctions on your own can be quite complex and is often a task only undertaken by advanced crypto users. Fortunately, OKX has built a simple front-end interface that allows users to participate in the easiest way possible. Other exchanges that offer DOT auction participation access are the likes of Kraken and KuCoin.

OKX Slot Auctions

Image via OKX

Through an OKX account, users can vote on proposals for future DOT and Kusama projects with OKX covering the fees involved with voting and dealing with things like token lockups, release dates, etc. 

If a user votes on a project that wins the slot auction, they will receive rewards in that project’s new token in their OKX account.

OKX Jumpstart 

Launchpads are a popular way for investors to gain early exposure to promising projects before they hit mainstream adoption and go parabolic, providing the potential for nice returns on investment.

Jumpstart is OKX’s launchpad, and is similar to the launcphads found on major crypto exchanges like Binance and KuCoin.

OKX Jumpstart

Image via OKX

Through Jumpstart, OKX helps new projects launch by providing advisory and incubation services, while simultaneously attracting interest from new users and investors by promoting the project on the launchpad. 

Investors can get involved by staking their OKB tokens and then receive new tokens from projects based on the user’s staked amounts. The Jumpstart launchpad is worth keeping an eye on for launchpad enthusiasts who don’t mind the extra level of risk involved in startup investing.

MetaX- OKX Wallet 

MetaX is a non-custodial wallet that users can access to self-custody their crypto. This brilliantly designed and multi-functional wallet connects OKX users to the world of thousands of DApps, DeFi, Metaverse, NFT, and GameFi projects, and supports general Web3 functionality.  

MetaX

Image via okx.com/metax

This versatile platform connects users to the world of Web3 from one convenient platform. OKX has created this one-stop Web3 hub to make DeFi and decentralized applications easy by bringing everything together in one place, reducing the hurdles and complexities that traditionally existed in the decentralized crypto space.

OKX Trading Bots 

OKX has become one of the leading platforms for trading bots with over 940,000 traders accessing the site and taking advantage of the auto-trading features.

OKX trading bot

Image via OKX

Users on OKX can create their own bots with simple plug-and-play solutions, no coding required, or select one of the thousands of bots available on the bot marketplace. Each bot on the marketplace comes with statistics and trading history so traders can verify the performance of the bot before deciding to use it.

Bots on OKX fall under the following categories: 

  • Grid bot 
  • DCA bot 
  • Recurring buy bot 
  • Arbitrage bots 
  • Smart Portfolio rebalancing bot 
  • Slicing bots 

You can learn more about the trading bots available in OKX in our article on OKX Trading Bots

Types of Accounts and OKX Fees 

OKX offers individual and corporate accounts. Individual accounts can select different modes based on the needs and KYC level of the user:

account mode

Image via OKX

Users will need to undergo KYC and ID verification to access some products and buy crypto, accounts that have not undertaken KYC verification will be able to deposit, withdraw up to 10 BTC in 24 hours, and perform spot and futures trading.  

As for fees, OKX is one of the lowest-fee exchanges in the industry. The OKX fee structure is determined by a maker/taker fee model depending on asset holdings and/or 30-day trading volume.  

Here is a look at the spot trading fees: 

OKX fees

Image via OKX

Fees for purchasing crypto can vary quite a bit depending on the service provider and method being used. Fees for purchasing crypto are set by OKX’s third-party purchasing providers, some of which can come in at over 5%, so be sure to double-check the fees before finalizing the purchase to make sure you aren’t paying more than you are expecting.

Try and use bank transfer options if available instead of purchasing with card as they are often cheaper. 

OKX Security 

We already covered OKX’s impressively robust security protocols above in the head-to-head section, but to reemphasize, OKX is one of the most secure and reputable exchanges in the industry.

OKX utilizes a mix of online and offline storage, ensuring 95% of customer funds are held in air-gapped cold storage wallets that never come into contact with online connectivity and remain out of the reach of hackers, viruses, and malware at all times.

Private keys and backups are located in bank vaults on different continents around the world and can only be accessed by key personnel. OKX enforces multi-signature access protocols, making internal theft also highly unlikely.

In the unlikely event of a successful security breach, OKX has an insurance fund in place to reimburse customers should they experience losses.  

OKX’s full approach to security can be found on the OKX Security Page, it is quite interesting and worth the read.

And that is it for OKX, let’s take a look at Kraken.

Kraken Review

What is Kraken?

KrakenKraken is a top-rated, US-based crypto exchange that has grown in user adoption and popularity worldwide. The Kraken exchange has held the #3-4 position as the largest exchange by trading volume for several years and is considered one of the major five exchanges by user base and trading volume.

The Kraken exchange provides a fantastic (and cheaper) alternative to Coinbase for those looking for a reputable US-based crypto exchange that offers more than simply buying, selling, and swapping assets.

Why Kraken

Image via Kraken

Jesse Powell founded kraken in 2011 in San Francisco, USA. Jesse is a veteran in the crypto space and is well respected for helping drive the crypto industry forward, above and beyond the scope of the simple Kraken exchange. Interestingly, before Kraken, he worked as a security consultant for Mt. Gox. Powell anticipated the Mt. Gox collapse and decided to start up a more sustainable and robust crypto exchange and Kraken was released…Pun intended.

Kraken is a popular place for trading spot crypto, futures, indices and even forex on an industry-leading exchange interface with a powerful matching and trading engine for a flawless trading experience.

Cryptocurrencies Available on Kraken

Kraken offers a respectable collection of over 180 cryptocurrencies, supporting major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, along with harder-to-find tokens like Yield Guild Games and Star Atlas.

kraken asset support

Some of the Assets Available. Image via Kraken

For stablecoin support, Kraken supports USDT on Ethereum and Tron and supports tokens on Polkadot, Solana, Cardano, along with many other networks. Ripple is also available on Kraken for those XRP enthusiasts. You can find the full list on the Kraken Supported Assets Page.

Products Available on Kraken

We already mentioned Kraken’s high-performance trading interface where users can trade crypto, derivatives, indices and forex, now we will take a look at what is on offer outside of trading.

Kraken Staking

As with any good exchange, Kraken offers a staking section where users can stake popular Proof-of-Stake crypto assets and earn up to 23% APY.

kraken staking screen

A Look at the Staking Area on Kraken

Staking allows users to earn attractive APYs easily with just a few clicks of a button in a flexible manner for 13 different crypto assets, USD and EUR.

Kraken Pro

Kraken provides three different interfaces for traders all easily accessible on one platform. They offer simple and advanced trading screens, and Kraken Pro, which provides advanced trading capabilities.

Kraken Pro has all the functions, features and order types needed by traders with more comprehensive trading needs and is also available as a separate mobile app.

kraken vs kraken pro

kraken vs kraken pro. Image via Kraken

Kraken Pro supports charting functionality via TradingView integration and features lower fees than the standard Kraken platform, so it is worth getting familiar with it, even if you are just hitting the buy and sell buttons.

Fortunately, Guy put together this fantastic Kraken beginner’s guide to help new users navigate the platform:

Kraken NFT Marketplace

Following suit with other major cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken announced plans to launch its own NFT marketplace.

Image via Kraken

The marketplace will offer a zero-gas fee platform for NFTs custodied with Kraken. There will be no blockchain network fees for trading activity on the platform, though transfers off the platform will come with a network fee.

The platform will provide a rarity tracker, pay with cash option, will support multiple blockchains, and NFT creators will be rewarded with profits from each resale of an NFT. Ethereum and Solana are the only two announced networks supported so far, but the team mentions adding additional blockchain support in the future.

Polkadot and Kusama Parachain Auctions

Kraken supports DOT and KSM parachain auctions, which I am a big fan of, and has been an important driver attracting fans of the Polkadot ecosystem to Kraken. Polkadot is an exciting project with huge potential, but it can be quite complex and confusing, especially when it comes to the slot auction process.

Kraken parachain auctions

A Look at How Parachain Auctions Work on Kraken. Image via Kraken

Kraken simplifies the process for platform users, allowing them to participate in parachain slot auctions without the technical know-how needed to navigate the complex Polkadot DeFi environment.

Types of Accounts and Kraken Fees

Kraken has one type of account that allows access to different levels of access on the platform depending on what level of KYC the user goes through. You can see that below:

Kraken KYC requirements

Image via Kraken

They made this handy chart showing what features are possible with each of the verification levels to help users decide how far in the KYC process they need to go:

Kraken verification levels

Image via Kraken

If you are looking for an exchange that doesn’t require KYC, I recommend checking out our KuCoin Review. Bybit and OKX are two other good choices for traders looking to skip the KYC.  

As for fees, Kraken is on the lower end of the fee spectrum and offers fairly low fees compared to many of its competitors.

Kraken users can expect the following fees:

  • Instant Buy- Digital wallet and card purchases will come with a 3.75% + $0.25 fee or a 0.5% fee for online banking/ACH purchases. Kraken’s purchasing partners charge these fees.
  • Crypto deposits are free for most crypto assets.
  • Crypto withdrawals have a variable fee structure depending on the asset. That information can be found on the Kraken Crypto Withdrawal Fees Page.
  • Kraken tacks an additional 1.5% fee per transaction for stablecoin purchases, or 0.9% for purchases with USD for the Instant Buy option.

Fiat deposits vary depending on currency and method used but range between $0 to 3% or as high as £21 depending on method and currency selected. Detailed information can be found on the Kraken Deposit Fees Page.

Fiat withdrawals vary depending on currency and method used but range between $0 to $35, again depending on the currency and method. Detailed information can be found on the Kraken Withdrawals Fees Page.

We covered the standard maker/taker fees above, here are the fees for users looking to trade Futures:

Kraken future fees

Image via Kraken

Kraken fees certainly won’t break the bank and though the fees are slightly higher than those offered on the likes of Binance, OKX, and KuCoin, users seem happy to pay the extra fees knowing how much Kraken invests in its security and the safety of user’s funds. I’m happy to pay a bit more for the confidence of knowing my funds are safe, that’s for sure.

Kraken Security

As previously stated, Kraken is an absolute beast when it comes to security. Though Certified ranks them #2 in the world, from my own independent research and digging, I would have to respectfully disagree and place Kraken as #1.

The fact that they go well above and beyond what is expected from any exchange from a security standpoint, and knowing that they have been around for over a decade without ever having a security breach is massively impressive, there isn’t a single crypto exchange that can match that track record.

Also, knowing their security is so top-notch that they even created Kraken Security Labs to help other companies bolster their security is also a pretty good sign. I already covered what makes Kraken such a secure exchange, though I also recommend diving into our Kraken review, where we really get into the nooks and crannies of this Fort Knox of a crypto exchange.

Newsletter Inline

OKX or Kraken: Conclusion

Well, there you have it. A head-to-head breakdown of how these exchanges compare. Honestly, trying to pick a winner out of these two is tough as they are both highly respectable exchanges and are industry leaders for a reason, it all comes down to the needs of the trader.

I feel that for the average crypto user, Kraken is the more suitable exchange as it provides an easier-to-use interface for a better user experience, and is certainly better for new users. I like that Kraken also has simple and advanced trading screens, catering to different levels of traders.

Kraken is also one of the few crypto exchanges to offer Forex trading, the Dot auction platform is fantastic, having a way to withdraw fiat is nice, and you cannot beat the security.

👉 Sign up to Kraken today!

OKX, on the other hand, is better suited for traders who want to explore everything that crypto has to offer. OKX is an absolute gem for anyone looking to dive into the world of DeFi, Metaverse plays, NFTs, explore GameFi projects and more.

The OKX Web3 wallet provides endless utility and the OKX platform itself offers a professional-grade trading platform, Dot auctions, has a great selection of tradeable assets, a robust Earn section, and is great for launchpad investors.

👉 Sign up to OKX and get a 40% discount on trading fees for life! 

FAQs

Is Kraken Better than Binance?

As Binance is the #1 exchange in the world in terms of users and trading volume by a huge margin, it is common opinion that Kraken is not better than Binance.

Binance offers significantly more tradeable assets, products, and features, has lower fees and a substantially better built-out Earn section than Kraken.

Kraken is, however, better suited for beginners, is more secure, and is the better choice for crypto users who don’t need access to all the extra features offered on Binance.

You can find out more about Binance in our dedicated Binance review.

Are Kraken Fees High?

Users of Kraken can trade for low fees. The platform is very fee-friendly with the lowest fees being 0.00% and the highest trading fees coming in at 0.26%. Also, because Kraken supports native fiat on and offramp support, funding and withdrawing fiat comes with low fees or often no fees depending on the currency and method selected.

Are OKX Fees High?

Not at all! OKX leads the industry along with Binance and KuCoin in offering the lowest trading fees around coming in at fractions of a percent.

Is OKX a Good Exchange?

Yes, as one of the top major exchanges and remaining an industry leader since its launch in 2017, OKX is a fantastic exchange. OKX is licensed and regulated in multiple jurisdictions and is one of the top choices for traders looking to trade KYC-free.

OKX offers a great selection of tradeable assets on the spot and derivatives markets and has a huge selection of other products on offer such as Earn products, a launchpad, NFT marketplace, Web3 wallet and more.

Providing financial education to those who need it most has always been a passion of mine. While working as a Financial Advisor, I had my eyes opened to the world of crypto and its potential to help make the world a better place. I believe that blockchain technology can build a brighter future and am excited to be part of it. If you enjoy the hours of research I put into my articles and find them entertaining and insightful, please consider sending a tip as it really helps me out and I greatly appreciate it. BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BNB, DOT, SOL, VET, XLM, ALGO, AVAX, LINK, USDC, USDT, MATIC can be sent to tayler88.crypto
View all posts by Tayler McCracken -> Best Crypto Deals ->

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