By: Alex Dabek

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2021

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4.0

NowFuture Rating:

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.

Kraken Exchange Logo 1

Kraken Overview

Overall:

4.0

Coins Available:

50+

Fiat Currencies (7):

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

Fees:

Spread: 0.25% (On March 01, 2021)

Trading Fees:  0.16% Maker, 0.26% Taker

Crypto Withdrawal Fees: 0.00015 BTC

Funding Methods:

In Person at Canada Post: $1.25 + 0.25% (max. $500)

Wire Transfer: 1-5 days - $11.50 fee

Pros & Cons

  • Trusted crypto exchange with over 6 million clients
  • 50+ coins which is far more than any Canadian based exchange
  • Lots of features for beginner and experienced traders
  • 2nd lowest spread out of 11 exchanges I tested
  • Industry leading support and 24/7 live chat
  • Inconvenient and expensive funding options for $CAD, no interac e-transfer
  • Operates in 160 countries so Canadian features might not be their top priority
  • Low reviews on their iOS and Android app

This is what Kraken's app looks like:

Kraken Mobile App Trading View

Kraken's List of Features

  • 50+ coins available and 7 fiat currencies
  • 24/7 live support
  • Instant Buy and Kraken Pro trading interface
  • Margin trading and futures
  • Staking rewards
  • iOS, Android and web app
  • OTC desk for large volume trades
  • Bug Bounty program: Get BTC for finding security bugs 
  • Educational resources

Kraken vs. the Competition

How I Tested This

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.

Header
Kraken Exchange Logo 2
Newton Exchange

Coins Offered

50+

9

2

Best Funding Fee

$1.25 + 0.25%

Free

Free

Fastest Deposit Time

30-60 minutes

5-30 minutes

Almost instant

Best Trading Fee

0.16% maker

0.26% taker

0%

0%

Spread

0.25%

1.27%

2.54%

BTC Buy Price

$62,238

$62,486

$62,945

BTC Sell Price

$62,082

$61,701

$61,387

Reference Price Difference

Buy: +0.29%

Sell: -0.04%

Buy: +0.69%

Sell: -0.58%

Buy: +1.43%

Sell: -1.09%

Reference Price

$62,058

$62,058

$62,058

Crypto Withdrawal Fees

0.00015 BTC

First $5 of network fees are covered

Free

Promotion

None

$25 free when you trade $100

$30 free when you trade $100

Best Purchase Fee

0.80% + $1.25

0.69%

1.43%

Cell


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.

Kraken Funding

Kraken CAD Funding Options and Fees

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:

Competitive Fees - Kraken's best total purchase fee to buy Bitcoin was 0.80% + $1.25 CAD on March 01, 2021. This was fifth place out of 11 Canadian exchanges I compared.

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.

More Info

About Kraken

Kraken was founded way back in 2011 before most of us have heard of Bitcoin. They are based in San Francisco and are the 4th largest exchange in the world by trading volume. They have over 6 million clients and they are also talking about going public in 2022.

Is Kraken Safe?

Kraken takes security very seriously. They were founded in 2011 and have never been hacked or lost users funds which is a good track record. 95% of their crypto is held offline in cold storage and geographically distributed. Their website even says their servers are in secure cages 24/7 monitored by armed guards.

On the user side, Kraken offers 2 factor authentication, email confirmations for withdrawals, and other security settings. Kraken's focus on security is a big reason for their good reputation however, even their CEO says not to hold your crypto on exchanges. Although they do everything they can for security, a safer option is to use a hardware wallet like the Ledger.

Kraken Exchange Logo 2
  • Trade 50+ cryptocurrencies
  • Tight spreads and low fees
  • Beginner and pro features
Newton Exchange
  • Fast funding and super low fees
  • Trade 9 cryptocurrencies
  • Get $25 free when you trade $100

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