The Bottom Line: Kraken is a reputable and competitive exchange founded in 2011. They have 50+ coins, tight spreads (0.25%), and 0.16% maker/0.26% taker trading fees. They also have industry leading support and features for beginner and pro traders. The main downside for Canadians is Kraken does not have interac e-transfer or any convenient funding and withdrawal options.
I ranked Kraken 5th best overall out of 11 exchanges for Canadians.
Fiat Currencies (7):
CAD, USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, CHF, JPY
Spread: 0.25% (On March 01, 2021)
Trading Fees: 0.16% Maker, 0.26% Taker
Crypto Withdrawal Fees: 0.00015 BTC
In Person at Canada Post: $1.25 + 0.25% (max. $500)
Wire Transfer: 1-5 days - $11.50 fee
Pros & Cons
This is what Kraken's app looks like:
Kraken's List of Features
Kraken vs. the Competition
I reviewed 7 crypto exchanges at the exact same time to see how they compare in price and features. For the reference price, I used Google's price of Bitcoin (which takes data from Coinbase). This reference price was the baseline to compare all exchanges fairly. I then opened every platform at the same time to record the data.
Best Funding Fee
$1.25 + 0.25%
Fastest Deposit Time
Best Trading Fee
BTC Buy Price
BTC Sell Price
Reference Price Difference
Crypto Withdrawal Fees
First $5 of network fees are covered
$25 free when you trade $100
$30 free when you trade $100
Best Purchase Fee
0.80% + $1.25
This data was recorded March 01, 2021
Kraken has low fees and 50+ coins however, to fund your account you must go in person to Canada Post or pay extra for a wire transfer - all of these funding options are slow and inconvenient compared to free, instant interac e-transfers.
Screenshot from Feb 15, 2021
Kraken does not have interac e-transfers like Canadian based exchanges so it's a little harder, slower, and more expensive to fund your account. You'll have to do wire transfer which might include additional bank fees ($45 fee with RBC).
Another option is going to your local Canada Post and paying in person with credit or debit. This is one of the cheaper options but not the most practical.
Withdrawals are a little easier. There are 3 options, the best one is probably EFT where you simply add your bank details. With RBC, it would be a $17 fee to receive this wire transfer.
Where Kraken Shines:
Features - You can trade over 50 cryptocurrencies, play with margin, try staking, and do a lot of stuff that other Canadian based exchanges don't offer right now.
Where Kraken Falls Short:
Inconvenient Funding Options - Kraken has a variety of funding options but not the ones most Canadians are used to. There's no interac e-transfer or linking your bank account. You must either do a wire transfer (which could include bank fees), use Etana Custody (a third party with $35 fee), or go to your nearest Canada Post location ($1.25 + 0.25%). All of the options are slow and will include fees either through Kraken or through your bank.
Not based in Canada - Kraken is available in the USA and 190 countries so who knows if the small Canadian market is at the top of their to-do list. If Canada isn't their top priority, it might take a while to get interac e-transfers and other cool features.
Is Kraken Right For You?
Kraken offers 50+ cryptocurrencies, good spreads, and low fees. However, their funding options are very inconvenient at this time. If you are willing to go Canada Post every time you want to deposit up to $500 or don't mind paying $11-$35 or more for a wire transfer then Kraken is a fantastic platform. It all depends on your trading needs but personally, I think Newton + Binance is the best combo for Canadians.
- Trade 50+ cryptocurrencies
- Tight spreads and low fees
- Beginner and pro features
- Fast funding and super low fees
- Trade 9 cryptocurrencies
- Get $25 free when you trade $100